The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has adopted a template for collection of data of Persons with Disabilities to ensure adequate provision is made available for PWDs during elections.
The Data Collection template which was designed by INEC was adopted after validation by different disability clusters and INEC officials across Nigeria at a one-day strategy meeting on capturing of disaggregated data of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. The meeting was facilitated by the International Foundation for Electoral System, IFES.
While speaking on the objectives of the meeting, Lakunuya Dorothy- Bello, Deputy Director, CSO, INEC said that the efforts of the commission in disaggregating data of PWDs is to help achieve inclusive election.
She said, “it has become obvious that inclusive election cannot be achieved without the accurate data of PWDs disaggregated by type. The unavailability of disaggregated data of PWDs in the country limits the commission’s plan for inclusive and effective participation of PWDs in the electoral process.”
Lakunuya explained that, “capturing the disaggregated data of PWDs will assist the commission towards knowing the concentration of voters with disabilities, number, gender and type of assistive aid to procure and deploy. The database of eligible PWDs disaggregated by type of disability and gender will help the commission in inclusive planning.”
While giving his opening remarks, the National Commissioner, INEC, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola explained that the commission had earlier developed a methodology of collating the disaggregated data of PWDs across the country. He explained that, “the commission as an institution that is inclusive in its human and financial resources wants to ensure we achieve the development of an electoral database on PWDs (staff, voters and candidates) to guide policy development and implementation.”
He added that this will help to remove all forms of barriers experienced by PWDs in the electoral process by providing assistive aids during the elections.
The Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun reiterated that the commission is committed to ensure that PWDs enjoy their rights as voters and candidates in all elections across the country.