As part of efforts to ensure their inclusiveness in deciding who governs the state, Ekiti State Government through its Ministry of Works and Transport has pledged to provide accessibility to polling units to Persons with Disabilities, PWDs in the state.
This was was made known by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Ekiti State, Barrister B.O Agbede, who received the Inclusive Friends Association,IFA, on an advocacy visit to the ministry, in Ado-Ekiti.
Barr. Agbede reiterated the state government’s commitment to ensure that PWDs are not disenfranchised during the June 18 governorship polls.
He called on the electoral body to organize a round table forum where these policies will be enhanced and adequately addressed.
The Permanent Secretary added that they will involve INEC to ascertain the polling units that requires ramps, rails and other accessible means to PWDs.
He said: “The government will get involved in ensuring that PWDs participate in the electoral process. We will be willing to partner with you for the interest of all.
“There is always an election consultative forum to have a joint policy for the elections where we will make all these advocacy.
“Looking at the bigger picture, we will be writing to INEC to help us with the location of these polling units and let us know where the Ministry can come in.”
Responding, the Disabilities Inclusion Officer for IFA, Tracy Onabis, acknowledged the state government for their swift intervention and collaboration while believing that others can partner with them to ensure that PWDs have equal opportunities.
In her words: “The Permanent Secretary assured us of the Ministry’s commitment to partner with us going forward so that we can make recommendations to them using the universal design of what a modelled building that should be accessible to PWDs
“The ministry pledged to involve others in advocacy not just in election matters but across social economic and societal participation in disabilities.”