A non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has observed that people living with disabilities may not be able to vote in the forthcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States on account of the volatile atmosphere in both states.
The group said the politicians in the states were talking like warlords, noting that the security situation may prevent PWDs from participating in the electoral process.
Presenting an assessment report on provisions by the Independent National Electoral Commission for PWDS in Kogi State ahead of the polls, in Abuja on Tuesday, CCD Director, Mr David Anyaele, expressed worry about the security situation in Kogi and Bayelsa and advised physically-challenged voters not to risk their lives during the exercise.
He said, “We are worried about the security situation in Kogi and Bayelsa States. Every day, the politicians are talking like warlords and we are asking INEC and security agencies to ensure adequate security for the voters particularly the people living with disabilities.
“I would tell PWDs in Kogi and Bayelsa, if they feel the situation is not safe enough, they should stay away. They should not risk their lives because they want to fulfill their civic responsibility. Many states have no facilities for PWDs. In Bayelsa, for example, there is no law protecting PWDs.”
The CCD director said he had submitted his assessment report to INEC, which he said had promised to provide facilities such as materials in Braille format, magnifying glasses, and others, to make it easy for PWDs to vote.
The activist made it clear that his organisation would monitor the elections to ensure that the special materials were provided for PWDs as pledged by the electoral commission.