By Amen Gajira
At least 1,000 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are currently taking part in a UNDP sensitisation programme on voter and civic education in Kaduna State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the programme holding at Zangon Kataf in Kataf Local Government Area of the state was organised in collaboration with the CEDAR SEED Foundation, an NGO.
Mr Ziniyet Hilary, Programme Coordinator, CEDAR SEED Foundation, said the sensitisation became expedient because PWDs were continually excluded and underrepresented at elections and in political participation.
Hilary noted that as the 2023 elections approach, PWDs needed support and education to actively participate in the process.
According to him, an informed and proactive measure is needed to achieve and sustain the goal for inclusiveness in all electoral processes especially, the 2023 elections.
“Participation and representation of men and women with disabilities in political leadership roles are extremely low.
“Some of the challenges include stereotypes and prejudices, limited expectations from the society, limited access to information and infrastructure, among others.
“This sensitisation seeks to ensure inclusion of citizens with disabilities in the 2023 elections; in governance and in decision making,’’ he said.
He said similar sensitisation would be held in in Jaba; in Jema’a and in Kaura Local Government Areas of the state.
In his presentation, one of the facilitators, Mr Benjamin Nkut, urged PWDs not to regard their disabilities as limitations, stressing that they had the right to vote and be voted for like every other citizen.
Nkut encouraged participants to turn out en-masse and exercise their franchise as the Electoral Act 2022 provides that they would be given priority on Election Day.
Another facilitator, Shuaibu Mustapha, tasked the PWDs on the need to always hold their elected representatives accountable on promises made during electioneering campaigns.
Some of the participants who spoke with NAN commended the organisers for deepening their understanding of citizens’ participation to promote good governance.
They expressed confidence that the sensitisation would translate into their increased participation in politics and in decision-making. (NAN)