Women United for Economic Empowerment, a nongovernmental organisation, in collaboration with Action Aid has mounted voter rights enlightenment campaigns for Akwa Ibom women and physically challenged persons in the state.
The NGO in a sensitisation workshop yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, challenged Akwa Ibom women and disabled persons to hold elected officers accountable.
The workshop which had participants from eighteen communities across the six local government areas of Abak, Nsit Ubium, Ikot Abasi, Uyo, Ikono and Okobo council areas also educated the attendees on the electoral process.
Addressing representatives from security agencies, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Disabled Associations and Communities, the programme coordinator Aniema Udo said after 2015 general election, Women United for Economic Empowerment carried out a post-election research to know the level of citizenship participation through questionnaires distributed to villages to know their problems in terms of amenities required in their respective areas for government intervention.
Aniema who represented the Executive Director of Women United for Economic Empowerment in Akwa Ibom Mrs Patience Umanah remarked that the purpose of the workshop was to examine the success of striving citizenship engagement in Electoral process (SCEEI) in the past four years in their chosen communities and how they can internalize their ideas and change the narratives of our citizenship participation through the community facilities who would in turn discriminate the message without any impact from the parent organisation.
She further said that the worship would provide an opportunity for reflection on their projects in Akwa Ibom to prepare citizens for 2019 general election and enlightened them to prepare for participation in the electoral process.
Narrating the success story of how the programme helped them to attract government development project to their community, the facilitator of Abia Okpor community in Otoro Abak Obong Emmanuel Umoren said Women United for Economic Empowerment have taught them how to mobilize the electorates in their area as they elected a member of Akwa Ibom House of Assembly Hon. Friday Iwok who later helped them to build a town hall for the community.
Obong Emmanuel Umoren said they went through the Advocacy Wing of the organization to Friday Iwok who represent Abak State Constituency and he donated ¦ 500,00 which they used as their lake off fund for the ¦ 4.9m Town Hall project.
He concluded that the ministry of rural development later gave the balance of the money for the completion of the Town Hall and gave kudos to the Women United for Economic Empowerment for their enlightenment that assisted them to hold elected officers accountable to the people.