PERSONS with Disabilities (PWD) have called on National Assembly to speed up work on the harmonisation of the Disability Bill, to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address issues that discourage persons with disabilities from exercising their voting right.

A non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), made the call while briefing reporters in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on the recent governorship election in the state. The Executive Director of the group, Mr. David Anyaele, said the passing of the bill into law would minimise use of what he described as the charity-based approach by INEC to addressing disability issues.

He said the bill is seeking to strengthen Section 52 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act, by making the provision of Braille and Sign language interpreters mandatory in the electoral process.

He added: “This is as opposed to leaving it to the desecration of INEC as the case is today. Also, the Anambra State House of Assembly should pass the Disability Bill that will criminalise all forms of discrimination and harmful practices against Ndi Anambra with disabilities.”

Anyaele urged INEC to standardise its collection of data of the people in pre-election and Election Day. He said: “This is to enable them to plan for the participation of voters with different forms of disabilities.’’

He commended the Federal Government, security agencies and INEC for providing equal rights to all…

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