Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has provided magnifying goggles for polling units to enable people living with albinism recognise political parties’ logos in Nov. 18 Anambra elections.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made this known while receiving EU Observer Mission to Nigeria led by Mr Santiago Ayxela on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the provision of the goggles was part of the commission’s efforts to ensure inclusiveness in the elections.
“We are doing a lot about inclusiveness for women, youths and people living with disabilities in terms of access to the polling units and participation in the elections.
“One of the things we have done in this regard in forthcoming Anambra elections is provision of magnifying glasses in polling units to enable people living with albinism see logo of parties and make their choices,” he said.
Yakubu recalled that it was exactly two years ago since the EU sent delegations to observe the 2015 elections in Nigeria.
He said that the current mission was important and critical as it came at a time when the commission was preparing for the 2019 general elections.
He reaffirmed that the commission had fixed Feb.16, 2019 for Presidential and National Assembly elections, and March 2 for Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections.
According to Yakubu, the commission is already in election mood as the date slated for the presidential elections is only 484 days away.
He said that the 2015 general elections received global recognition for its credibility and for meeting international best practice.
According to him, the commission is committed to ensuring that the 2019 elections would be better than 2015.
The chairman said INEC had so far conducted elections in 172 constituencies since the 2015 elections and that eight of the 30 recommendations of the EU team in 2015 had been implemented.
He said that the remaining 22 recommendations were at various stages at the relevant agencies, including the National Assembly, responsible for the implementation.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Santiago Ayxela, said they had come to make recommendations that would aid the commission in preparations ahead of 2019 elections.
He said that the commission was at liberty to either implement the recommendations or not as the EU parliament was not in the position to impose its ideas on it.
Ayxela explained that some of the recommendations were for the commission while others were for national assembly and political parties.
He announced that the technical team of the delegation would stay with the commission till November to further support and observe its preparations.
Later at the National Headquarters of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Maikarfi, commended the EU Parliament for supporting democracy in Nigeria.
He urged the parliament to continue to support the country for sustained democracy and good governance in the county.