Nigeria

Anambra election: NGO deploys 200 persons with disabilities as observers

A non-governmental organisation, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), has deployed 200 persons with disabilities as observers for the governorship election in Anambra State.

Jerry Grace, the executive director of the association, disclosed this in Awka on Friday at a news conference.

The news conference was organised by the United States Agency for International Development, Access Nigeria, IFA and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Mr Grace said the conference was organised to discuss the importance of persons with disabilities to the electoral process and to engage the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sustain organised voting during the election.

Chidimma Ajemba, a representative of another NGO, the Joint Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Anambra chapter, called for special attention to be given to persons with disabilities to take part in the electoral process.

Ms Ajemba said that such special attention would reduce physical, attitudinal and institutional barriers that made it difficult for persons with disabilities to freely participate in the electoral process.

In his remarks, Francis Madugu, the deputy country director of NDI, charged INEC to ensure that Persons Living with Disabilities were provided a friendly election environment, including written instructions on voting materials.

Mr Madugu said such a step would encourage more persons living with disabilities to be more politically active and be able to have a say in the election process in the state.

He said people with disabilities were interested in who becomes their governor, and would like to vote for their choice after reading the political manifestos of the candidates.

Mr Madugu commended the Anambra government under Governor Willie Obiano for its “friendly policies” toward persons with disability and expressed the hope that the succeeding administration would do more.

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