ACTIONAID-assisted ‘People With Disabilities’ set to determine Nigeria’s political leadership.

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By ‘Segun ‘Bambo Ojomo

Determined to take the bull by the horn and strengthen their participation in the political and electoral processes in Nigeria, members of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities(PWD) recently rose from a three-day conference with a major intent of rallying to form a number good enough to remarkably influence the nation’s electoral process.

The decision what taken during the SCEEP National Forum on PWD inclusion in the electoral process organised by ACTIONAID Nigeria in Lagos.

Led by the President of the association, Mrs Ekaete Umoh, the group hinges its hopes for success on the fact that in Nigeria today, PWD constitute 15% of the 170millon population which mathematically makes the population of PWD over 25.5million.

According to Umoh, in her presentation titled ‘PWD and Inclusion in Governance: Emerging Issues and Discourse’, the  general apathy by the Nigerian voting populace even increases the chances of PWD at clinching their intention as far less than 30% of eligible voters actually come out on election days to perform their civic obligations.

“In the light of this, I call on all our members to ensure that they get registered for the oncoming elections, get their PVC and come out en masse on election days to vote and be voted for. The time is now to ensure that we properly fit into our position in the country’s electoral and governance processes and shun marginalization occasioned by excuses of disability”, she said.

The level of inclusion of PWD in the 2015 elections, according to Umoh, was a remarkable improvement over previous elections and the Disability Community remains hopeful that the INEC framework on disability would drastically reduce identified challenges and barriers to the effective participation and inclusion of PWD in the electoral process.

Recall that according to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been a global increase in the population of PWD from 10 to 15%, representing a shift from 600million to 1billion. Approximately, 80% of these population live in low income\developing countries, including Nigeria.

ACTIONAID has as its vision a world without poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys his or her right to life, with dignity, and its mission as working in solidarity with the poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice.

 

 

 

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