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INEC Sensitises Physically Challenged People/Sign Language Interpreters In Osun


At the event of One-Day Voter Education And Sensitization Meeting For Sign Language Interpreters And Hearing Impaired/Deaf Voters Towards An Inclusive Governorship Election In Osun, Held On Monday, 20th
June 2022 At Halatria Hotels And Towers, Osogbo Protocol Spearheaded by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Abdulganiy Olayinka Raji.

The event which was organized by Commission for sign language interpreters and specifically for persons with Hearing Impairment was to sensitize and educate the hearing impaired/Deaf voters towards active participation in the 2022 Osun Governorship Election, slated for Saturday, July 16, 2022.

Prof Raji in his statement said; that the Commission in the State had had a series of engagements with critical election stakeholders such as Traditional Rulers across all
the LGAs, Towns and Villages on their meeting day of the Council of Obas. We had reached out to Religious Leaders on voter education, sensitization and enlightenment and as well interfaced and interacted with the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and Osun State Muslim Community(OSMC) on their Annual Conference of Bishops, Pastors and Evangelists and Imams and Alfas during their monthly meeting

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“Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) Non-Governmental
Organizations(NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) had also pledged
their commitment to assist us in reaching out to youths, women, PWDs, political class,” He added.

The Electoral Commission speaks further on the event, He said:
“Today, Monday 20, 2022 is your turn, as part of stakeholders to be sensitized and enlightened on their civic rights to participate actively on July 16, 2022, Governorship Election in the State. Other clusters of Persons with Disabilities will still
be sensitized. This is intended to encourage you to exercise your civic responsibility on an equal basis with others.

“According to the World Health
Organization(WHO), 10-15% of every given country constitute PWDs.
The implication of this is that Nigeria has close to 30 million population of PWDs going by her over 200 million estimated population,” Prof Raji explained.

The Electoral commissioner made known the effort put in place for the hearing impaired, He said:

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“As a responsive and responsible Organization, this huge population cannot be shrugged-off without making provision for their adequate participation in the electoral process, hence the justification for today’s meeting. Let me cast our mind back to some of the efforts the Commission had made in time past to ensure the effective mainstreaming of PWDs in the electoral process.

Prof AbdulGaniy further his statement that the Commission developed a working document: “INEC Framework on Access and Participation of PWDs in the Electoral Process” and launched it in October 2018, long before the Disability Act was signed into law in January 2019. Ever since then, the Commission has been making efforts geared toward effective and seamless participation of PWDs in elections and other activities. To realize all these, magnifying glasses for persons with low vision and albinism were provided, voter information in braille for persons with visual impairment was produced in the build-up to the 2015 General Election, braille ballot guides and sign language interpreters in all our major events and activities were introduced With this commitment of the Commission, I want to enjoin you all to support INEC in making her vision and mission of capturing all eligible PWDs into the net of the electoral process, not just as participants but elected persons into the key elective/political and appointive offices.

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The Electoral Commissioner for Osun state urges the Commission for sign language interpreters and Hearing Impaired/Deaf Voters to mobilize her members and come out on
Saturday, 16th July 2022 to participate in the governorship election as an adequate security arrangement has been put in place through Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security(ICCES) to guarantee their safety and as well partake in the election without fear of molestation and harassment from any quarter.

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Some of the participants who spoke with Voiceairmedia commended INEC for organising the programme and described it as timely.

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