The Albino Foundation Africa (TAF Africa) Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Election Hub, said that 26 braile ballot guides, 60 magnifying glasses and 90 large font posters were used in 273 Polling Units (PUs) it sampled.
According to the TAF Africa PWD Election Hub in its report, availability of sensitive materials like assistive devices, ballot papers, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), result sheets, ballot boxes and the Voter Register were supposed to be available at PUs.
Board member of TAF, Hajiya Amina Zakari, said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was expected to provide 21,165 magnifying glasses at 16,071 Polling units for persons with albinism and minor visual impairment.
Zakari said that INEC was also supposed to provide 6,167 posters at 5,085 PUs for those with hearing impairment, and 8,117 braille ballot guides at 5,957 PUs for the visually impaired.
“In the FCT, for instance, Kubwa village/Kofar Saraki (37-02-09-001) and DeiDei primary school (37-02-09-059) both in Kubwa ward, Bwari LGA are expected to have at least 6 to 13 registered visually impaired persons.
“As such, at least one braile ballot guide should be provided at these polling units, on the contrary, large font posters were the only assistive devices made available.
“While Magnifying glasses are expected at these PUs, they were only provided at Lugbe FHA Gate (37-06-03-024).
“As such, at least one braille ballot guide should be provided at these polling units; on the contrary, large font posters were the only assistive devices made available.”
Zakari said that observations showed that 234 out of 273 PUs were accessible and priority voting was given to PWDs at 211 PUs out of 273.
She said that there were also reports of PWDs not participating in the elections due to long hours of waiting as well as the unavailability of assistive devices.
TAF Africa PWD Election Hub Chair, Jake Epelle, said that the Hub was set up for the review and assessment of key issues capable of undermining the active participation of PWDs in the elections .
Epelle said that 700 observers were deployed to closely monitor the elections and to collate data on key processes relating to PWDs participation in the election. (NAN)