Blessing Bature, Abuja
The Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD, David Anyaele, has on Monday appreciated the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s INEC, efforts in implementing their framework on Access and Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Electoral Process.
Anyaele disclosed this to commemorate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
He said, Evidence from the last election conducted by INEC shows that there is relative improvement in terms of inclusion and access to the electoral process, saying as the last phase of activities before the 2023 general elections is about to commence, we are seriously worried about the rate of insecurity and lack of political tolerance among political parties and their candidates.
according to him, this situation is a driver of voter apathy, low participation of vulnerable groups in the electoral process. We are calling on the INEC to improve on the successes recorded in Osun State to ensure equal voting access for persons with disabilities.
“People with disabilities should be encouraged to go for early collection of their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) even as we request for priority considerations in line with the provisions of the National Disability Act and INEC Framework on PWDs. We are also calling on the security agencies to push back this ugly scenario as the 2023 general elections provides an important opportunity for each and every registered voter to decide his or her future. No one should be left behind in the electoral process by reason of insecurity”.
He also stated that tecognizing that poverty is the major cause of disability across the world, even as disability itself pushes individuals to poverty as well; we are worried that while we are clamoring for the reduction of incidence of disability in our society, it is alarming to note that more than 133 million Nigerians have been plunged into different dimensions of poverty.
“This is a dangerous signal as government policies and programs in the past hardly reached the disability community and the possibility of reaching them in the future is slim as it appears in the non-inclusion of PWDs in the political party manifestos”.
“We are calling on the Federal and States government to ensure that efforts to push down poverty curves in Nigeria are not only disability sensitive, but with active participation of PWDs and their organisations”.