Mrs Grace Jerry, Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), has appealed to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure accurate data of persons with disabilities ahead of 2023 General Elections.
She made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja, when she led a delegation of the association on a courtesy call on the management.
She stressed that having an accurate data of persons with disabilities and their peculiarities would enable their effective participation during elections.
She appreciated newsmen for its open-door policy and called for increased partnership with its management.
She appealed for the agency’s increased sensitisation on political participation for persons with disabilities.
Jerry noted that some of the challenges faced by PLWD included the absence of handrails and ramps at pooling units.
Others, she said was absence of PLWD disaggregated data on Nigeria’s voters register and assistive materials such as the braille ballot guide, magnifying glasses and election day instructional materials.
While noting that there had been improvement in the provision of materials for use by PLWD, she said there was need to do more.
She, however, noted that there had been low reporting on PWDs issues by media houses especially during elections.
According to her, there is ittle or no media sensitisation targeted towards PLWD during elections.
“IFA requests that media houses assist in using their space for mobilisation of PWDs in the planned Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) so as not to disfranchise PLWD voters in the coming Anambra elections.
“We also request a sensitisation program for citizens to understand basic needs and right of PLWD,” she said.
IFA is a PLWD and women-led association that employs data to address the inclusion, participation and challenges of Nigeria’s over 30 million PlWD.
This, it does through advocacy, training, and research, with emphasis on democracy, good governance and gender equality.
In his remark, Mr Silas Nwoha, NAN Editor_in-Chief promised that the agency would continue to partner with the association to project issues affecting PLWD.
Also speaking, Hajia Hadiza Aliu, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of NAN Health Desk, assured that the agency would continue to enlighten the public on PLWD and their challenges.