Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) have vowed to challenge INEC if they are not included in the electoral process in Ekiti State as the June 18 governorship election approaches.
They also want INEC and other stakeholders to build accessible voting stations and other required facilities so that they may participate in the electoral process more easily.
This statement is in the study “Pre-Election Assessment of Independent National Electoral Commission Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities Participation in the June 18 Governorship Election,” published by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities.
According to a report by newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, the group’s request for inclusion was already a matter of law, and so it must follow to avoid disenfranchisement of the unique individuals.
According to Dr David Anyaele, Executive Director of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), research is conducted to determine INEC’s readiness to transport PWDs and ensure their safety throughout the election process.
He encouraged INEC to work with security agencies to achieve a credible election that is free of irregularities.
“The main goal of the study is to hold INEC responsible,” he stated, encouraging them to educate PWDs on their rights and help them comprehend the legislation so that they may better participate in the election.
“INEC should work with security services to reassure voters of their safety, minimize tension, and prepare for security problems, particularly in specific flashpoints,” says the report.
He said this would ensure an accessible, credible, free, fair and peaceful election.
“They should also provide Disability Desk Officers at each INEC LGA office and this position held by a PWD.
“INEC should also provide Umbrellas and shades for albinos or allow them to vote as early as 8 a.m. to avoid them being under the sun and prone to skin cancer.”
Anyaele, however, discouraged PWDs from being involved in vote-buying and selling, noting that it’s their civic responsibility to vote for a candidate of their choice.
“Poverty is not particular with PWDs alone, but I urge you not to sell your votes because of money. It is our responsibility to discourage any form of vote-buying and selling.
“It is everybody’s responsibility, not just PWDs because poverty does not discriminate; as it hits PWDs, it also hits persons without a disability.”