Jake Epelle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Albino Foundation, has charged Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to participate in the 2023 general elections.
Mr Epelle made the call at a voter education campaign sponsored by the European Union, tagged, “Able 2 Vote (Southwest)”.
The Albino Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation promoting the participation of PWDs in elections and democratic processes in Nigeria. make the most of political participation as the 2023 general elections approach.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign was organised to reduce voter apathy to the barest minimum and promote the mainstreaming of PWDs in the electoral process.
According to him, the time has come for persons with disabilities to fully take part in elections as a civic responsibility.
“The day has come and that day is now that all of us will rise up, take the bull by the horn and make the most of political participation of persons with disabilities.
“I charge you and I challenge you today. If this country is looking for a President, governor or house of representative member, look no further because you’re the one.
“We have a wonderful opportunity before us. This is the fact that for the first time in the history of the electoral process in this country that persons with disabilities will constitute an adequate percentage of the entire electorate.
“There has never been any time better than now that this community is coming together. We are not just ready to vote, we are ready to be voted for,” Mr Epelle said.
The guest speaker at the event, Dr Uche Edimafo, said it was not the size that determined champions but physicality and a positive mindset.
He further charged PWDs to look beyond their present condition and aim to achieve all that they dream of in life.
He added that there is ability in disability and that people should not give up or be intimidated until people with disability are properly recognised in the electoral process.
Mrs Ndifreke Ferdinand who is the Programme Manager of the Foundation said there was a need to address issues of voters’ identity and chances to increase the presence of the physically challenged in the coming general elections.
“I urge you all, especially those that believe their votes do not count to go and collect their voter cards so as to kill the spirit of voter apathy in the society,” she said.