Persons with Disabilities Demand for Space within Political Parties in Nigeria
Persons with Disabilities have made a call on all political parties in Nigeria to support their interest to contest elections without any forms of restrictions.
Bilkisu Yakubu was one of those who used the Participate Toady campaign as a platform to express her concerns in contesting elections. She said,” I wanted to contest election under the All Progressive Congress party (APC) but the price of the form was too expensive for me so I had to go for Unity Party (UP) which I could afford”.
Participate Today campaign on Tuesday 15 October, organized a meeting at Chelsea hotel Abuja, to share experiences of persons with disabilities who contested for elections with stakeholders. The goal of the campaign is to enhance the participation of PWDs in elections, political parties and broader political space in Nigeria.
The Participate Today campaign program officer, Stephen Idoko said the call on political parties is timely. “We need them to understand some of these challenges so that amendments could be made in elections to
Honourable Salihu Usman who contested and won in Zurmi constituency of Zamfara state said he was stereotyped as soon as he indicated interest to run for office. “They asked what a man like me was going
there to do” he said.
APC PWD, national leader, said that PWDs need to build their capacity to run for public offices. They need to have other qualities like a good education and a steady source of income if they must be successful in the political space.
At the meeting, representatives of both political parties and disabled people’s organizations
That PWDs should identify strong-willed individuals who understand disability to mentor them through their political journeys.
That the disability community builds a movement that will ensure PWDs get elected into political offices.
That Political parties should provide a quota for PWDs
That political parties should provide forms at a very affordable fee to PWDs.
The team also launched the report, “the race so far”. The Report gives details of experiences of over 200 PWDs who participated.
IFA executive director and convener of Participate Today Campaign Grace Jerry, thanked the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for their continuous support. She charged all PWDs that the time is now to take
power and create relevance in Nigeria’s political space.