Today January 11, 2023, Inclusive Friends Access Nigeria participated in the INEC strategy meeting with organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) to discuss the level of INECs preparedness as it relates to section 54 (2) of the 2022 electoral Act as amended, Data and assistive devices.
While speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of the commission pointed it clear that INEC will comply with section 54 (2) of the 2022 electoral act notwithstanding, the commission can only provide assistive materials for the blind (braille ballot guide), Election Day written instruction, (form EC30 PWD) and magnifying glasses for persons with albinism. He narrated the fact that there is no provision for other assistive materials in the commission’s budget like voting aid for persons with autism, little stature cognitive and learning disability, Down syndrome, etc. this is because the commission’s budget was approved ahead of the electoral Act amendment.
As part of the commission’s commitment to providing the aforementioned assistive devices for the 2023 general elections samples of the braille ballot guide, (braille ballot guide), Election Day written instruction, (form EC30 PWD), and magnifying glasses were presented to IFA and other OPDs for verification.
The commission also presented the data of all PWD registered voters disaggregated by disability type and breakdown analysis of PUs that these assistive materials will be deployed to on Election Day. This breakdown will also determine the total number of assistive materials to be produced and deployed.
While presenting the samples of the assistive materials, INEC confirms that the commission has adopted the IFA’s redesigned Election Day written instruction, (form EC30 PWD) and the same will be deployed during the general elections. It will be recalled that IFA pioneered the first Election Day written instruction piloted during the 2018 Ekiti state off-cycle election.
In responding to the INEC’s presentation, IFA applauded INEC for the steps taken thus far leading to the 2023 general elections indeed inclusive. With the information provided has shown how prepared the commission is to conduct all-inclusive elections.
IFA reiterated the need for the procurement department to stick to the quality of the materials that will be deployed on election day just like the sample presented at the meeting making reference to the just concluded Osun state governorship election and the Abuja area councils elections where some assistive materials where compromised such as the braille ballot guide. IFA also advised the commission to draw lessons from the aforementioned elections, especially in the area of deployment of assistive materials and the training of ADHOC staff.
Present at the meeting is Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, INEC chairman, and Prof. Kunle Ajayi, National Commissioner, OPC, Engr. Prof. Rhoda Habor Gumus, amongst other national commissioners. Other INEC official present is the Director of procurement, Dr. Sa’ad Umar, the Director of Gender and Inclusivity, Dorothy Lankunya, and the Director of ICT Eng. Paul Omokore.
OPDs present includes The Inclusive Friends Association, The Albino Foundation, and JONAPWD amongst others
The deaf community oks IFA’s redesigned Election Day written instruction, (form EC30 PWD)
INEC to deploy the Election Day written instruction, (form EC30 PWD) redesigned by IFA at the 2023 general elections
INEC to deploy BBG to 8,117, magnifying glasses to, 21165 and form EC30PWD to 6167 PUs across the federation during the 2023 general elections.
Procurement and production of assistive devices to commence soon now that the samples have been validated.