Gana, The Chronicle, Inglês

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Eight months to the December 2024 general elections, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has opened a Secretariat for Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDs).

The Secretariat, the first since the formation of the NPP and the maiden office, located at the national level, aim to mobilise all PWDs to be part of the NPP’s campaign.

In its quest to break the eight-year cycle of political parties holding power in the country, the NPP is targeting the PWDs, who are about 1.6 million across the country, according to statistics.

At the campaign office of the NPP at Kokomlemle, Accra, the party chairman, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, the 2nd vice chairperson, Rita Talata Asorebayire and the representative of the PWDs, Kwasi Kyei, among others, opened the Secretariat.

This is an initiative of the 2nd Vice Chairperson, Rita Asorebayire, in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI), who was present during the launch on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

FOCAL POINT

The National Chairman of the ruling party, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, in a brief remark noted that the Secretariat would serve as the focal point for addressing all matters related to PWDs.

The media inspecting the PWDs Secretariat

He pledged to work closely with the Secretariat in all things, including providing resources and other related support, in order to realise the objective of its establishment.

“I hereby declare the NPP national PWDs Secretariat located at the party’s Kokomlemle office duly launched,” the National Chairman, Mr. Ntim, announced.

 

 

 

WHAT NEXT

He stated that, following the launch, national coordinators would administer the Secretariat, akin to the structure of the party. The Secretariat will have representatives from all 16 regions of Ghana.

Further, he remarked that the national party would provide them with the necessary support to put in place all the administrative systems to ensure a smooth takeoff.

WHY PWDS

The NPP National Chairman observed that the party was much stronger with the establishment of a PWD secretariat to give full meaning to its inclusive DNA. He believed that the Secretariat would empower and amplify the voices of all its members who are living with disabilities.

The 2nd Vice Chairperson of the NPP, Mrs. Asobayire, indicated that the PWDs represented a convincing number as far as canvassing for votes to break the eight was concerned.

Mrs. Asobayire said that “going into the 2024 elections, we need every single vote. We lost in an election with 23,000 votes before and a constituency (the PWDs) with 1.6 million people, we cannot take them for granted. So, we are going to work with them.”

CRUCIAL ROLE

The Resident Programmes Coordinator of the International Republican Institute, Mr. Sunday Alao, emphasised the crucial role of political parties in fostering the inclusion of marginal groups in political processes.

He revealed that the IRI, a non-governmental organization, committed to advancing democracy globally had been actively engaging with political parties to identify stakeholders and leaders sympathetic to the cause of inclusivity.

Mr. Alao also applauded the establishment of the PWDs Secretariat within the NPP, providing a dedicated space for engaging in operations beneficial to the party during elections.

ENDORSEMENT

Speaking on behalf of the PWDs, Dr. Kwesi Kyei endorsed the establishment of the PWDs Secretariat.

He emphasised its potential to significantly contribute to the party’s electoral success and highlighted the importance of recognising the voting power of PWDs in elections.

He added that collaboration between the IRI and the NPP reflects a concerted effort to promote inclusivity and strengthen democratic processes by ensuring the active participation of marginalised groups in the country’s political affairs.

 

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