For the first time in Nigeria's history, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would be piloting a braille ballot guide (BBG) to assist voters with visual impairment to cast their ballot without any support in line with Section 56(2) of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended and Nigeria's secret ballot system. The Access Nigeria Campaign and its ally, NAPVID, worked closely with INEC to design and produce the guide.
As a Conflict Transformation Expert, I am glad about this development. The more we include disadvantaged groups in the electoral process, the more inclusive the polity becomes. The society is deemed to have more empathy as a result. INEC also plans to make polling booths accessible to PLWDs in the 2019 general elections. When more vulnerable groups are accommodated, there is less agitation from many quarters, which could lead to peace in the society. Perception of the electorate as regards inclusion matters a great deal...
The test run for the guide would be during the Osun state off-cycle election scheduled for Saturday, 22nd September 2018, which will feature 48 candidates. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Segun Agbaje said: 'The BBG is another step towards assisting PLWDs. We are committed to ensuring that PLWDs are not disenfranchised.'
I am anxiously awaiting feedback on the use of the guide during the Osun governorship elections.
25th September, 2018
*INEC adopts measures (framework) to facilitate voting by PLWDs https://punchng.com/inec-adopts-measure-to-facilitate-voting-by-pwds
*USAID supports inclusion of PLWDs in Nigeria's elections https://medium.com/.../usaid-supports-inclusion-of-persons-with-disabilities-in-nigeria
*2019: INEC to introduce sign language for the disabled https://www.dailytrust,com.ng
7th January, 2019
*39 million people blind globally https://leadership.ng/2019/01/04/39m-people-blind-globally-un/
*Louis Braille created Braille (a tactile writing system to help the blind read) at age 15 #WorldBrailleDay https://twitter.com/UNICEF_SA
*How Braille helps blind and partially-sighted people realise their full human rights bit.ly/2CHuoK5
*We need to make every single thing accessible to every person with disability - Stevie Wonder, UN Messenger of Peace bit.ly/2CHuoK5 #WorldBrailleDay #GlobalGoals