Albino Foundation bemoans INEC’s failure to meet its electoral demands

Jake Epelle, Founder & CEO, Albino Foundation (Photo Credit: Peoples Daily Newspaper)
Jake Epelle, Founder & CEO, Albino Foundation (Photo Credit: Peoples Daily Newspaper)

The Albino Foundation (TAF) said on Saturday it was concerned that most of its demands for the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections were not met by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Founder of TAF, Jake Epelle, who is also an accredited observer of the European Union (EU) Intervention in Disability Matters, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the situation was “appalling.”

“The situation is appalling. Unfortunately, a lot of work and inputs we made in the electoral process, especially within the INEC framework, have not been implemented at all.

“I wouldn’t even say adequate implementation. It is almost near zero implementation, because we still didn’t see magnified glasses INEC promised our members.

“We didn’t see Braille. Many of the INEC staff still struggle with information about disability,’’ he said.

Mr Epelle also expressed dissatisfaction over the low turnout of voters with disability during the polls, attributing to the crisis in the February 23, elections and some levels of unpreparedness by the Commission.

He said those issues are showing up in the current elections, adding the enthusiasm his members saw in the past presidential election had really died down.

“I think it should be a serious concern to INEC management. The implication of the low turnout is that a lot of eligible voters would be disenfranchised.

“And I am wondering if those that will be elected during the exercise with such low turnout will really have the true mandate of the people. That’s a huge concern.

“When you don’t have the majority to put you in a position, you just go there, you are on your own or by a few people who just push you in there. It’s a major problem.

Mr Epelle said his foundation had deployed about 60 observers for the elections, stressing there was the need to learn from the present experience in order to guard against re-occurrence. (NAN)

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