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#TheSCEEPStory: Inclusion of youths in electoral process as told by Ezenwa Nwagu

youths in electoral process

Why has the inclusion of youths in electoral process being overlooked? What are the strategies to make sure political spaces are created for the youths in Nigeria?

Young people are often excluded or overlooked as political candidates. Politics is typically regarded as a space for politically experienced men, and while women are often disadvantaged in accumulating experience to run for office, young people are systematically marginalized because of their young age, limited opportunities, and projected lack of experience.

Recognizing the potential of youths in electoral process, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) developed its first-ever Youth Strategy (2014–2017), called “Empowered Youth, Sustainable Future”, in line with the UN System-Wide Action Plan on Youth(2013) which calls on young generations to become more involved and more committed in development processes.

Last year the #NotTooYoungToRun movement started with support from different partners and this year a bill was passed and signed. Now we are talking about creation of more spaces for the youths in electoral process to occupy. On the 5th of July, 2018 at the Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process (SCEEP) dissemination event we had a questioning session with Mr. Ezenwa Nwagu, he shared insights on strategies the civic organisations intend to implement to create more spaces for youths in electoral process.

Mr. Ezenwa Nwagu is the Chairperson Partners for Electoral Reform, a consultant for Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process (SCEEP) and also a community development expert who has solicited for citizens’ participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Here’s what he had to say: take a minute and listen to the audio or you can continue to read through.

A lot of people don’t know what #NotTooYoungToRun is even when you listened to the country director of action aid you’ll also see that even at that level it is not yet understood what that is?

Now the simple thing #NotTooYoungToRun sucks to address was constitutional limitations for youths in electoral process to aspire in politics, before now the constitution criminalized aspiration, so what does it mean?

Until I am 30 even if I am 29 and I have double PHD, I cannot say I want to run for house of representative. So the only thing you can compare to #NotTooYoungToRun is the struggle for independence and so when people try to reduce you and say it has happened before, Gowon has ran, no, Gowon was a cubist, these are cubists’, they are not democratic.

In a democracy, your constitution made by so-called citizens removed the right of people to run if they belong to certain age bracket so that was what was removed, even that was a compromise.

#NotTooYoungToRun as it is is a compromise, because there is nothing biologically. Nothing physio-nominally, that says if I can vote for you at 18, that I should not say I want to run for office at 18 so what you saw was a compromise. In many other jurisdictions, 23 year olds are in senate in Australia.

So as it is what are the civic organizations doing to address the compromise?

There is a generation, I have said so that in the celebration of #NotTooYoungToRun, I have made it very clear that the generation that would accuse us of compromise are the younger people.

Scandinavian countries are talking about reducing even the age of voting. Norway has reduced the age to 15. My daughter and son at the age of 14, they are already posing questions that some of us cannot answer and then you are even depriving them, so what am I saying?

It is a struggle to expand the democratic space, it will continue as we realize how much the space is constricted, we will continue to work to expand it.

Just one more question, so as a key stakeholder in civic organizations and the movement that they planned to change in your opinion, what really, how do you see the impact of SCEEP as a program?

Oh, SCEEP project is phenomenal, SCEEP is one thing, the community charter, it is phenomenal, it is not been done anywhere so just take that alone, in 180 communities that citizens would have a document with which they can engage their leaders, you can’t reduce its impact.

Thank you so much for your time.

#TheSCEEPstory: The Intervention of the SCEEP project as told by Bulus Dabit

National Orientation Agency

How have the Strengthening Citizens Engagement in the Electoral Process (SCEEP) project assisted the National Orientation Agency towards the preparation of a free and fair election in 2019?

There are lineup of activities to be fully prepared to conduct a free and fair elections in 2019. Since the last election was rated very high by both local and international observers, the National Orientation Agency are preparing to deliver a more credible election in 2019 to surpass previous achievements.

That being said, the participation with SCEEP project has empowered National Orientation Agency to fulfill their goals to assist Independent National Electoral Comission to publicise its activities and mobilise people to participate in electoral processes.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Mr Bulus Dabit at the SCEEP dissemination event on the 5th July 2018. Mr Bulus Dabit  is the State Director of National Orientation Agency for Plateau State in Nigeria and he shared insights on how SCEEP Projects has impacted the work of the National Orientation Agency.

Here’s what he had to say: you can decide to listen to the audio of our interview or you can read up what he shared.

