BY OLUFISOYE ADENITAN
Stakeholders from the Academia, Media and civil society organizations have converged on Abuja to brainstorm on the need to produce media guidelines for disability inclusion in election coverage in Nigeria.
The document will also include a validation exercise to ensure that the guidelines captures specific issues of persons with disabilities (PWDS).
The validation exercise conducted by the institute for media and society under the European union support for Democratic governance in Nigeria is aimed at ensuring that persons with disability are adequately captured by the media in the electoral system.
One of the speakers at the forum, Dr Gbenga Fasiku of the dept of philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo university, Ile Ife, Osun state said there was a wide gap in the reportage of PWDs in Nigeria, hence the need for media support for this stratum of the society.
Another Scholar from the University of Ilorin, Dr Saudat Abdul-Baqi noted that media engagement and advocacy would achieve a wider coverage of PWDs clusters in Nigeria if given the necessary coverage and reportage
Also, Dr Ganiyat Tijani-Adenle of the Lagos state university, was of that view that the media was pivotal to the promotion and changing of the attitude and perception of the society to the PWDs.
On hIs part, the Founder, Albinism foundation, Mr Jake Epelle said the media should assist in raising advocacy for PWDS to be voted into political positions even as they planned to advocate more implementation of the electoral act.
In his submission, the executive Director, Institute for Media and society ,Dr Akin Akingbulu described the media as a major stakeholder that needed to assist in creating space for persons with disabilities, project their issues in a positive perception for equal participation in the political and electoral process.