The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun State, Prof AbdulGaniy Raji, has disclosed that the commission has decided to make about 40 corps members who are People With Disabilities (PWDs) automatic ad-hoc staff in the July 16 governorship election.
He disclosed this in Osogbo during a workshop tagged “PWD Civic and Political Organizing Lab.”
The INEC boss urged the political parties to always consider merit in their processes so as to give the opportunity for the PWDs to participate actively.
He noted that the commission is committed to promoting the participation of PWDs in the electoral process, saying “we will not relent until more reasonable accommodations are provided for the PWDs.
“Before the disability act was signed in 2019, the commission has been making frantic efforts to accommodate the PWDs and ensure their active participation.
“When things are done on merit, the vulnerable will find their way into the system. If the politicians can do their processes based on merit, PWDs will make it.
“This merit will include the creation of PWDs inclusion desk to see to the issue of PWDs who are members and aspiring for a position. The constitution of the political party should accommodate the need of the PWDs so that there would be a reasonable percentage in reduction of cost of nomination and expression of interest form.”
The Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Grace Jerry, urged the political parties to be deliberate about the production of their campaign materials to ensure they see inaccessible formats to reach different clusters of PWDs.
He said, “political parties must ensure that venues for meetings and campaign activities are accessible to all PWDs.”