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Anambra election: Most polling units were inaccessible to PWDs – Group

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AN ELECTION observer group, Access Nigeria, has lamented that 54 per cent of the routes leading to sampled polling units were inaccessible to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) during the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

The group, which is campaigning for ‘Disability Votes Matter”, also expressed dismay at the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide a conducive environment for effective participation of PWDs.

Presenting a post-election press conference on Polling Unit Accessibility Audit on the election in Awka, the Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association and convener of the Access Nigeria Campaign, Grace Jerry, raised concern over poor compliance by the electoral body with the rights of PWDs to participate in the political exercise.

She observed that there were neither ramps, nor handrails for use by PWDs outside the sampled units at 94 per cent of voting locations, making it difficult for voters with disabilities to enter the polling units and vote.

The program manager of the group, Mr Moses Oluwasheyi, urged INEC to strengthen the training of both regular and ad hoc staff to effectively administer accessible materials for voters with disabilities.

He however called on the National Assembly to provide adequate funding in the 2022 budget for the electoral body to procure materials, equipment and services before the conduct of 2022 Ekiti, Osun guber polls and 2023 general elections.

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