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CCD trains personnel as observers


David Anyaele

The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has announced training 45 people as election observers in the 16 local councils in the state.This is in collaboration with the state chapter of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD).

Its Executive Director, David Anyaele said the training was part of the activities for the implementation of their campaign for equal voting access for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.He said: “The eventual long-term goal of this intervention is that eligible citizens with disabilities would participate in the electoral process on equal bases with other citizens.”

He added that their objective is to mobilise the citizens with disabilities to participate in the gubernatorial election, observe and analyse compliance and produce evidence-based report on the citizens’ participation in election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited CCD as an election observer in tomorrow’s election.CCD and JONAPWD last month launched the Campaign for Equal Voting Access for Persons with Disabilities in the state. Anyaele said the group is worried about the level of marginalisation of PWDs in the electoral process. This, he, said, is because polling units are not always physically accessible to those with physical disabilities.

“The placement of ballot boxes on high tables, or other inaccessible locations also make it difficult for disabled voters, especially those on wheel chairs to cast their ballots on Election Day. He also cited the absence of sign language interpreters during some civic and voter education and political campaign messages, which make it impossible for voters with hearing impairments (deaf voters) to benefit.

Meanwhile, an international election observer, YIAGA Africa, has announced the deployment of 500 observers into 250 polling units, in the 16 local councils.Executive Director of the YIAGA in Nigeria, Mr. Samson Itodo, disclosed this in a message tagged: #Watching The Vote.He said the observers are expected to be in the polling units from the beginning of voting to the end. Itodo expressed concern at the disturbing rumour of voter inducement ahead of the election, adding that such was capable of undermining citizens’ confidence in the poll.

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CCDDavid AnyaeleINEC
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