A pressure group championing the cause for people with disabilities in Nigeria, Inclusive Friends Association, has expressed concern over discrimination against PWDs in the 2019 general elections.
The organisation claimed that while 68.8 per cent of political parties did not campaign in venues accessible to PWDs, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party rejected 24 per cent PWDs potential candidates in 2019 because of their disabilities.
While calling on political parties to advocate a quota for candidates with disabilities, the IFA said the Independent National Electoral Commission must have a database of voters with disabilities to enhance decision-making and inclusion.
The IFA stated this in a document titled, “The race so far: A report of the assessment of the political participation of persons with disabilities in 2019 general elections.”
The document was signed by the Executive Director of IFA and Convener, Access Nigeria Campaign, Grace Jerry.
The report said, “Despite the fact that the right to political participation is exercised in different ways, most disability advocates share the view that active involvement in politics by PWDs is a ‘process’ of reducing marginalisation.
“220 PWDs who voted in the 2019 elections were engaged in this assessment and the following findings came through: APC and PDP rejected 24 per cent potential candidates because of issues related to their disability.
“68.8 per cent of political parties did not hold campaign events in venues that were accessible to PWDs, while 27.4 per cent political parties like APC, PDP and Social Democratic Party across Kaduna, Plateau, Bayelsa, Cross River and Delta states held such events in accessible venues.
“About 30.3 per cent equally stated that INEC produced information materials in formats that were not accessible to voters who were deaf or hard of hearing such as subtitled videos or those with sign language interpretation and posters.”
The report made recommendations to close the marginalisation gap between PWDs others.