Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) has commended INEC for the deployment of 35 Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) as Ad hoc staff for the July 16 Osun governorship election.
The Executive Director IFA, Grace Jerry in a statement in Abuja also applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its open -door policy with PWDs.
Jerry thanked INEC for yielding to the Group’s call to prioritise the community of persons with disabilities, thereby, making the electoral space all-inclusive.
“As the appendage carries, consistency is the key to success, threading this path requires focus, time, and actions that metamorphose into success.
“This has been our drive toward propagating inclusive practices in Nigeria.
“Our mission drive is to promote the full inclusion and participation of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria. We are glad that our consistency in this path is coming with fulfillments.
“This has been our advocacies to the commission for the continued deployment of assistive materials in elections, priority queues for PWDs, and the inclusion of PWDs during elections as Ad hoc Staff.’’ The statement read in parts.
Jerry said that the action by INEC was in honour of the commitment made during a panel session with PWDs in Osogbo during the Group’s #ParticipateToday Civic and Political Organising Lab and a communiqué signed during the 7th Access Nigeria’s Round table with Stakeholders in Abuja.
She said that voters with visual impairments experienced independent voting when IFA designed and recommended the maiden braille ballot guide to INEC for the blind to vote independently during elections.
According to her, the Commission adopted the assistive material and first piloted it in the same Osun during the September 2018 governorship elections and in other off-cycle elections in Nigeria.
“We commend the Electoral Commission for subscribing to an open-door policy, indeed, INEC Nigeria is setting the pace, closing the gaps, and propelling inclusive practices in Nigeria.’’
Jerry reiterated the association’s commitment to continue the advocacy until it achieved an inclusive and independent voting system for PWDs in Nigeria. (NAN)
Edit by Millicent Umoru