A non-Governmental Organisation, Inclusive Friends Association, has appealed to the INEC, Security agencies and members of the public to ensure easy access to polling stations for persons with disabilities (PWDs) during next year’s general election.
The country project manager of the association in Nigeria, Stephen Idobo made the appeal at a stakeholders meeting in Sokoto.
The meeting was convened to create awareness on the need to ensure that PWDs exercise their rights to vote and be voted for.
Mr Idobo said the Association is focused on advocating for women and PWDs – a non-profit organisation that “seeks to address the issues related to inclusion and participation” of over 30 million PWDs, not only in politics but also in all human endeavors through advocacy, research and awareness campaign, with a view to “enhancing the lives” of such “marginalised group” of Nigerians.
He observed that polling stations on election day are “usually crowded places”, making it difficult for PWDs to exercise their franchise.
In her speech, the INEC representative at the event, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad said the Commission has provided the “needed mechanism” for PWDs to “vote without difficulties”.
The police commissioner, DSP Monica Enoch, and that of the Civil Defense, deputy commandant of the Civil Defense in Sokoto, Awoson Folake, assured the public that the two security agencies would work closely in a bit to ensure all PWDs are allowed to vote without difficulties.
Reporting by Nasir Malali; Editing by Fany Olumoye and Tony Okerafor