A disability rights activist Jerry Grace says she expects people with disabilities to make the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)’s nominees.
She said this in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria” held on Tuesday.
“Beyond questioning the integrity of those who have been nominated, we have a challenge where it is all exclusive of the most marginalised group. Now, we are promoting an all-inclusive election, we are promoting an all-inclusive society but where there is a huge gap – and these marginalised groups are relegated to the background.
“And sometimes when you look at it, it looks like it is an intentional approach to provide a platform for this marginalised group and that is where we have the challenge.”
But she said, “We still say there is a huge gap. That gap needs to be addressed. While we are waiting for the new nominees to come up, we also expect that persons with disabilities, youths, and even women will make that list so that we can say we have an all-inclusive INEC that works for all.”
Aside from her, other speakers at the event including a former member of the House of Representatives Nnenna Ukeje called for a free and free election next year.
Ukeje said with the heightened interest of youths in the election, INEC has to deliver a credible poll.
“Now, if anything goes awry, the effect of the disenchantment of these people, who have put their hopes in the future of this country through the ballot, is going to be difficult to contain,” the former member representing Bende Federal Constituency, said.
“So, when we start to speak about the integrity of the people who want to be the umpires of this election and we start to see that there is less than transparent engagement with the National Assembly and the Nigerian people, then it means that the outcome of the elections is going to leave a lot to be desired.
“So, I think it is of the utmost importance that the APC government realises that the onus is on them to come out there and give us the elections that they promised us.”