How would we rate the SCEEP project along with what INEC does as an institution?

Mr Bulus Dabit: It is as if we have the same vision, INEC is all about inclusivity – to get everyone involved especially the groups we have mentioned. 1. PWD 2. Youth 3. Women. In fact, as the professors has said, we have a policy guiding women on gender and PWD and we have been interacting with youth because it is their time.

Especially with the #NotTooYoungToRun, we have been interfacing with then being sponsored with international donor and it is helping because we want everyone to participate believing that the more the merrier.

How would you say the SCEEP Project and its intervention impacted the work that National Orientation Agency does as an Institution?

Mr Bulus Dabit: The SCEEP project as you well know is about engagement and the goal of engagement is participation, and that touches on the core of the mandate of National Orientation Agency. One of our major mandate of National Orientation Agency is to mobilize citizens to participate and if you do not have the skills or platform then we have a problem.

Our participation with SCEEP project has empowered our staffs. We now have the skills; we can also use the models SCEEP projects have used to engage. We are already engaging in local government where your program could not reach because of the participation of other 6 local government officer.  It impacts heavily on what we are doing

What preparation is the National Orientation Agency doing to ensure 2019 elections, 1. It is free and fair the PWD women and youth participate in that process?

Mr Bulus Dabit: We discover that our political education is key. People must link their participation in the democratic process to good governance. The village book was developed and it’s about good governance.  We think that there is a relationship between voting and good governance, they will not go and do registration or even get their PVC.

Because they think, they are doing the politician a favour or a favour to themselves, if the politician will give them something. Often times they ask what is it in for them now, so if a politician comes out with what he can give them at that particular time that is he end.

They have collected their own dividence of democracy. However, we have to let people know that beyond that is what participation can bring in terms of infrastructure, in terms of all the social services they are supposed to get, it is supposed to put food on their table. Whatever they do it is their welfare and their security is a function of the voting process. Therefore, that type of education is supposed to be intensified.

How would you rate SCEEP as a project and the impact of its intervention?

Mr Bulus Dabit: I think the SCEEP project is excellent. The impact is very high in the state and local government area where they are working. The percentage of the local government area and states where SCEEP is working vis-a-vis the states and local governments in Nigeria, SCEEP has only done a little.

We are advocating this project could lean on the platform of National Orientation Agency in all the state and local government areas and we have officers that are trainable and can easily deliver on the same mandate.

With little resources, it is possible to leverage on the kind of platform that SCEEP has and the one National Orientation Agency has so we can have a greater impact. The kind of celebration we had today ought to be a National Celebration but unfortunately there are many states left out because of the constraint of funding. In terms of the impact within the areas SCEEP worked, it has been excellent.

#TheSCEEPStory: Ekaette Judith Umoh shares insights on inclusion of PWDs in Nigeria

#TheSCEEPStory: Ekaette Judith Umoh shares insights on inclusion of PWDs in Nigeria

How can we as Nigerians successfully push the agenda of inclusion of Persons with Disability (PWD) in the electoral process? What has been done and what still needs to be done?

With over 25 million PWDs living in Nigeria, only quite a number occupy political positions in the country. Strengthening Citizens Engagement in the Electoral Process (SCEEP) was a project that strived to eradicate barriers that prohibit full participation of persons with disabilities as voters and candidates in the coming elections in 2019.

The SCEEP dissemination event that took place on July 5th 2018 and was huge success. The event attracted stakeholders and partners and the SCEEP team was delighted to speak with the gorgeous Ekaette Judith Umoh.

So before you jump to read the valuable insights she shared with us on the issues around inclusion of PWD’s, let me first of all share a bit about who she is and what she does.

Ekaette Judith Umoh is first female President of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities-JONAPWD, an umbrella body of all disability organizations in Nigeria.

She is a Vice Chairperson that holds a Master’s Degree in Social Works and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. She is a passionate social inclusion expert with over 16 years of experience in disability management, inclusive development, governance and civil society.

Her contributions to the field of disability management and inclusive development span thematic areas like training, research, campaigns and advocacy programs around disability mainstreaming.

Ekaette is primarily a Laboratory Scientist with specialty in Microbiology and Virology. Ekaette is the founder and Executive Director, Family Centred Initiative for Challenged Persons (FACICP).

