By JOHN ONAH, Abuja –
The Albino Foundation (TAF) has disclosed that it will mobilize 700 observers to monitor the 2023 general election across the country.
The Program Manager of Albino Foundation, Ndifreke Ferdinand disclosed this at the weekend during a one day capacity building workshop in Abuja, with the theme: “Disability -inclusive reporting for Journalists in the electoral process”.
Mrs. Ferdinand stressed that the mobilization of the observers would help in giving an accurate assessment of the election procedure.
She further disclosed that PWDs have 36 Candidates contesting for various positions in the forthcoming election.
Earlier, the Founder, Albino Foundation, Ambassador Jake Epelle has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to adequately make provision for devices available for Persons With Disabilities(PWDs) in the forthcoming general election.
He explained that with the required assistive devices, PWDs would be able to cast their votes without stress.
Ambassador Epelle said that the Foundation in its efforts to ensure inclusive election had launched an “Able 2 Vote Guide”, created a Disability Dash Board as well as launched an ‘ Election Hub App” that will be real time video and real time text.
He said the Foundation will continue to educate PWDs on how they can vote with ease, towards entrenching an inclusive society.
He appealed to the media ,whom he described as strategic partners to give more visibility to issues about PWDs to make their voices heard and their votes count.
In a welcome address, the National President, Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo urged Journalists to engage on developmental Journalism rather than circulating fake news.
Comrade Isighzo commended the Albino Foundation for building the capacity of journalists and noted that the NUJ had trained over 2000 members in the last 3 months ahead of the General Election with a view to achieving effective coverage.
He advised Journalists to contribute their quota to nation building towards having credible elections by verifying their findings to promote free and fair elections devoid of sentiments and bitterness.
“If that story will not bring people out of squalor, if that story will not reduce poverty, if it will not pull Nigerians out of ignorance, you are not doing Journalism. Let us not do Journalism that is centered on macantile interest, let our Journalism be development oriented, not Journalism that destroys the entire system.”
“As Journalists, we must also ensure that our reports, represent the truth, factual and not fictional, verifiable and authentic. Before you talk about that story, ensure you know the origin. We must take note of the tiniest of details as far as this election is concerned. Avoid fake news, misinformation, propaganda and yellow journalism” , he added
The workshop also featured a paper presentation on ” understanding PWDs-inclusive reporting as a platform for promoting the image and enhancing the voices of PWDs by the Executive Director, IPC, Lanre Arogundade.