The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) on Wednesday in Awka commended INEC for the assurance of getting special attention at the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, Anambra chairman of JONAPWD gave the commendation during a stakeholders’ forum on the Anambra Disability Rights Law (2018).
Okeke said that INEC had promised to erect special polling units outside the usual facilities for easy access by persons living with disabilities.
“We have taken the advocacy to several institutions and agencies, including INEC on how important access to facilities is to us and we are happy they are complying.
“INEC has assured us that they have carried out accessibility audit on most of the polling units to ensure all are compliant.
“They also assured us that special attention will be given to PWDs and the aged on Election Day. We also requested they should carve out a queue for us to cast our vote as quickly as possible,’’ he said.
The chairman urged PWDs to turn out en-mass and vote on Election Day as the state government and security agencies had made adequate provision for their security.
“We have resolved among ourselves that our votes must surely count this time, which is why we have been encouraging our members to go out and vote.
“We know government and security agencies are doing everything humanly possible to ensure provision of adequate security on Election Day,’’ he said.
On the Disability Rights Law, Okeke said there was the need for awareness of the law and its provisions as well as the simplification of language used for better understanding by less-educated people.
According to him, the law will increase access to justice for PWDs and create an all-inclusive society.
Mrs Josephine Onah, Team Lead, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), an NGO, said that her organisation assisted in translating the Disability Rights Law into “pidgin’’ English and Igbo language for better understanding.
Onah said that RoLAC was also training sign language interpreters on legal terminologies.
“We are fortunate to have such law in the state and we are here to increase awareness of the law for better understanding and compliance.
“We have to continue to popularise the law until we get to a time when everyone will be on the same page with the content,’’ she added. (NAN)