WRITTEN BY CHIBUZOR OBIDIKE
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday held a one day sensitization workshop for People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) in the state on
the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration Exercise at the Ward level.
The sensitization workshop according to the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, was part of efforts to enlighten the electorate on the various electoral processes so as to avoid past mistakes related to voter apathy, violence, impersonation, and misinformation among others.
Dr. Orji, represent by Head Of Department, Voter Education Programme, Mr. Leonard Nkedife, assured the PLWD that the Commission regards the association as valuable stakeholder, appreciates the challenges they encounter during elections and has remained committed towards assisting in anyway legally possible and enjoined them to serve as voter education officers in their respective neighbourhoods.
While educating the Forum on the objective of the Commission, Mrs. Lakunuya Bello who is the Deputy Director of Civil Society Organizations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja, urged Youth groups and persons with disabilities in the country to not only participate in the electoral process, but also reflect ownership of the process through positive participation.
In his remarks, the INEC’s Head of Legal Department, Anambra State, Barrister Sunday Nweigboke, told the youth groups and persons with disabilities to shun electoral violence, adding that the future of the country depends on the decision they take in the electoral process.
He explained the penalties for electoral offenses, urging them to be law abiding before, during and after the election.
Mr. Lawrence Nwanolue, Chairman of Anambra State Chapter, Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), in his response, commended INEC for heeding to their call to always carry persons
with disability along in taking decisions on electoral process and appealed to the Commission to provide the enabling environment for persons on wheelchair to conveniently participate in the voting proces.
In their various remarks, the President, International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre, Prince Chris Azor, and a Human Right Activist, Professor Mercy Anigbogu, expressed happiness with the workshop aimed at mobilizing the people with disabilities to ensure that their status are elevated and extolled the leadership qualities of Governor Obiano for his interest in the welfare of the people living with disabilities.