Three weeks to the 2015 general elections, about 743,367 eligible voters are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, in Oyo State.
This was disclosed by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju yesterday in Ibadan while fielding questions with journalists shortly after the presentation of voter education materials written in braille form to representatives of people living with disabilities.
According to him, out of 2,381,102 PVC’s the electoral body received from its parent body, only 1,637,735, representing 68.78 per cent have been collected so far.
When Vanguard visited some wards where PVCs are being collected, there were so many cards yet to be collected despite the extension of the deadline by two weeks.
Ambassador Akeju, while explaining the need to bear people living with disabilities in mind said
INEC was out to encourage mass participation of Nigerians in the forthcoming elections.
The materials, he added, were to assist people with impaired vision in getting necessary information on electoral process.
He said, “Section 56(2) of 2010 Electoral Act as amended states that the commission may take reasonable steps to ensure that voters with disabilities are assisted at the polling place by the provision of suitable means of communication, such as Braille, large embossed print or electronic devices or sign language interpretation or off-site voting in appropriate cases.”
“This commission, at numerous for a, national and state levels promised to mainstream every group of qualified Nigerians into our electoral process”.
Chairman, Joint national Association of Persons with Disabilities, Oyo state chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Obe said all the materials given to him on behalf of his members would be distributed across the zones in the state.
Commending the efforts of INEC, he said, “at least, there has been a radical shift from what was obtainable in the past because INEC, this time around, has tried to include the exclusive and among those that were once excluded are people living with disabilities. So, it is a good development and we wish that the best happens in the forthcoming elections”. He said very soon people with disability would seek elective posts.
INEC used the event to flag off a road show to sensitize traders and people of the state on the election.