An advocacy group, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) Wednesday, said security operatives should give Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), priority treatment at polling units on election day to enhance their participation in the electoral process.
This is as it lamented over the inhuman treatment meted to many PWDs, especially, by security operatives at polling units in contrast to the provision of clause “54” of the amended electoral act.
Speaking during an advocacy visit to Osun State Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, at the police command headquarters, Osogbo, ahead of the July 16 governorship election in the state, the group’s Executive Director, Grace Jerry, said there is a need for proper collaboration between stakeholders to improve PWDs access to polling units on election day, especially as findings during the Ondo and Anambra states elections, revealed that security operatives hinder PWDs access to polling units.
“It was also observed in some quotas that PWDs were not treated with dignity and denied the right to priority voting by security personnel as against clause “54” of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
“As the July 16th, 2022 Osun state off-cycle governorship election draws near, the Access Nigeria Campaign urges the Nigerian Police to prioritize the safety of PWDs on Election Day”.
“Security agencies should increase training on PWD issues for officers deployed for election duties Vis a Vis the electoral act”.
“It should continue to engage and consult with the disability community, including IFA, to identify areas to be improved for more inclusive and accessible electoral processes. A specific officer should be dedicated to PWDs matters on Election Day”.
Responding, Olokode said the group’s demands would enhance the integrity of the nation’s electoral process, hence, police operatives would be given appropriate training on implementing the amended electoral act.