On Friday, July 22, 2022, The Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) with support from the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) launch the VOTEability Campaign at the NCPWD commission office Abuja.
The concern over the low participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise by INEC, birthed the VOTEability campaign by IFA. The initiative adopts a community-based approach to engage and increase the number PWDs in the CVR exercise before the Sunday, July, 31 st 2022 dateline, starting with communities within the FCT and Sokoto State.
Since the campaign began, over 11,000 Persons with Disabilities have been registered in the CVR process. A component of the VOTEability campaign is the Sensitization rally to create awareness and mobilize PWDs to enjoy the opportunity to register for their permanent voter’s card.
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, citizens, commuters, tradesmen, merchants, and bystanders at Berger Bridge Bus Park through Wuse Market Abuja espoused the sensitization rally for increased participation of PWDs in the CVR exercise before the exercise dateline as various rally members distribute fliers.
Briefing media men at the rally, IFA Executive Director Grace Jerry, prompted INEC for an accelerated registration of PWDs across the country before the registration timeout.
“Currently we have up to about 75,458 PWDs registered since June last year the exercise commences. That is not encouraging, it is our desire that before the exercise is over, we want to triple the number PWDs who have registered to enable them to participate in the coming general elections. We have prompted the States Resident Electoral Commissioners to consider this eleventh hour to register PWDs across the country. The Rally today will inspire more PWDs to go for registration….”
Speaking also, the Executive Secretary of the NCPWD, James Lalu restated the commission’s support for the campaign targets registering over 10 million PWDs before the end date.
“We have to demonstrate to the politicians that we have the voting power to decide who become who in Nigeria. The disability community today has grown out to be a community of consequences. We are out to demonstrate our capabilities in the political space. Today is a day that we are creating a necessary awareness for PWDs to come out and register”
Some members of the community of persons with disabilities expressed optimism that the campaign would raise more awareness of political activities.