TAF board members and Foreign observer partners at the preliminary briefing
The Albino Foundation (TAF) says braille ballot guide have been available at only 26 out of 273 Polling Units in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
A Board member of TAF, Hajiya Amina Zakari, who was briefing newsmen on PWD participation and the conduct of the 2023 Presidential Election, said there were only 60 magnifying glasses in 273 PU and 90 Large front posters out of 273 Polling Units .
According to her, INEC was expected to provide, nationwide, some 21,165 magnifying glasses at 16,071 Polling units for persons with albinism and minor visual impairment ,6,167 posters at 5,085 PUs for those with hearing impairment, and 8,117 braille ballot guides at 5,957 PUs for the visually impaired.
“In the FCT, for instance, Kubwa village/Kofar Saraki (37-02-09-001) and DeiDei primary school (37-02-09-059) both in Kubwa ward , Bwari LGA are expected to have at least 6 to 13 registered visually impaired persons,” according to Hajiya Zakari.
“Similarly, persons with albinism at Games village are (37-06-02-139) Garki ward, Lugbe FHA Gate (37-06-03-014) Kubusa Ward and Saburi II Health centre (37-06-12-06) Gwagwa ward all in the municipal Area Council.”
She continued: “While Magnifying glasses are expected at these PUs, they were only provided at Lugbe FHA Gate (37-06-03-024). As such, at least 1 braille ballot guide should be provided at these Polling units. On the contrary, large font posters were the only assistive devices made available.”
On accessibility to the PUs and priority voting, Hajiya Zakari cited TAF data as showing that 234 out of 273 PUs were accessible, although she conceded that priority voting was given to PWDs at 211 out of 273 PUs.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Tony Okerafor