The National Association of Persons With Disabilities (NAPWD), has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to work out a special arrangement that would enable members “vote without stress”.
“Our members go through a lot of stress and harassment on election days; many have been forced to forego their right to vote because of the difficulties involved in doing so.
“We want INEC to work out a special arrangement that would enable us vote without stress. That is the only way to encourage our members to exercise the right to vote,”Alhaji Ali Goro, the North-East Zonal Chairman of NAPWD, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Goro, a serving councillor in Balanga Local Government of Gombe, who spoke on Monday in Gombe, suggested that measures be put in place to encourage all Nigerians to vote if the nation was to have a genuine representative democracy.
The official urged INEC to involve persons with disabilities in the planning of the 2019 elections to enable them suggest ways to make the exercise easy for their colleagues.
“Over the years, INEC has always ignored vulnerable persons when making electoral arrangements; we think this is unfair and undemocratic,” he said.
Goro appealed to security agencies to be more kind to persons with disabilities on election days, and urged them to be more understanding and kind when dealing with them.
The NAPWD official also charged political parties to consider persons with disabilities when choosing candidates for electoral offices so as to offer them a sense of belonging.