Kunle Ajayi, the national commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), disclosed this on Tuesday in Lokoja during an engagement with media executives ahead of the governorship election slated for November 11, 2023.
By Justice Winner,
NewsOnline Nigeria reports that barely forty-five days to governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has designated 2,238 polling units for people with disabilities (PWDs).
This Nigeria News platform understands that Kunle Ajayi, the national commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), disclosed this on Tuesday in Lokoja during an engagement with media executives ahead of the governorship election slated for November 11, 2023.
As part of its ongoing effort to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other marginalized groups in elections, in Kogi State, the Commission has provided Braille ballots for visually impaired voters, made magnifying glasses available for people with albinism, and introduced enlarged posters for voters with hearing impairments.
He said: “We have taken additional steps to integrate into the voting procedure a process that prioritises voting for PWDs and vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
“All post-2023 general election review engagements at the state level, in Abuja and Lagos, were successful. Several suggestions on how we can improve elections were gathered, and the implementation of some has already commenced.
“Part of the recommendations is what we are implementing today: having a comprehensive engagement with the media and increasing voter education and sensitisation of the electorate ahead of the election.
“We look forward to implementing some of these suggestions, which require administrative action, in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State.”
Earlier, Rotimi Olakanmi, the Press Secretary to Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in his address, urged the media to uphold the facts and ethics of the profession in their reporting for a peaceful conduct of the governorship election in Kogi, adding that this appeal is vital looking at the unfortunate trend of deviating from facts in recent times, especially in social media where fake news trend more than the real news.
He said “As stakeholders, the media should resist the temptation to deviate from facts, as seen in social media, where fake news has become prevalent”.
“Let’s practise in accordance with the ethics of the profession and the laws of the land to help INEC succeed in its task of conducting credible, peaceful, and successful elections in Kogi come November 11”.
Speaking also, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Gabriel Hale Longpet described the media as very critical partner and stakeholders in November 11 governorship election.
He pointed out that the media should assist the commission in achieving a successful election, adding that INEC is well prepared and ready for the election, aiming for a peaceful and credible process that would contribute to the growth and development of Kogi.
He said “All we want is for the people of Kogi to demonstrate a change of attitude towards elections and ensure that the election is peaceful, credible, and smooth.
“Therefore, political actors should not engage in anything that will negatively affect the forthcoming election but should support the Commission to succeed for the good of the state.”
Adeiza Mommoh Jimoh, Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in his address, commended the commission for organising the media parley, which he noted was the first of its kind since the creation of Kogi, as he requested the commission provide journalists with accreditation cards and other necessary materials, especially reflective jackets that could help distinguish them for security reasons.
He assured INEC of journalists’ readiness to give the November 11 governorship election the necessary coverage for a peaceful, credible, and successful election in the state.”