Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi has urged the Federal Government to change the political narratives of the elections in the country by carrying persons with living with disability, women and in the electoral process, particularly in the forthcoming 2019 elections.
Obi made this call recently in Abuja at the event tagged ‘’Strengthening Citizens Engagement in the Electoral Process Dissemination Meeting’’ project organized by ActionAid Nigeria.
She said, “The project was aimed at strengthening the electoral engagement of women, youth and persons with disability in Nigeria and it delivered citizens engagement that enhanced citizens’ inclusion and influence in the electoral process, holding elected leaders and institutions at all levels to account in delivering on their social contract and upholding the socio- economic and political rights of citizens.”
In the last four years SCEEP has been improves the foundation for engaging the electoral process, adding that the project is a response to the growing need to strengthen the inclusion of citizens in the electoral process , funded by the Department for International Development, DFID.
“We are training and engaging people with disabilities and looking at the community narratives not only looking at those who are capable to go and vote but those who are having difficulties to count their voices as well.”
The youths should refuse to be used but should go and vote and not be used by any politician, adding that there is an improvement that persons with disabilities are going to be involved. We have gone so far in training and engaging people with disabilities.
National President of National Association of People with physical disability, Rilwanu Mohammed Abdullahi said that government, political parties and electoral managing bodies is to create a chance for people living with disabilities.
Abdullahi disclosed that some of political parties have started embracing people living with physical disability as aspirants or candidates in their various political parties, especially in Kano State where ‘’our people’’ have started vying for different political offices in 2019.
We want to collaborate with political parties and electoral management because there are some hurdles blocking persons with disabilities like the contestant fees, he emphasized.
Rights Activist, Barrister Esther Uzoma said that government through the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has provided various platforms and channels for people to key.
Uzoma said, ‘’what every youth, every woman, every vulnerable person should do is to be involved in the process. Obtain your PVC, or if you are interested in politics be a member of a political party.
Support the system, watch the votes, and watch the process.’’
My message to Nigerians and particularly women is that the time to be involved is now. This is the time to make your voices heard, to vie for political offices; the time is now so that we can salvage whatever is remaining in this our great country. Nigerians should be involved in election, she emphasized, Uzoma said.
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