Access Nigeria Makes Giant Strides in the Lead up to the 2019 General Elections
Published: June 20, 2019, 4:27 p.m.
The Access Nigeria campaign, for the first time in the history of Nigeria’s electoral process, provided the brail ballot guide, to blind voters in Osun State during the September 22nd off-circle elections.
Unlike the usual voting experience for persons with disabilities in Nigeria, the braille ballot guides allowed voters to exercise their civic duties without any form of assistance and interference.
“It is unbelievable, I get to vote without relying on anyone to help me,” said Mr Steven Oluwafemi who is the Chairman, Osun State Association for the Blind.
The campaign also provided the form EC40H, which was used to collect data of persons with disabilities by disaggregation and the form EC30 PWD Election Day written instruction for the hard of hearing.
“ The data collected will help INEC make provision for the needs of the disabled voters come 2019”, said Jesse John, Inclusive Friends Association’s program officer.
“We are trying our best to make the electoral system in Nigeria as inclusive as possible; by removing all the barriers in Nigeria’s polling units,” says Mr John.
Before, the July 14th Ekiti election the Access Nigeria Campaign did a Get Out the Vote campaign which successfully mobilized over 150 disabled voters in Ikere Local Government Area.
The record turnout shows we are gradually and steadily making progress, said Grace Jerry the convener of the Access Nigeria Campaign.
The goal of the Access Nigeria campaign is to improve the participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria’s political and electoral processes. The campaign is doing this through advocacy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Assembly, and other relevant public institutions.
The Campaign is supported by the National Democratic Institute, USAID and the UKaid.
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By Janice Malachi