March 30, 2023


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Don’t turn polling units to danger zones, PWDs foundation warns

The Albino Foundation Africa has appealed to political parties to avoid making polling units designated for Persons with Disabilities a danger zone during the Saturday’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

The Chief Executive Officer, TAF Africa, Jake Epelle, on Friday, said this at the foundation’s pre-election report on the 2023 gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections funded by the European Union.

Epelle said the increasing clashes among parties’ supporters is high, thereby heightening more tension in some states.

He said, “TAF Africa is concerned about the increasing clashes among political parties and their supporters resulting in heightened tension in some states. These conflicts increase the threats of violence on election day. TAF Africa is worried about the disturbing reports of some polling units that are prone to violence.

“We appeal to political parties to speak to their supporters and allow for a peaceful election, and avoid heating the polity and making the polling units danger zones for persons with disabilities, during the gubernatorial and state assembly elections.

The founder also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission to arrive at the polling units on time as against the late arrival during the February 25 elections, adding that “the lateness by election officials is gradually becoming a permanent feature in Nigeria’s elections and is capable of disenfranchising persons with disabilities in the elections. Some clusters of persons with disabilities are not expected to experience a long wait under the sun, due to the peculiarity of their disability.

“The early arrival of INEC officials at the polling units will avail them the opportunity to quickly exercise their civic rights without the risk of further impact on their health and well-being,” he said.

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“We also hope that the technical glitches that resulted in the malfunctioning of the INEC result viewing portal have been addressed ahead of the March 18 elections.

“TAF Africa appeals to INEC to leave communication lines open with the public and adequately communicate any challenges that might be encountered during the electoral process.”

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