BENIN – Some Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Edo have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make assistive devices available in polling units during the March 11 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The PWDs made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday.
They commended voters at the polling units who gave priority and assisted some PWDs to cast their votes during the Feb. 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to Ms Ann Ojugp, Chairperson of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Edo, assistive devices should be made available across polling units; both in urban and rural places.
“Magnifying glasses and braille ballot guide should be provided so that persons with low vision and blindness could vote.
“There should also be sign language interpreters at the polling units, and posters for the deaf.
She urged INEC to also provide the EC40H forms at polling units in the forthcoming elections to help record the number of PWDs that would be voting.
Mr Timothy Osemwegie, the Chairman, Disability Overcomers Society, Edo, urged INEC to keep to its promise of having an inclusive election during the March 11 elections.
Osemwegie said, “many persons with physical disabilities could not vote in the last election because of the pavement. They weren’t accessible for wheelchairs.
“When it comes to inclusion of PWDs in the election, we are not yet there.
Mr Kingsley Eromosele, the Head of Deaf Cluster, JONAPWD, Edo, said some deaf persons could not locate their polling units during the Feb. 25 election.
Eromosele said some deaf voters complained of inability to locate their polling units. We hope this issue will be addressed before the forthcoming Governorship and House of Assembly election.“