By Fatima Zahra Muhammad
ASHENEWS reports that persons living with disabilities (PLWD) in Niger State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restructure voting facilities to meet the needs of members in subsequent elections in Nigeria.
This is as the Association lamented the poor treatment of members and marginalization by politicians in the state.
Speaking to journalists shortly after he cast his vote at the Orphanage Polling Unit, in Minna, the Chairman of the Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, Usman Nagogo lamented that voters could not access the voting booths alone except with the help of INEC officials.
“We had discussed with INEC in Niger State over this issue of marginalization. We told them we need tools that will assist us in voting independently. The election booth is too high for our members.
“Two months ago, we held a similar meeting with INEC Chairman in Abuja and urged him to put this into consideration.
“We would prefer if INEC will consider us and bring it down for us or design a special booth that meets our needs,” he said.
A member of the Association of the Blind, Isah Mustapha lamented that the INEC failed on its promises to provide visually impaired persons with Braille jackets.
“INEC promised to give us Braille jackets to enable us to vote by ourselves but it wasn’t done. The INEC staff helped us to cast our votes.
“Even though we were given preferential treatment during voting, we didn’t like the fact that we needed someone else to help us vote,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rabiu Abdullahi, Chairman of, the Association of the Blind, Minna, Niger State complained that persons with disability were forced to stay hungry due to the restriction of movement on election day.
“We commend the process since it was peaceful. However, we have one observation. Nobody cared to feed us even though we were asked to stay at home due to the restriction of movement. We hold a high number of votes but we are usually taken for granted.
“Once they win, the first law they make is to ban street begging. They should change this approach. We genuinely wish all of them well and wish that they treat us better, ” he said.