Persons with disabilities in Anambra protest against denial of voting rights
• INEC pledges to resist politicians’ plot to obstruct electoral Process
Persons with disabilities yesterday protested in Awka, the Anambra State capital, against their denial of voting rights.
The peaceful protest was staged by representatives of the blind, deaf and other disabled persons, said to be over 600, 000.
Led by the Executive Director of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele, they demanded equal voting rights in the upcoming governorship election in Anambra State and subsequent polls.
They accused the governments at all stages of gross marginalisation of their fundamental rights, especially on election matters.
According to Anyaele, persons with disabilities in the country are over 25 million, adding: “They are also above the number of citizens in countries like Croatia, Belgium, Denmark and New Zealand put together.”
He promised that they would further take their protest to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He urged the authorities to provide various devices as braille ballots, assistive devices, especially for the visually impaired.
Anyaele threatened that the disabled persons would extend the protests to state and national assemblies, if they were not given the opportunity in the Anambra poll, slated for November 18.
Meanwhile, INEC has promised to resist any attempt by “unscrupulous politicians” to use ethnic or religious sentiments to undermine the electoral process.
The Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner in Taraba State, Muhammad Umar Madagali, made the pledge yesterday at a stakeholders meeting.
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