CCD urges INEC to make offices accessible for persons with disabilities

The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make buildings in their office accessible to People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs).

Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, made the call on Wednesday while presenting “Report on Mapping for the Needs of Persons with Disabilities for 2019 General Elections’’ to INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Dr Emeka Ononamadu.

Anyaele said that the demand followed the backing of the National Disability Act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 17, 2019.

He also urged INEC to make provisions for the allocation of five per cent of INEC employment, whether full or ad-hoc staff, to PLWDs as stipulated by the new act.

The CCD lauded INEC for providing some aids to PLWDs during the last general elections as well as carrying the PLWDs along in their programmes throughout the election timetable period.

He said: “We are going to collaborate with INEC for the continuous education of PLWDs and ensure all impediments towards participation of PLWDs in elections or other public engagements are removed.

“We are also calling on INEC to study the report presented to it today and ensure that the recommendations in the report meant to better the electoral system is implemented for the greater good of PLWDs participation in elections’’.

Responding, Ononamadu lauded CCD for its conscious efforts to support INEC programmes, adding that “the PLWDs remain critical stakeholders in the success of INEC in each election so far’’.

He said that over the years and more recently, INEC had provided avenue for robust engagement with the PLWDs at various levels.

“During the general elections, INEC provided magnifying glasses, use of braille ballot papers and other aids to the PLWDs during the election proper.

“When I took over as the head here, I redesigned the access door to this office complex to allow PLWDs easy access to the building,’’ he said.

On the report, the REC assured CCD that INEC was open to study recommendations meant to better the electoral process.

“We are open to study and accept recommendations especially coming from credible stakeholders such as the CCD.

“Our recruitment in anytime or form is done basically on merit; so with that in mind, your members and other PLWDs, who are qualified, should apply at any time INEC opens up for recruit whether full or ad hoc staff,’’ he added.

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