‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), national leader of Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs), Hon. Tolu Bankole has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission Commission (INEC) to show demonstrable improvement on election day by including PWDs.
Bankole who was reacting to the Voter Education and Sensitization Training for Visually Impaired Voters on the use of Braille Ballots ahead of Osun 2022 election, noted that the commission must allay the fears of PWDs from the noticable flaws in the recently held Ekiti election.
He said, “For an election to be adjudged free, fair, and all-inclusive, the process and procedure of such an election must be well understood by the electorates irrespective of their status. Therefore, Persons with Disabilities with their huge numbers in our election cannot just be counted, must count on election day.”
He further highlighted some of the issues that must be urgently addressed to guarantee the active inclusion of the disability community in the electoral process to include: Absence of braille easy language, sign language interpreters at polling centres; disregard for the electoral guidelines which guarantees a dedicated queue for PWDs at voting points; restriction of vehicular movements on election day among others.
Others are: inadequate information to equip PWDs to vote independently or with little or no assistance; improper sensitization on the correct way of thumb printing and dedicated polling units; low participation of PWDs and absence of PWDs voting materials in most polling units.
The PWDs leader, charged the election umpire to justify the inclusion of the persons living with disability in the Electoral Act by improving on the noticable flaws in Ekiti gubernatorial election.
He implored all eligible PWDs voters in all the 30 LGAs of Osun state to come out enmass and vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola without fear of molestation and harassment from any quarter.
Daily Courier reports that the Electoral Bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Feb. 25 has paved the way for persons living with disability to be incorporated into the electoral process.
The 2022 Electoral Act, Section 54, sub-section one and two captured disability.
The Osun state governorship election is slated for July 18, 2022.