In order to ensure that there is an increase in the participation of youths, especially Persons with Disabilities, in the coming election, Rethink Inclusion in collaboration with Constitution Lab and the People with Oriented Policy and Good Governance organized a training programme for PWDs in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Cross Rivers.
The programme which was tagged “Inclusive Election” was in phases, to include virtual and physical training. According to the convener who also doubled as the Speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Azeezat Yishawu, it is imperative that the voice of every Nigerian, including the Persons with Disabilities is heard in the coming election.
She further stated that it is most significant that we run an inclusive election which people with disabilities make up about 15% of Nigeria’s population and as Nigerian, they also have the right to vote and be voted for.
She stated “despite the significant population of PWDs, the rights of individuals with disabilities are often overlooked and not adequately protected. This is particularly true when it comes to their right participate in the decision-making processes of the country.”
“This is why Rethink Inclusion through the sponsorship of IVLP Grant decided to engage young leaders with disabilities in these four states to educate them on election procedures and active advocacy.”
The INEC officials who were in attendance in the four states trained the participants on the usage of the facilities provided by the electoral commission to ensure that PWDs vote during the election to include, braille ballot for the visually impaired, magnifying glasses for persons with albinism, and translator for the deaf.
According to the INEC officials, the commission is working in agreement with Section 54 of the electoral act 2022 indicating the need to ensure an inclusive election for PWDs, thereby assuring a credible, free and fair election.
The training sessions featured distribution of training manuals, shirts and braille manual for the visually impaired participants.