Provide blind voters braille ballots, sign interpreters, APC leader begs INEC

The All Progressives Congress National Leader of Persons Living with Disabilities, Tolu Bankole, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to address the plight of visually-impaired voters ahead of Osun governorship election by providing braille ballots and dedicated polling units for the vulnerable in society.

Bankole made the call at a voter education and sensitisation training held in Osun State for people who are struggling with poor eyesight on the use of braille ballots ahead of the election.

Pundits have projected that the governorship contest slated for July 16 will be a straight battle between the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the APC and Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party.

To further highlight the importance of the poll, the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had charged the 86-man campaign council for Osun 2022 to win at all costs.

Adamu warned during their inauguration that the National Working Committee under his leadership had zero-tolerance for failure.

However, Bankole, on Friday, appealed to INEC to extend special consideration to his members to allay their fears over noticeable flaws at the just concluded Ekiti governorship election.

“For an election to be adjudged free, fair, and all-inclusive, the process and procedure of such an election must be well understood by the electorates irrespective of their status. Therefore, Persons Living with Disabilities in their huge numbers in our election must count on election day,” he said.

Bankole urged the commission to guarantee the active inclusion of the community of people with disabilities in the electoral process.

He canvassed availability of braille easy language, sign language interpreters at polling centres, a dedicated queue, proper sensitisation on the correct way of thumb printing, dedicated polling units and restriction of vehicular movements on election day among others.

The PLWDs leader of the APC also charged the election umpire to justify the inclusion of the persons living with disabilities in the Electoral Act by improving on the noticeable flaws in Ekiti governorship election.

“All eligible PLWDs voters in all the 30 LGAs of Osun State should please come out en mass and vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress candidate, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, without fear of molestation and harassment from any quarter.

“The Electoral Bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 25, 2022, has paved the way for all Persons Living With Disabilities to be incorporated into the electoral process.

“The 2022 Electoral Act, Section 54, sub-section one and two captured disabilities’ rights and the forthcoming Osun State governorship election slated for July 18, 2022 is another opportunity to let our voices be heard by voting for Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, who is a friend of Persons Living with Disabilities from his many health, education, economic and social programmes and interventions,” Hon. Bankole concluded.

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