Concerned about remedying the seeming shut out of members of the three groups, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) tasked all political parties to meet the 35 per cent of all inclusion of women, girls and People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).
The National Chairman of IPAC, Mr. Yabagi Sani, gave an inkling of the organisation’s thinking this at its National-Level meeting, in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as well as Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The leadership programme was to share the feat of Women, Youths Agenda (WAYA) and PWDs for 2023 elections in Rivers and Nigeria as a whole.
Sani said that IPAC wanted to awake the consciousness of Nigerians and the political parties to do more in the area of participation of women, girls and PWDs in the political process.
“Also, for Nigerians and the political parties to have free and fair elections this year and beyond.
“IPAC is always ready to cooperate with the political parties in actualising the objectives of the participation in the electoral process.
“Violence has been a recurring decimal in the country’s elections which had affected most women, girls and PWDs not to participate for the fear of being affected.
“Democracy as we all know is a peaceful process and we must maintain the peace during the 2023 elections,” Sani said.
Urging Nigerians to be peaceful during the forthcoming elections, he added that “this is because Nigeria is a leader in Africa and that her action is being watched in the global arena.”
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of Governance for Actionaid, Mr. Celestine Okwudili, said that IPAC’s role in the political process was vital, adding that it is at the centre of the political process.
“It is unfortunate that the political parties are not conforming to the role of democracy,” Okwudili said.
According to him, the focus of their work was to educate the people on their rights.
“Women, girls and PWDs should be part of the political parties and also be captured in some of the political parties’ structures.
“Actionaid is not supporting any political party because we are nuetural, but we are interested in the inclusion of all,” he said.
The SDN Project Officer, Governance, Security and Stabilisation, Dr. Joseph Ekong, said that women and youth and persons with disabilities were underrepresented in politics, governance processes and their priorities were systematically neglected.
He added: “Adopting and implementing affirmative action policies to ensure at least 35 per cent representation of women in appointed and elective positions and others.”
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