Osun 2022: IFA Appeals To Police To Prioritize PWDs’ Safety On Election Day

Ahead of the July 16 Governorship election in the State of Osun, a Non-Governmental Organization, Inclusive Friends Association IFA, has appealed to the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, Osun State Command to Prioritize the safety of People With Disabilities (PWDs) on election day.
The group made the appeal through its Executive Director, Grace Jerry during an advocacy visit to the State Commission of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode, yesterday at the command headquarters, Osogbo.
According to Jerry, the last gubernatorial election in Anambra State shows that in some quotas, 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.
She further urged the commissioner on the need to train officers deployed for election duties on PWD issues while adding that Security agencies 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.
“During the November 6 off-cycle governorship elections, IFA deployed in 200 randomly selected polling units across the state. The findings were the same as if they went to every polling unit in the state. Tremendous improvements in the activities of the security operatives were recorded compared to previous ones.
“However, 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. Security agencies 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 IFA request for increased partnership between IFA and Nigeria Police Force”. She said.
In his response, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode said the Force will give Priority and ensure safety of People With Disabilities PWDs, on election day.
Source: afamnews.com

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