Home Albinism News Be A True Disability Inclusion Champion, Albino Foundation Charges Nigerians

Be A True Disability Inclusion Champion, Albino Foundation Charges Nigerians

by Inclusive News Network

In Kaduna state, the Albino foundation held its able2vote campaign for the Northwest zone; a voter education campaign to reduce voter apathy and promote the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in electoral processes, funded by the European Union through its EUSDGN phase II program.

The Administrative Secretary of, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Kaduna state, Alhaji Awwal Muhammed Mashi, in his goodwill message lauded the Albino foundation for the able2vote project which he considered timely and like the dreams and goal of the commission.

According to him, with respect to enlightenment not only for PWDs or IDPs but for the whole voting populace, arrangements have been put in place by the Commission to collaborate with civil society organizations, utilize the media, drama theatre, talks, local music, etc., all aimed at addressing the importance of participating/voting, collection of PVCs (and keeping them safe): voting procedure, and election offenses such as vote buying and selling; special sensitization forum for women, youth groups and of course PWDs. All these will be done in languages spoken locally.

Alhaji Aliyu Haruna Yakassai, Executive Secretary, of the Kaduna State Disabilities Affairs board commended INEC for their efforts so far towards a disability-friendly electoral process, following the worry that has bedevilled participation of PWDs in the past electoral seasons.

Participants raised the issue of inaccessible facilities used for elections and appealed to INEC to partner with CSOs in engaging with the owners of these facilities to adopt a disability-inclusive structure, for easy participation by PWDs.

The panel session consisting of the Executive Director of Women and youth empowerment foundation, Dr. Rakiya Shonekan; Disability Inclusion Advisor for Sightsavers, Monday Okwoli; The Administrative Secretary of, INEC, Kaduna state, Alhaji Awwal Muhammed Mashi; Rep. Admin Sec. INEC Sokoto State Hajiyah Aisha Abdullahi and moderated by Mass Communication Lecturer, Kaduna state University, Salisu Ibrahim exhaustively discussed the security challenges associated with elections and how reasonable adjustments should be made to accommodate the peculiarities of persons with disabilities, in cases of violence or chaos. The security apparatus in place to take care of the security concerns of PWDs were addressed, among other issues.

Programme Manager, The Albino Foundation, Ndifreke Ferdinand exhorted everyone to become true disability inclusion champions in Nigeria. She also advised PWDs at the event to sensitize other members of the community who might be absent at the event, to go out on election day and exercise their rights as patriotic citizens.

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