By Dirisu Yakubu
The All Progressives Congress has called on Nigerians, especially Persons With Disabilities, to visit any of the 8,809 registration wards by the Independent National Electoral Commission to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.
This is as the ruling party pleaded with officials of INEC to avoid treating persons with disabilities with disdain as Nigerians seek to elect a worthy candidate to replace the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The appeal was contained in a statement on Sunday by the National Leader of the PWDs in the party, Tolu Bankole.
Bankole called on the people to come out en masse to collect their PVCs to vote the APC candidates during the 2023 general election,
He said, “We call on all Persons With Disabilities who have not collected their PVCs; those who applied for transfer or replacement of cards across the country to go and collect their PVCs at their electoral wards in order to achieve our drive for political, educational, economic and social inclusion of PWDs through the ballot.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission has devolved PVC collection to the 8,809 Registration Areas/Wards from Friday, January 6 to 15, 2023; to ensure those that are unable to collect their PVCs at the Local Government Offices of the Commission can do so at the Registration Areas/Electoral Wards.
“Let me appeal to the election umpire that the PWDs must be treated with consideration due to our peculiarities during this PVC collection period across the country to minimise the incidences of ill treatment in previous exercises.”
The APC chieftain expressed optimism that despite the numerous challenges of the previous year, Nigeria will emerge stronger and better due to the enduring foundations laid by the incumbent president in terms of infrastructure, social investment programmes, security and impact in other sectors.
Bankole also appealed to political parties to strive to include the PWDs in their campaigns across the country.
“For the umpteenth time, I call for the dignified inclusion of the PWDs in political campaigns. No candidate is expected to treat the PWDs as miscreants during campaign. I frown at any campaign model that will derogate or endanger the lives of the PWDs. All PWDs must be treated in a dignified manner during campaigns.
“2023 is a momentous year especially in the life of our country. We must ensure the choice of acculturate Nigerias with a track record of unparalleled achievements in both private and public sectors.
“We must understand that the progressive ideals of APC is bigger than any individual. Hence, the need to vote for a candidate who will build on the gains of the incumbent and offer far reaching elixirs to the current challenges in the country.
“Let us embrace reason and truth. We must be unanimous in shunning those bent on stoking the embers of hate using religious and ethnic fault lines. Our chief objective must be competence in the choice of leadership which Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope epitomises,” he stated.