Tuesday, December 7

Anambra poll: Prioritize safety while voting – Group tells PWDs

Persons Living with Disabilities have been urged to take all necessary safety precautions during the Saturday’s governorship poll.

Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association and Convener, Access Nigeria Campaign, Grace Jerry gave the advice at a pre-election press conference.

She also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rise to its commitment of providing the Braille ballot guide during the Anambra governorship election.

She said, “PWDs should take safety precautions by leaving voting places when they begin to sense any danger to their lives. They should call designated security numbers when safely out of danger.

“Our message to the PWD community is to ensure you vote, but in doing that prioritise your safety. Voting remained one of the major ways to influence policies that would shape their lives.

“INEC should also guarantee the provision of other PWD-friendly election materials including the Election Day written instructions (EC 30 E PWD), and magnifying glasses.

“INEC should ensure effective and consistent use of Form EC40H to capture disaggregated data of PWDs voting on Election Day in line with their type of disabilities.

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“INEC should fully enforce its policy of priority voting for PWDs so that PWDs are not required to stand in line for long hours as witnessed in previous elections.

The group which had earlier received assurances from the Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), called on them to walk their talk in view of the security challenges ahead of the election.

“The Access Nigeria Campaign and PWDs in Anambra state are deeply concerned about security ahead of the election and call for special protection for voters and observers with disabilities.

“We call on the Police and other security agencies to protect all voters and election observers, especially those with disabilities.

“Voters and election observers with disabilities face peculiar mobility and other challenges that make it difficult or impossible for them to run to safety during election-related violence and chaos.

“We are making a special appeal on behalf of the 200 observers with disabilities that we will be deploying on election day,” the group added.

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