2023 Election Headline News Nigeria Politics

PWDs send strong message to INEC ahead of polls

A few hours to the gubernatorial elections, the Albino Foundation Africa (TAF) has expressed concerns about the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to TAF, the challenges in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections “undermined public confidence” in the electoral process.

The Foundation’s board chairman, professor Vincent Anigbogu, made the assertion on Friday during a pre-election press briefing in Abuja.

He said INEC’s shortcomings “might reignite” the already existing voter apathy amongst electorates and especially persons with disabilities (PWDs), if not adequately addressed.

According to Professor Anigbogu, the gubernatorial poll is a “presentable opportunity” for INEC to regain the trust of Nigerians on the electoral process.

He said: “The March 18 gubernatorial and state assembly election presents another opportunity to assess the operational practicability of specific provisions of the Electoral Act as it affects the participation of persons with disabilities, and the commitment of key election stakeholders towards ensuring that the right conditions and enablers are present and operational.

He, however, stressed that every PWD has been advised “not to be deterred” by incidents in previous elections.

In her own submission, a board member of TAF, Zainab Suleiman, urged PWDs to come out in their numbers and vote for their preferred candidates.

Mrs Suleiman said: “TAF Africa understands that the current situation in the country hasn’t been exactly encouraging, particularly with the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections but staying at home for the fear of what will happen at the polling unit will deny you the opportunity to perform your civic right as a citizen by voting your choice of candidate.”

She, however, added that PWDs and other Nigerians should remember that one possible vote not cast is a vote for the continued weakening of the nation’s electoral process.

Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Tony Okerafor