By Ere-ebi Agedah Imisi
In other to ascertain the level of inclusivity and participation of Persons With Disabilities in the on- going 2023 Gubanatorial and State Assembly elections, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr James David Lalu has organized a situation room that will give vivid report of INEC preparedness in making voting seamless for Persons With Disabilities.
While addressing Newsmen at the forum in Abuja, on Saturday, the ES explained that the need to establish the situation room has become very salient at this time in order to correct the anomalies at the previous elections.
Mr Lalu seized the occasion to urge the PWD communities to come out en masse to exercise their civic rights irrespective of the challenges in order to entrench disability inclusion in all facets of the society.
He however, bemoaned the poor outing by INEC at the recent presidential election where there were no adequate provisions for Persons With Disabilities.
In her address, the Deputy Commandant and National Disability desk officer, NSCDC, Patience Andepu gave analysis of the turn out of Persons With Disabilities from various States where elections are taking place.
According to her, over 107 persons with disabilities were recorded at unit 008, Ward 06 Ikere Ekiti where the BVAS could not capture a visually impaired. However, the remaining 106 Persons were able to cast their votes.
“It is unfortunate that there was disruption at ward 005, Waziri B unit and Sokoto State and this made it impossible for Persons With Disabilities to cast their votes earlier”she said.
In plateau State, Zanko central, there were two Persons With Disabilities who were able to cast their votes. Also at Mangu local government, about 19 PWDs turned out to vote.
Interestingly, INEC made braille ballot papers available at Oyo State and this encouraged visually impaired Persons to exercise their franchise.