Ahead of Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States Governorship Elections, the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) has provided 2,238 poling units for People With Disabilities (PWDs) for the elections.
The Hon. National Commissioner and Member Information & Voter Education Committee (IVEC) Pof. Kunle Ajayi disclosed this on Tuesday at an engagement with Media Executives in Lokoja, Kogi State ahead of the governorship election scheduled for Saturday 11 November, 2023.
According to him in Kogi State, as part of its relentless effort at improving and easing access for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other marginalized groups to participate in elections, the Commission has also provided Braille ballot for visually impaired voters, made available magnifying glass for people with Albinism and introduced enlarged posters for voters with hearing impairment.
“We have gone further to integrate into the voting procedure a process that accords priority voting for PWDs, vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant and nursing mothers.
“All Post 2023 General Election review engagements at state level, in Abuja and Lagos, were successful and a handful of suggestions as to how we can make elections better were harvested, and implementation of some have already commenced.
“Part of the recommendations is what we are doing today having a robust engagement with the media and increasing voter education and sensication of the electorate ahead of the election
“We look forward to implementing some of these suggestions which require administrative action in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Rotimi Olakanmi, the press secretary to Prof Yakubu Mahmoud, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in his address tasked the media on facts and ethics of the profession in their reportage for a peaceful conduct of the Governorship election in Kogi
He explained that the appeal became imperative considering the unfortunate increasing moving away from facts by the media in their reportage in recent times.
“As stakeholders, the media should refuse the temptation to move away from facts as being seen in the social media, where fake News have become the order of the day.
“Let’s practice in accordance with the ethics of the profession and he laws of the land to help INEC succeed in its task of conducting credible, peaceful and successful election in Kogi come Nov 11, ” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Gabriel Longpet, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), described the media as ‘very critical ” partners and stakeholders to the Nov. 11 governorship election and should assist the Commission to succeed in its assignment.
Longpet said that INEC was well prepared and ready for the conduct of the election devoid of any rancour for the growth and development of Kogi.
“All we want is for the people of Kogi to demonstrate a change of attitude toward election and ensure that the election shall be peaceful, credible and peaceful.
“Therefore, Political actors should not do anything that will negatively affect the forthcoming election but should support the Commission to succeed for the good of the state, ” he said.
Alhaji Adeiza MommohJimoh, Kogi State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in his address lauded the commission for organising the media parley, which he said was the first of its kind since the creator of Kogi
Jimoh pleaded with the commission to provide Journalists with the accreditation cards and other materials needed especially reflective jackets that could help distinguish them from others for security reasons.
He assured INEC of Journalists readiness to give the Nov. 11 governorship election the desired coverage for peaceful, credible and successful election in the state.