By Diana Omueza
Disability Rights Fund, a Civil Society Organisation, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to close gaps hindering the participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in election.
Mr Theophilus Odaudu, the group’s West Africa Programmes Officer said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Odaudu also appealed to INEC to provide disability confidence materials to aid the participation of PWDs in the election.
“By-election and reruns are as important as the general election that was held in 2023, because people are also going to get into elective offices that are crucial to the nation.
“So, the same way we called for disability inclusion in the electoral process in 2023 to enable persons with disabilities to participate in the process.
“We still hope that the independent National Electoral Commission would do the same and do more by closing the gaps that were noticed in the previous elections.
“This will boost PWDs voter’s confidence and ensure unhindered participation,’’ he said.
Odaudu said that INEC needed to address the challenges observed at the 2023 poll and make necessary amendments to simplify the voting process for PWDs and to improve the electoral mechanism.
‘’We hope that INEC will be able to make major corrections especially because this is not a very wide scale election.
“So, we hope that they will get it right, and beyond participation in the election, the electoral systems will improve generally for the benefits of PWDs and Nigeria as a whole,’’ he said.
Odaudu urged political parties to ensure disability inclusive environment for PWDs to participate in the electoral process not only as voters but also as aspirants and candidates.
He said that there was a need to eliminate all discriminating tendencies in political parties that served as barriers against PWDs. (NAN)
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
By Diana Omueza