By Angela Atabo
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Policy and Legislative Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has donated working equipment to the gender department of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enhance its operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the items were presented by Mr Clement Nwankwo, the Executive Director, PLAC at a ceremony on Thursday in Abuja.
Nwankwo said that the gesture was in recognition of the good role being played by INEC in sustaining Nigeria’s democracy.
“In recent months we have seen the creation of the gender and inclusion department by the commission being the first time the unit will be lifted into a full department.
“The bedrock and the basis for democracy is inclusivity and how many people participate in the democracy , increasingly the agitation is there for the space to open up so we can have more people participate.
“The louder ones are the youths and women saying we want to participate and the country is responding to all of that and that’s why the commission has responded as well to the issue of inclusivity which is not just about women and youths but also persons living with disabilities,” he said.
Nwankwo said that PLAC was pleased that the special department was created.
He said that PLAC was happy to work the gender department to improve and increase the ability of the department to respond to the several issues before it.
“That is why with the support of the MacArthur Foundation and Dr Kole Shettima who has been passionate about this same issues as well decided that we should show some gesture of support.
“This is terms of donating specific physical equipment.
“We have also done some training for the department, our hope is that with the support of MacArthur Foundation we will be able to take this forward in the coming year its a multi year engagement with the department,” he said.
Nwankwo expressed hope that other organisations would understand the importance of the department to also key in to support it.
He said that PLAC deemed it fit to support not just the gender department but INEC as a whole.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, represented by Mrs Blessing Objdegwu, Director Gender and Inclusivity Department of the commission thanked PLAC for the support.
“I am not surprised at this gesture having watched you closely for years and what you have been doing for the commission.
“I know that a gesture such as this will ordinarily come from your heart and we are not taking it for granted,” she said.
Yakubu said that PLAC has been quite supportive to the commission.
“We have been like two sides of a coin working together because you have been both an ally and a critic to give us that push that we need to improve,” she said. (NAN)(nannews.ng)