By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

Mr James Lalu, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), has restated the commitment of the Commission to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) participate in the 2023 general elections.

Lalu said this when he played host to the delegation from the Albino Foundation, led by the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jake Ekpelle, on Monday in Abuja.

This is contain in a statement issued by the Head Media and Publicity of NCPWD, Mr JohnMichaels Mbanefo.

The NCPWD boss described the visit as an opportunity to discuss what would promote visibility and inclusion of PWDs, especially during voting exercise. him, the synergy between the Commission and the Foundation will accentuate the political participation of PWDs across the country.

“”This is an opportunity to continue to negotiate our inclusion and also  determine who occupies positions of authority in the interests of PWDs. 

“Voter-Ability is an important platform for PWDs to demonstrate their strength in the democratic process in the country,”Lalu said.

He commended the projects intended by the Foundation with support from European Union, adding that, it is in line with the Commission’s mandate and vision.

He, therefore, promised to give maximum support to the programme while ensuring its total success.

On Sign Language, Lalu said it had come to stay and would be given express attention.

“It is interesting to note that there are diverse sign languages in Nigeria and this had compelled the Commission to  produce the sign language dictionary as a guide for seamless interpretation for the  deaf community.

“We have equally gone a step further to  facilitate the National Policy on Sign Language, “Lalu explained.

He further reiterated the Commission’s commitment to fighting skin cancer through various intervention programmes.

Speaking earlier, Ekpelle acknowledged the resilience and passion demonstrated  by Lalu over the years in addressing  disability-related matters.

Ekpelle reeled out the projects outlined by the Foundation and seized the occasion to solicit the cooperation of the Commission.

He said that part of the project intended include: voter-ability, Elect-ability, Elect- Hub which is tech-based targeting about 100-150 PWDs to be elected during 2023 voting exercise.

Ekpelle also proposed the establishment of a Data Centre for PWDs to get an on the spot capacity to report the events during electioneering processes. 

The high point of the visit was the presentation of the 5-year Strategic Plan of the  Commission to Ekpelle. (NAN)

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