2023: INEC Pledges To Serve PWDS Community Better
Published 26 April, 2022
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reiterated its commitment to providing strong support to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) ahead and during the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
INEC national commissioner and chairman of the Outreach and Partnership Committee (OPC), Prof. Kunle Ajayi, who stated this during the opening of a training for INEC Disability Desk Officers in Lagos yesterday said that the five-day Bridge Modular Training on Access and Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Electoral Process for INEC Disability Desk Officers.
It was organised for the desk officers in the commission from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT in partnership with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
He noted that the non-negotiable minimum of a credible, and democratic electioneering process is its inclusivity- ability of all stakeholders to access, and participate in the electoral space based on equality.
According to Leadership Newspaper, Ajayi said Section 54 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022, and other legal instruments empower the commission to take reasonable steps to ensure that PWDs, special needs, and vulnerable persons are given support at the polling place by the provision of assistive devices.
He explained that the commission also has, as one of its core values, the creation of a level playing field for all stakeholders to participate in, especially the marginalised groups, including the PWDs.
“The training was part of the commission’s Strategic Plan of Action (SPA) designed to sharpen, and enrich the working knowledge of INEC’s new desk officers,” he said.
He said that the training was meant to refresh the memories of other officers with long experience at the disability desk of their responsibilities as frontline implementers of the commission’s PWDs policies.
Ajayi urged the staff to appreciate various innovations and the changing dynamics on PWD electoral issues.
He said that the commission was counting on their expertise as foot soldiers on PWDs responsive policies for effective coordination, and implementation of INEC disability focal pro
Reiterating the unwavering commitment of the commission to PWDs’ sensitive actions, Ajayi said INEC had a Framework on Access and Participation of PWDs in the Electoral Process and had almost completed work on Disability Inclusive Guide.
“This is a tool for reference in mainstreaming disability issues in the electoral process, which will further firm up the commission’s resolve on electoral inclusivity to serve PWDs community better,” he said