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PWDs may boycott Kogi, Bayelsa states guber polls

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Purging and Configuration of the Smart Card Readers for #BayelsaDecides2019 election. Photo; TWITTER/INECNIGERIA

Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has directed Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) not to participate in the coming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections if they feel that the environment is not conducive for them.

The Executive Director, David Anyaele, gave this order yesterday in Abuja during a public presentation of the ‘Report of Assessment of Provisions for Persons With Disabilities in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Preparations for November 2019 Governorship Election in Kogi and Bayelsa States’.

Anyaele said: “On my part, I will tell people with disabilities in Kogi and Bayelsa states that if they feel that the environment is not conducive for them to participate, they should stay away. This is as simple as ABC.

“If the security situation is not encouraging for people with disabilities in Kogi and Bayelsa to participate in the elections, they should not risk their lives going there to vote.”

According to him, the main reason for giving such order is because access to rehabilitation in the country is very slim, adding that all states in the federation have the minimal budgetary allocation for people with disabilities.

He stated that the CCD would, after the election, conduct a post-election assessment to understand whether INEC provided what it claimed.

“We will show Nigerians how the budget that has been made for INEC to conduct free, fair and inclusive election was judiciously expended because what we do as civil society organisations (CSOs) is to hold government accountable according to what was designed to be provided for the election and to the extent it was provided,” Anyaele added.

He called on INEC to make provisions for more accessible polling stations and polling booths, especially for people using wheel-chairs.

Meanwhile, YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) has called on INEC and the political parties to develop effective communication mechanisms for peaceful pre-election engagements, as well as credible and peaceful elections on November 16 in Kogi and Bayelsa.

In a statement yesterday in Lokoja, the Executive Director, Samson Itodo, charged INEC to step up its engagements with security agencies against violation of electoral codes, buying and selling of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), voter inducement and electoral violence indicators.

The group also tasked security agencies, particularly the police, to investigate and manage the report of alleged recruitment of thugs and stockpiling of arms, to avoid the outbreak of violence in the election.


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