She is In the West African sub-region, she is Vice President, West African Federation of the Disabled-WAFOD and Regional Chairperson of Disabled People’s International (DPI)-Africa Region.

More so, she is an Executive Council Member of the African Disability Forum-ADF, an umbrella body of all national, sub-regional, regional and Pan Africa Disability organizations in Africa. As National Coordinator of Global Fund for Women Grantees Network, Ekaette became the first woman with a disability to lead a mainstream women’s civil society group in Nigeria. Mrs. Ekaette Judith Umoh is widely travelled and skilled in public speaking.

Great personality right! Now let us go over to the insights she shared with us and let #TheSceepStory continue.

You may want to listen to the audio or you could just go ahead and read it for yourself.

Good afternoon Ma. We’re media consultants for SCEEP project.

Okay.

Please just a quick introduction of yourself before we start.

Okay my name is Ekaette Judith Umoh, I’m the national president of the joint national association of persons with disabilities which is the umbrella body of all disabled people’s organization in Nigeria.

Can we say SCEEP project has effectively pushed inclusion of persons with disability in the electoral process?

Absolutely, but for me, my take away from the SCEEP project would just be around disability. The SCEEP project has helped increase visibility for the issues of persons with disability and their participation in electoral  process and you saw the documentary. I like the fact that every aspect of it featured at least persons with disability and how we’re trying to be involved.

We may not be there yet but this is a very good step in the right direction and everyone is beginning to be aware, so apart from creating visibility, so much of awareness and community around the issues of persons with disability, the SCEEP project has successfully pushed disability discourse to the front burner taking it away from the charity perspective and situating it as a governance issue.

So ma, are we likely to see more persons with disability coming up to particularly run for political process?

Absolutely, you need to know how politically aware we are, we’ve always been so politically aware and this time around we’re trying to take advantage of our numerical strength. You hear us brag about being 15% of any given population, we say like over 170 or 190, you do 15% of that, you find that we’re over 27 million persons living with disabilities in Nigeria, now if we take advantage of that numerical strength.

That gives us some kind of courage to be able to vie for any office, so be rest assured 2019 we are definitely going to show up, we will participate. We take forms, but currently we are working INEC to addressing those barriers that would actually stop us from going further because just expressing the interest is not just enough to enable you participate, because when you get to the field, you meet those barriers. We’re working with INEC right now to make sure that it’s addressed to an extent so that we can effectively participate in the electoral process.

Can you share some of those barriers?

Okay, the levels of barriers persons with disability actually experience are 3-4 levels, we have the institutional barriers, the environmental barriers and the attitudinal barriers, then the social barriers. So let me start from the social barriers.so let me start from social barriers, that starts with oh, she doesn’t belong here, you don’t fit into societal description of what they call human beings or less of a human being that kind of stuff.

Perception again is worse which bears with the attitudinal barrier, what is perception about what we can and cannot do, so with that kind of negative perception about persons with disability we’re excluded, that is a huge barrier and so people having those kind of attitude in mind addresses us and engages us based on their perception which is very terrible.

The institutional barriers has to do with policies in the electoral act processes that will enable us participate effectively and we have taken that one to another level that’s why we’re working with INEC  to develop what is called INEC disability frame work, it has been validated and would soon be launched to address those institutional barriers which has to do with laws policies electoral act to enable persons with disabilities participate.

So in all of this how would you say SCEEP as a project really impacted on persons with disability and general participation in the electoral process?

From 1-5 I’ll rate skip 4.5, very good, almost excellent, I didn’t make it 5 because we still have some few steps to cover, like I said earlier on the beginning of this conversation is that it has created huge awareness, it has promoted visibility, it has opened up space for persons with disability to even discuss and it has built confidence for persons with disability to discuss so I’ll say SCEEP is a huge success when it comes to promoting issues of persons with disability on electoral process.

 

#TheSCEEPStory: Ibrahim Faruk shares insights on the #NotTooYoungToRun bill and whats next

#NotTooYoungToRun Bill

Are Nigerian youths #ReadyToRun after the much anticipated signing of #NotTooYoungToRun bill by President Mohammadu Buhari?

Would Nigerian youths be given opportunity to rule? These are speculation that arised after the signing of the #NotTooYoungTooRun bill.

