As the 2019 General Elections draws near the need to properly educate and integrate the Deaf society, an arm of people living with disability, formed the one day seminar on Deaf Voter’s Training for Elections. The event was organized by Lagos State Deaf Group and held at the main Auditorium of Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA) House in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday 14th August, 2018.
Addressing the capacity filled auditorium as a keynote speaker, on the topic “One Vote is Too Important to Ignore”, the Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos Directorate, Mr. Waheed Ishola noted that with the population of the Deaf, their participation in electoral processes cannot be over looked. They only need to evolve a participatory attitude of love for each other and be focused in the needs. He further stressed that gone are the days when the Deaf votes are only for winning elections, opportunities should be given to them to equally serve and contribute to the development of the nation.
He tasked members of the Deaf group to aspire for greater political positions, engage their leaders in writing for their rights and make sacrifices where necessary as a constituency. However, the need for every Deaf to get registered in the ongoing Voters Registration Exercise is of paramount importance if they must advance politically even as he tasked them to embrace the tenets of Core values as enshrined in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria since most of them are youth. These are: Patrotism, Integrity, Religious Tolerance, Self-Reliance, Dignity of Labour, Discipline and Social Justice. The Director urged all the participants to endeavour and collect their Permanent Voters Cards because that is the only means they can exercise their rights come 2019 General Elections. He used the occasion to commend the Lagos State Government for having special interest and creating opportunities for people with disability to serve in the State.
In his welcome speech, the Chairman, Lagos State Deaf Group, Mr. Comrade Onifade Fatai Adisa observed that the training/ seminar was organized in the realization of the fact that the Deaf play a significant role in electoral processes yet they are not recognized in Governance. He noted that Deaf people in their thousands have obtained their PVCs in readiness to vote as a duty of a good citizen. He called on his members to get involved in the local politics as no one will fight the battle for them.
Other speakers were: Chairman, South-West Association of the Deaf, Mr. Sule Akinremi; Special Adviser, Lagos State Deaf Supporters Group, Hon. Afolabi Dahunsi amongst others.