The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to prioritise voting by Persons With Disabilities in the November 11 governorship election in Imo.
The goup’s Assistant Programme Officer in Imo, Tosin Aniramu, made this statement while addressing newsmen shortly after a road show by the group, in Owerri, on Thursday.
Aniramu said the roadshow was organised by a Civil Society Organisation CDD, in partnership with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room with support from United Kingdom Department for International Development.
She said the roadshow sought to raise awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities in the electoral process and the role of the public in ensuring an inclusive process in the forthcoming election.
“We demand priority consideration, no discrimination/exclusion of persons with disabilities, positive attitudes towards us as we go into this election.
‘’We call on INEC to ensure accessible polling units/booths, priority voting for PWDs, availability of election materials in accessible formats.
“We also urge capable ad-hoc and INEC officials, maximum safety and security of PWDs, and functional disability desk manned with competent staff and sign language interpreters,” she said.
Also speaking, leader of the CDD Election Observer team, Mrs Florence Austin, highlighted the needs of PWDs in view of the election and overall governance in Imo.
She said, “We also call for the domestication of the National Disability Act in Imo, mainstreaming of disability into government programmes and activities.
“We want inclusive governance and an enabling environment to allow persons with disabilities contest for political offices.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that participants in the roadshow included representatives of the different disability clusters including albinism and the physically challenged.
Others were the blind, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria, Intellectual Cluster and Civil Society Organisations, as well as the Red Cross.