27m People With Disabilities Are Currently Disenfranchised -NGO

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

A total of about  27.3 million disabled Nigerians are currently suffering disenfranchisement due to their inability to vote during the forthcoming  elections as no special arrangements have been made to accommodate their right to vote.  .

The figure was revealed  by the Executive Director of the Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Mrs. Grace Jerry.

According to her the estimate  of people living with various disabilities in the country is too much to be overlooked by INEC who has made no provisions for people with special needs.

She appealed to the National Assembly to duly effect amendment of  the Electoral Act to secure  the franchise and rights  of people with disabilities .

She highlighted  that materials like braille or tactile ballots and off-site voting should be provided in coming elections in the country.

“The amendment of Section 56 (2) to make provision of braille or tactile ballots and off-site voting mandatory will help increase the participation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral process.”

” Beginning with the 2018 Appropriation Act, the National Assembly should regularly provide funds in the national budget for braille and tactile ballots, accessible voting cubicles, written instructions and sign language interpreters to enable PWDs to participate effectively in pre-election and Elections Day processes.”

Making reference to Ekiti and Osun state gubernatorial election coming up later in the year, Jerry requested INEC to start putting plans together in ensuring people with disabilities are able to vote in elections.”

“The objective of this first edition is to build consensus on implementation timeless on the commendable commitments made by different stakeholders. The is most urgent because we are now 338 days to the 2019 general elections and 121 and 191 days to the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, respectively. We need to set timelines and begin acting on them immediately” said Jerry.

Public interest organizations such as the Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) have reached out by intimating INEC about how best to capture the data of people living with disabilities and their specific type of  disabilities in line with the provision of best electoral materials that would best aid each person.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.