LAGOS – An Association for physically challenged in Lagos, Jopam Foundation, at the weekend appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create enabling environment for persons living with disability during the elections.
The president of the association, Mr Joshua Ebubedike, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen.
Speaking at the end of an election awareness rally in Alimosho Local Government Area, Ebubedike said that Persons Living with Disability need special consideration to enable them move freely at polling units.
“The electoral body should ensure that ramps are provided in voting centres for people on wheel chairs to participate in the electoral process.
“In centres where ramps cannot be provided, special officials should be set aside in every polling booth to assist persons with various forms of disability.
“ We need to be assured that the basic amenities for the physically challenged would be provided by the electoral body” he said.
According to him, mobility is a basic problem for persons with disability during the election, and called on the relevant authorities to assist in that direction.
Ebubedike further lamented that many public buildings in the country do not have ramps to ensure smooth movement of persons living with disability.
“There should be ramps erected alongside steps or any elevation in private and public buildings for easy movement for the disabled.
“Not just for the purpose of this election, but beyond so that would integrate the disabled in all facets of the society without stigmatisation,” he said.
He, therefore, appealed to the federal and state governments to direct and ensure that both public and private buildings have provision for ramps.
He also called on the members of the public to ensure that the disabled were not discriminated against during the upcoming voting process.