As the 2023 general elections approach, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr James David Lalu has called on all Persons With Disabilities to come out enmass to exercise their franchise in the forth coming elections.
He made this clarion call during a voter Education Campaign organized by the Albino Foundation in Abuja, today 19th October, 2022.
The Executive Secretary announced that PWDs have over the years lived in denial and failed to exercise their full rights as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, especially during elections.
“I used to hide away from performing my civic responsibility when I was much younger but now, I have realized my life depends on it”, he said.
He, therefore, urged the entire community of PWDs to come to self- realization and be determined in using the opportunity to choose the Leaders they want in the fourth coming elections.
The Commission’s helmsman commended the Independent Electoral Commission for creating Disability Desk across the 36 States for easy accessibility by PWDs.
Lalu also hinted that members of the public should be mindful of the minimum Accessibility Standard while constructing ramps in order to avoid further damage when wheel chair users make use of them.
He further announced that disability certificates will be issued to PWDs for easy identification during the elections.
“It is also worthy of note to underpin the provisions in section 23 and 30 of the 2018 prohibition against the discrimination of persons with disabilities in any election, ” he asserted.
The Executive Chairman, National Population Commission, Mr. Isa Kwarra in his goodwill message, informed the meeting that over 19 million Persons With Disabilities have been captured during the recent survey conducted in preparation for the next population census.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu while delivering his keynote address, appreciated the efforts of the Disability Organizations working tirelessly for the inclusion of PWDs to excercise their voting rights.
He equally informed that the Commission is mandating Political parties in complying with section 54 of disability law on Assistive Devices to PWDs during elections.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of Award of honour by a group of Civil Society women known as Marvelous women to the the Executive Secretary NCPWD, Mr. James David Lalu and the Chief Executive Officer, Albino Foundation Amb. Jake Epelle.