INEC makes case for physically challenged persons in 2019 polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that it will conduct all-inclusive general elections in 2019 and ensure that People With Disabilities (PWDs) participate in the exercise.
Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, said this yesterday in Abuja during the public presentation of INEC Framework on Access and Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral process.He noted that the document would guide the engagement of the PWDs community and vulnerable groups in the electoral process.
Yakubu added that the event was the culmination of a series of reforms embarked upon by the commission; from ad-hoc arrangements to a more cohesive, strategic, enduring and sustainable policy framework that is expected to ultimately lead to a more meaningful participation of physically challenged persons in the process.
He said the occasion signified the formal end of the haphazard and uncoordinated approach to PWD issues, as far as the electoral process was concerned.
“It should also be viewed as the symbolic beginning of a concerted, deliberate and coordinated initiative at mainstreaming the community,” he said.
He stressed that excluding a community with an estimated population of over 25 million from the political process, amounted to denying the nation the needed contribution of the critical mass in the task of nation building.He also said it was a dent on the country’s domestic and international commitment to respecting and promoting the human rights of all citizens.
The document revolves around the rights of eligible PWDs to vote, be voted for and hold elective offices, among others, while further expanding their access to the electoral process by placing responsibilities and obligations on the Election Management Body (EMB) to provide assistive materials, as well as ensure friendly and compliant environment and processes for PWDs.
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