Nigerian Youths wanted more inclusion in electoral process, hence the #NotTooYoungToRun movement. NGOs came together for a common cause and rallied, protested for months. Initially, it seemed like every other protest that would die off but with the support of INEC, ActionAid with the Strengthening  Citizen Engagement in the Electoral Process (SCEEP) project, other forces pulled together to support the movement.

The inclusion of Nigerian youths in the electoral process is one step, the full involvement of the youths in Nigeria is another step. We had the opportunity of having an interview with Ibrahim Faruk, the pioneer and National Coordinator of the #NotTooYoungToRun Campaign at the SCEEP dissemination event that held on the 5th of July 2018.

Ibrahim Faruk is also senior programme officer with the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Abuja.

He shared insights on the future of the participation of Nigerian youths after the signed bill. he also shared the strategies YIAGA has put in place to makes sure the #NotTooYoungTooRun campaign continues.

If you are on the go, you could just listen to the audio file below to hear what Mr. Ibrahim Faruk share insights on the #NotTooYoungToRun bill from the perspective of #TheSceepStory as it continues.

If you do not mind, we will ask you questions. First give an introduction of yourself?

My name is Ibrahim Faruk. I work with YIAGA AFRICA but I am also the national coordinator of the  #NotTooYoungToRun campaign which has also now become a movement, so my job is to make sure everything from inception was well from when the bill was first sponsored up until when the president signed it and it became a law.

So how has the journey of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill been from the beginning, what are the challenges and how difficult were the issues around getting the bill passed as it is?

It has been interesting journey. We have had high moments, we have had low moments and we have had times when we had to celebrate our small victories, there were times that we also had to go back and look at our strategy on how we can work with young people to get them more involved in the process.

We learnt a few lessons, one was the need to mobilize and organize bring in a critical mass of young people to participate. We have coordinators in each of the 36 states that are working with us that were mobilizing especially when it came to the time of House of Assembly to vote.

We had young people who are speaking to their legislators, who are visiting them, who are writing letters, who are making phone calls, who are engaging the process at that level.

What is your opinion of the bill as it is against what envisioned by YIAGA when you started?

Well the bill, which is now a law. When the president signed, he made some comments, he said, “the age of contesting for senate and for governor has not reduced”, which was part of the initial plan but like I said we celebrate the small victories that we have and we celebrate the reduction in some of the ages.

We also believe that  the spaces where young people can participate more is especially when they run for house of assembly and house of Reps because there are many offices there are 991 state house of assembly seats, there are 360 house of Reps seat, so that means there’s an opportunity.

There’s a wider poll for young people who want to run for office but I’m sure we’re going to come back, we’re going to go and review our strategy in the next constitution review process and you’ll hear back from us.

So how would you say SCEEP as a project has impacted on the #NotTooYoungToRun bill and the movement as a whole?

We celebrate SCEEP project and ActionAid because they were such a formidable partner for us in the campaign and ensuring that the bill became a law. Many of the SCEEP partners in various states, Imo state for instance also are partners for the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign.

They supported us right from the beginning when there were some rallies, when there were some town hall meetings in the SCEEP partner states, when it was a critical time for us to mobilize citizens and ensure that people are more aware of how they can engage in the process.

When it was time for us to also engage with our lawmakers and engage with the Presidency as part of the constitution amendment process. The SCEEP project was supportive, when we had a town hall meeting. We had 6 state house of assembly that represented us.

The SCEEP project also supported that as a means of just making sure that citizens can engage with their elected leaders and I think I’m very happy to say that all the State House of Assembly that were represented at that meeting went back and passed the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, so the support was amazing.

We are so appreciative of the support from ActionAid and the SCEEP project.

How far is the #NotTooYoungToRun movement going, like going to start from the local level because it seems like it’s just national level and state level

That is what it seems like, but the #NotTooYoungToRun movement is one of the largest and the most coordinated youth movements so there is a team at the national level. A strategy team that just helps to guide the movement and then at the state level there are state teams.

There is a leadership team between 10-12 people at each state and the state teams have different local government teams or local government coordinators so maybe because you see a lot of us in Abuja or on television, you think that, but the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign is all across the country.

Like they say nowadays we are global we deserve some accolades because we have also gotten some international recognition from, united nations, from AU, from ECOWAS, we’ve seen other African countries also adopt the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign.

This is only because of the support that we had from all our different partners, different supporters especially the SCEEP project.

So what next after this, after the passage of the law, I know you people have the ready to run, so what next?

