Raphael Ede, Enugu
Ahead of 2019 elections, the National Association of People Living with Disabilities (PWD), Enugu State chapter, has vowed not to engage in vote-trading and warned their members of impending associated with it.
The people said they would vote for credible candidates with improving integrity that would guarantee development of the country.
They made their resolve known, on Wednesday, during a stakeholders meeting on 2019 credible election organized by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for leaders of people with disability.
Speaking on behalf of their members, Enugu State Coordinator of Disability Policy and Empowerment Consult, Samuel Obiefuna, assured that people living with disabilities would come out enmasse and vote for credible candidates that have capability to transform the country.
According to him, “No one can buy our vote because we have sensitise our members not to engage in vote trading but vote for people that will deliver dividend of democracy to Nigerians”.
He disclosed that of the 25 million people living with disabilities in the country, 21 million have registered and ready to exercise their franchise in 2019.
While commending INEC for carrying them along in their activities, Obiefuna enjoined all the physically-challenged persons in the state to collect their PVC’s and ensure they exercise their franchise during the election proper.
In his address, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emeka Ononamadu, described people living with disabilities as people living with different abilities saying that they have also the right to participate in the election irrespective of any circumstances.
He assured that INEC has made necessary preparation for PWDs in 2019 election.
“INEC Enugu is partnering with one of the umbrella organizations of people living with disabilities to map the location and nature of disability so that we can effectively make required provisions to ensure that no matter the nature of disability, all persons will vote in 2019 general election in Enugu.
“I am aware of our environmental and the societal challenges that people living with disabilities face on a daily basis and during elections.
“The Commission has noted them and reflected their solutions in the recently launched policy document on people with disabilities, he added”.
“I will call on all of you to increase your interest in 2019 general election. Show interest in election circle because if good election entrenches good governance, people living with disabilities will be the first beneficiaries but if the opposite is the case, they will equally be the first victims,” he said.
He, thereby, called on all PWDs who registered to ensure they collect their PVCs before election noting that their members coming to collect their PVC’s is very low and charged the leadership of PWDs in Enugu to step up sensitization of their members.