The Albino Foundation (TAF) Africa has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the ‘successful’ conduct of the off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.
Programme manager, TAF Africa, George Dominic, in a statement on Saturday, rated INEC high in its election analysis report.
Briefing journalists in Owerri on the participation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Saturday’s governorship polls, Dominic said TAF Africa deployed 90 trained observers across polling units with registered PWDs in the three states.
According to him, the focus of the non-profit organisation was to evaluate the compliance of INEC with the provision of assistive tools, as mandated by the Electoral Act, and gauge the overall experience of voters with disabilities at the polls.
He said; “Of the 90 observers deployed in 90 PUs, with registered PWDs across the three states, it was reported by our observers that 80 per cent of PWDs were allowed to exercise their priority voting rights in Kogi, 75 per cent in Imo and 67 per cent in Bayelsa.
“As we reach the mid-point of the day, TAF Africa presents its findings from observers in the field, transmitted to TAF Africa’s PWDs’ election hub through our innovative Election Observer App and dashboard.
“In Kogi, 94 per cent of the 30 polling units show that INEC officials arrived earlier than 8.30 a.m. designated for accreditation and voting to commence.
“In Imo, 99 per cent of the 30 PUs registered PWDs display that INEC officials arrived before 8:30 a.m.
“While in Bayelsa, INEC officials arrived earlier than 8:30 a.m. at a percentage of 77 per cent of the 30 PUs observed”.
He also said that assistive tools, such as braille ballot guide, EC30E PWD posters, and magnifying glasses, were deployed in 77 per cent of the 30 PUs, where the group deployed observers in Kogi.
The group which said Polling Units with registered PWDs did not report any major case of violence, however appealed to security agencies, INEC, stakeholders, political parties and their supporters to work together toward ensuring that elections remained credible and peaceful in the country.