Yes we still have the #NotTooYoungToRun movement but we also have #ReadyToRun and #NotTooYoungToRun would continue to push for spaces for young people to participate we are going to continue advocacy to political parties.

We are calling on political parties to reserve seats for young people. We are calling on young people to go out and register, collect your PVC and come out and vote but with the #ReadyToRun I think the narrative during the campaign was that young people are not ready and so to show that indeed we have young people who are ready to run.

We are identifying young people who have interest in running for offices 2019, to identify them, to promote them, to support them as we can as a movement, to link them to other opportunities that would help their aspiration.

Thank you so much for your time

Thank you

 

#TheSceepStory: 4 RECs share insights on Inclusion & the electoral system in Nigeria

Resident electoral Commissions - sceep end of project dissemniation

What interventions can be made to enlighten Nigerians to change the narrative and push for more inclusion of vulnerable groups like Women, youth and Persons with Disability in the electoral process and governance?

This was the very essence of the SCEEP project.

SCEEP is an acronym for Strengthening Citizens Engagement in the Electoral Process.

Over a four year period (July 2014  to March 2018) ActionAid Nigeria and BBC Media Action with support from DFID Nigeria partnered with the under listed civil society organizations to carryout interventions and implement the SCEEP Project across ten (10) states in Nigeria.

  • Women United for Economic Empowerment – Akwa Ibom state
  • Community Action for Popular Participation – Plateau State
  • League of Democratic Women – Kaduna state
  • Development Dynamics – Imo State
  • Centre for Information, Technology And Development Information Aid Network – Oyo state
  • Stakeholders Democracy Network – Rivers state
  • Community Reach out and Poverty Alleviation Initiative – Adamawa state
  • Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative Bauchi state

July 5th 2018 was no doubt a day that the SCEEP projects stakeholders all looked forward to.

It was a day the project dissemination was to be done. Lessons and experiences of the project were shared by the project team.

The event was a delight; the project team was honoured by the presence of six (6) resident electoral commissioners (REC’s) from the Independent National Electoral Commissions who all came from SCEEP’s project states.

Below are the REC’s who we engaged during the event:

Resident electoral commissioner kano state

Professor Rriskuwa Arabu Shehu – Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kano State.

REC of Rivers state

Obo Effanga – Resident Electoral Commissioner, Rivers State.

 

Rec Plateau state

Hussani Halihu – PAI – Resident Electoral Commissioner, Plateau State.

 

REC Imo state

Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu – Resident Electoral Commissioner, Imo State

And guess what?

We couldn’t resist the temptation of asking the REC’s to share their opinion of SCEEP and share some insights on participation of vulnerable groups in Nigeria’s electoral process. keep reading to hear what the REC’s have to say or you could just listen to the audio here:

What are the preparation towards election 2019 and how inclusive it will be for women, Persons with Disability and the youths?

Professor Riskuwa Arabu Shehu :I think if you have observed fort the past one (1) year, you would have seen more activities from INEC involving the groups we have mentioned, particularly women youth and PWD.

Let me start with the issue of women, the issue of gender, I think the policy guideline of INEC has taken care of how women will participate at internal level.

Externally, the engagement of a number of CSO’s that are involved with this sensitization and the need to involve more women in the politics of our country is there.

INEC is very conscious of the need and will continue to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that there is a lot of improvement in terms of women participation

The issue of youth, we have gone a step further with the signing of the bill of the #NotTooYoungToRun.

INEC is a major collaborator as to pushing to some of these amendments that are needed to allow more increase in participation.

Person with disabilities are also given a lot of attention, recently, just  last month there was a special retreat in Cross Rivers where the major issues as its affects PWD where discussed.

How do we make them to feel involve?

How do we encourage them to participate not to only in the initial processes and even up to the level of election, how do we make it convenient for them, all these are issues been discussed at the commission and I’m sure the attention this groups are getting now is an improvement as to what we had in 2015.

We are hopefully that certainly these groups will confirm that INEC on its part within its own limit is able to address some of the challenges they are facing

There is a lot of compliant on social media about access to registration points. People complaining about not being able to get to registration points.

What is INEC doing as an institution to address accessibility to registration Points?

Obo Effanga: Let me take that!

Because one of the reason, as I am active on social media.  Some of those complaints I get to know, people will write on Facebook and my friends will tag me and I have had a lot of instance where I help resolve it.

