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Persons with disabilities advocate for inclusive participation in 2019 elections

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…says over 3m Nigerians are physically challenged
By Bose Adelaja
A report by Center for Citizens with Disabilities CCD, has advocated for inclusive participation of Persons with disabilities, in the 2019 general elections even as it says 3,253,169 Nigerians, are suffering from one form of disability or the other.

At the Public Presentation of the report in Lagos, titled, ‘’Assessment of Provisions for Persons with Disabilities in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Preparations for 2019 Elections in Nigeria’’, it called on INEC to as a matter of urgency, make necessary provision for Persons with Disabilities in the 2019 elections.

CCD Executive Director Anyaele David and a professor from Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Omololu Soyonbo, who jointly conducted the Research, said 1,708, 751 males and 1, 544, 418 females suffer in sight, speech, hearing, mobility and brain to mention but a few.

The report called on INEC to provide the following; easy accessibility to the polling stations and booths for Persons with Disabilities, arrangement of Sign Language interpreters, Braille format, and magnifying glasses. Others are: hearing aids, wheel chairs for those with physical mobility challenges, large print for the visually impaired, adequate security at the polling stations, transportation for Persons with Disabilities on the elections day, easy collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards, seats and separate for Persons with Disabilities while voting is in progress and among others.

Also, the report called on the federal government to pass the Special People’s Law, as well as attend to the needs of Persons with Disabilities. ‘’the review of national and international literature indicated that, though there are various global, regional, national and state-level provisions for the protection of Persons with Disabilities, their rights to participate freely and on equal basis with other prople in elections were usually violated, as they were often discriminated against and inhibited by institutional and infrastructural inadequacies,’’

At the occasion were CCD Senior Programme Officer Barrister Kola Ogunbiyi and Desk Officer for Civil Society Organization, Lagos, Barrister Buba Luka amongst others.

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