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Elections: INEC Holds Sensitisation Workshop For PLWDs
By Isaiah Benjamin
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kaduna State yesterday held a sensitisation workshop for People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in the state ahead of the March and April general election.
The sensitisation workshop according to the Kaduna State resident electoral commissioner (REC) Alhaji Hussaini Ahmed Mahuta was part of efforts to enlighten the electorate on the various electoral processes so as to avoid past mistakes related to voter apathy, violence, election rigging, wrong voting pattern and misinformation.
Alhaji Mahuta who was represented by the head of department, Voters Education, Gender and Civil Organisation of the commission in the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu Gujungu, said, the commission has realised the importance of interacting nationally and internationally with all relevant stakeholders to ensure effective communication of the commission’s functions.
He said the commission is determined to mobilise the voting population towards effective participation through series of sensitisation forum such as workshops and seminars with various stakeholders and through the use of both print and electronic media for voter education programmes such as television and radio jingles, interviews, call in programmes and press releases.
The REC further stated in his key note address to the workshop that, “in an effort to eradicate past problems such as rigging and multiple voting and also simplify voting process, INEC introduced the use of smart card reader for accreditation, verification and authentication of voters.
at all polling units for the general elections.
To the PLWD, he said, “I want to assure you that the Commission regards your association as a valuable stakeholders, appreciates the challenges that you encounter during elections but nevertheless remain committed to the process and are willing to assist in anyway legally possible to eliminate or at least reduce your hardships, which is one of the reasons for the workshop.
“The task ahead of us is enormous, therefore, all hands are required to be on deck to make it a success. We therefore count on you to serve as voter education officers in your respective neighbourhoods and be a good ambassadors of the commission by obtaining your Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as no prospective voter will be allowed to exercise his franchise without the PVC” he stressed.
Earlier, in his address one of the disabled person Micah Shabi who presented a paper at the workshop assured the full participation of the PLWD in the entire election process as long as an enabling environment is provided by all relevant authorities.
He disclosed that there are over 23 million persons with various disabilities in Nigeria, while in Kaduna State, there are over 700 PLWD, a proportion he said should not be ignored.
“We are prepared to contribute our quota and will pray for the peaceful general election in Nigeria, once moren we want to register our deep appreciation for considering us worthy for the sensitization” he said.
Also speaking at the workshop, Assistant Director programs of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mrs Gupada Rhoda further tasked the PLWD on the need to collect their PVCS and actively in the election processes.
He urged them not to see their situation as a challenge, stressing that there is ability in disability.
Source: Leadership Newspaper