One of the things I have observed is that from the experiences I have seen, a lot of times Nigerians do not take the time to understand the process.

You find a situation for instance: For every INEC office in a local government, CVR (i.e. Continuous Voters Registration) is happening there.

Some of those INEC office(s) is located in the same premises as those local government secretariats for that local government area.

People who want to go and assess our services in the CVR centres, they go there, go to the local government offices or at the main gate and people corner them and say “you want to register,” they say “yes” and they now try to process for them instead of allowing them to get to INEC office.

So we have had instances where by the time we investigate, the person did not get to INEC office but we have made the point very well.

Since you are talking of social media, INEC is on social media.

INEC headquarters has a Facebook page, twitter handle and even INEC in the states, like my state Rivers we have our Facebook page.

Twitter – @inecnigeria

Facebook – @INEC Nigeria

When I was in Edo, we also had a Facebook page where people can follow and now we even have an app “My INEC”.

I encourage people to download these and then follow and there is also a website for people to crosscheck some of these things but the basic point is that CVR is done in every INEC office for a local government area depending on how large the local government there may be one or two registration point outside there.

Another mistake people make is they think where you register is where you vote. That’s why they say “it’s too far from where I stay” but you can register in any CVR centre in that local government area.

You tell where you live they will assign you to a polling unit nearest to you.

Outside that, there is also provision of moving where in that LGA after stakeholders meeting they arrange and say for the next 2 weeks we would be in this location that is in addition to the permanent registration going on the INEC office.

So for the next two weeks we will be in this location, for the next we will be here, we will spend two days here.

That is sure, what I do in my state, this information each electoral officer in the local government sends me their schedule, we share that on the social media and of course, we also use radio and television.

We all agree that Nigerians do not really read. Does INEC all of this information in a place where we can reference where people can go to see this information?

Obo Effanga: Yes, I said we have a website!

And all of this information’s are there?

Obo Effanga: Yes, it is there. And we also have information centres. If you download the app my INEC, all the information are there.

We also have dedicated lines, information centres; even the twitter handle if you tweet @inecnigeria someone will respond to you.

Another burning issue on social media is the cost of purchase of forms for aspiring persons.

With the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, we have seen an increase in the number of young people who want to participate in this process but they cannot afford it because the cost of the form by the political parties are quite high, What is INEC doing about this?

Hussani Halihu: You know that the law makes it such that we cannot control the processes of the political parties.

Obo Effanga: For me as an individual, I feel that it is wrong for political parties to fix charges for a person who seek their tickets but that’s what they do.

The law also makes it in such a way that whoever they bring to us as candidate whether the person took part in the primaries or not, or paid money or not, we are bound to accept whoever they present as candidate.

Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu: As a follow up, there is a new amendment. The National Assembly is coming out; I think they are through with the amendment.

They have uniformed the agendas of political parties. It is no longer dependent on the political parties at the end of the day. If you are going for president, whether you belong to party A or B, you pay the same amount. They are also pegging the amount for nomination from house of assembly to presidency.

But, of course we cannot end this discussion without talking about Persons with Disability, what measures is INEC putting in place to make their participation in the electoral process, particularly in 2019 to make it easy for them during the voting exercise?

Hussani Halihu: In one of our meetings in the commission (INEC), we have agreed and being given a checklist of the facilities the standard of how our polling centre should be, availability of conveniences like light, ramps for the PWD.

Like in Plateau, the state government owns these facilities.

We have given the state government a brochure of the centres and the facilities that are required for the government to make available for the PWD.

As it relates to the people that are either visually challenged or having hearing impairment, there are training that are going on between INEC and  sponsored organisations such as IFES to make it easy for them to understand so that on election day they will have grasped what the process will be like.

Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu: In addition, even why the registration is going on, we give them priorities; we do not keep them waiting.

There are three categories of people we give priorities: aged, PWD, pregnant women, nursing mothers and it goes for election; it is like the commissions policy.

The commission is now perfecting a document that defines the inclusivity PWD and incorporating some of the things we have talked about.

Even within INEC, in terms of employment and other activities like contractual organisation, we want to ensure that a given percentage will be retired to them.

Conclusion

Yes SCEEP as a project has ended but electoral irregularities, violence and exclusion of vulnerable groups still persist.

The SCEEP Story therefore must continue.

What are your thoughts on Nigeria’s Electoral System?

Please share in the comments box below.