THE Albino Foundation (TAF-Africa) on Saturday said that braille ballot guide for visually-impaired voters was not available in 75 per cent of the polling units nationwide for the March 18 elections.
Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, Board chair, TAF Africa, said the Foundation expressed worry over the inadequate deployment of assistive tools at the polling units.
Anibogu said that 87 per cent polling units had no magnifying glasses for PWDs with Albinism and 63 per cent had no large font graphic posters for the deaf.
He said that TAF Africa’s observation of the election showed prompt arrival of INEC officials and commencement of polls, however, there were shortage of election material in some areas.
He added that TAF Africa observers reported the accessibility of the polling units at 94 per cent of the polling units while priority voting was observed in 76 per cent of the units.
“Given the emerging issues, TAF Africa’s PWDs Election Hub makes the following recommendations; that INEC should investigate the reason for the inadequate deployment of assistive tools to polling units with registered PWDs which can disenfranchise them.
“INEC should ensure prompt response to the issues raised at the polling units, particularly the shortage of election materials in some polling units.
“Security agencies are reminded of their primary responsibilities to the citizens of Nigeria.
“We expect security agencies to be present at all the polls and ensure the safety of everyone with competence, professionalism and neutrality, especially the violent-prone ones.”
Anibogu said TAF Africa commended the community of PWDs for their show of strength and commitment towards the election in spite of the unfavourable conditions.
He said TAF Africa called on security agencies, INEC, other stakeholders, political parties and their ardent supporters to work together in ensuring that the election was credible and peaceful. (NAN)