By Omolara Omosanya
In Lagos, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is collaborating with the State government to ensure that People with Disability, PWD, in the State are not disenfranchised during the general elections next year.
Towards this end, INEC in partnership with the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, LASODA, has designated special centres across the State and fixed Monday and Tuesday next week, (25th and 26th of July) to enable physically challenged persons to register or revalidate their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs.
Announcing this at a joint news briefing in Alausa Ikeja, INEC’s Lagos Head, Voters Registry, Information Communication Technology, Mr. Muyiwa Yusuf revealed that presently, six million, seven hundred and twenty two thousand, three hundred and ninety four PWDs have been enrolled on the Commission’s database in Lagos, but lamented that over one million of those captured are yet to pick up their PVCs.
Mr Muyiwa Yusuf therefore asked all PWDs in Lagos to take advantage of the two-day window for data capturing, PVC revalidation and collection so that they would not be denied the opportunity to exercise their franchise come next year
Mr Yusuf stated that as at Monday, 18, July 2022, the completed registration of PWDs into the INEC database across the Country had hit over 10million (10,139,247).
On his part, the General Manager of LASODA, Mr. Dare Dairo, said the partnership was in line with the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s resolve to ensure that no one is left behind and urged PWDs to seize the opportunity to ensure social inclusion.
“Lack of political participation could also endear the community of people with disability to exclusion, discrimination and poverty also, that is why Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very particular to ensure that persons with disability are actively engaged through the THEMES agenda” he stated
Mr Dairo announced that the Special centres, located in the five divisions of the State were strategically chosen for accessibility and comfort of the PWDs, while the needed equipment to capture those with other needs have been made be available.
The centres are : Ikorodu Central Local Government, Ikorodu; Ability and Disability Economic Empowerment Initiative Centre, Badagry; Old Secretariat, Ikeja; Polling Unit Centre, Lagos Island; Sport Recreation Centre, Epe; Idi-araba, Idi-araba Correctional Centre (Special Centre), Idi-araba; Teslim Balogun and National Stadium, Surulere; as well as Oko-Baba Centre, Ebute Metta, Oyingbo.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Persons with Disability, Ms Adenike Oyetunde, who was also part of the news briefing added her voice to the call on he PWDs to take optimum advantage of the two-day window to get their PVCs.