Anambra: Group decries inaccessible routes for voters with disability

Anambra: Group decries inaccessible routes for voters with disability

An election observer group has decried that 54 percent of the routes leading to sampled polling units were inaccessible for Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDs) during last Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra state.

The group, “The Access Nigeria: Disability Votes Matter Campaign” also expressed dismay at the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to provide a conducive environment for effective participation of PWDs.

While presenting a Post Election news conference on polling unit accessibility audit on the election, the Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association, convener of the Access Nigeria Campaign, Grace Jerry, raised concern over poor compliance by the electoral body on the rights of PWDs to participate in the political exercise.

“We observed that there were neither ramps nor handrails for use by PWDs outside the sampled units at 94 percent of voting locations.

It was difficult for voters with disabilities to enter the polling units and vote.

She added from the sampled polling units, voters with disabilities had challenges accessing ballot boxes particularly for those who use wheelchairs, non-deployment of Braille ballot guide
The Program Manager of the Group,  Moses Oluwasheyi,  urged  INEC to strengthen the training of both regular and ad hoc staff to effectively administer accessible materials for voters with disabilities.

“INEC should ensure that voting cubicles are designed to enable voters with disabilities to cast their ballots confidentially as well as ensure ballot no are placed in areas that allow them to vote independently.

He, therefore, called on National Assembly to provide adequate funding in the 2022 budget for the electoral body to procure assistive materials equipment and services before the conduct of 2022 Ekiti ,Osun Guber Polls and 2023 general elections.

Anambra: Group decries inaccessible routes for voters with disability

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