From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) Nigeria, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for measures put in place to make registration easy for Persons with Disabilities in the forthcoming elections.
The Founder/Chief Responsibility Officer of CARE, Dr Okogwu, gave the commendation during a news conference in Abuja.
Dr Okogwu stressed that the electoral umpire has improved its mechanism in terms of easy registration of Persons with disabilities as against previous elections where they were disenfranchised.
“I must commend INEC for the work being done and what they have done so far. From the time I got involved in issues affecting persons with disabilities in 2008 till date, INEC has made much improvement. Talking about today, INEC has been able to do as much registration as possible.
He appealed to the electoral body to also look at two areas that affect persons with disabilities which are transportation and capturing during registration to make the process a bit easier for them.
“But two things came out of it that affected persons with disabilities, One is transportation cost which is caused by poverty. INEC introduced capturing but again poverty caught up with us because we don’t have smartphones which kind of brought about a seemly low involvement of persons with disabilities,” Dr Okogwu states
“Why I said seemly low because those are the ones identified by INEC which is about 85,000 but they are far more. But apart from these, INEC has been doing a great job.”
Dr Chike Okogwu also raised an alarm over the hoarding of new naira notes and called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to sanction offenders find culpable.
“We are using money to buy money. We are all practically living it. It costs N200 to withdraw N1,000. I said no this cannot go on, we have sent an email to CBN relying on the Freedom of Information Act, and we felt that the solution to the scarcity of cash, is to hold the banks responsible,” Okogwu adds.
“We have seen videos of hoarding going on, we have seen videos of people spraying the money. They’ve been several videos revealing banks hoarding the new notes. It shows that the banks are complacent, they are the ones who are causing the scarcity.
“Why are they doing this? The politicians that are crying out, are the ones mopping up and buying the new notes because they need it for vote buying. It is a good policy and we support it, and the CBN also should be able to sanction offenders who choose to hoard the new naira notes,” he said.
Okogwu, however, hinted that the only extra thing we are asking the CBN to do, is to please make the monies braille enabled, it doesn’t cost much. So that our blind colleagues can feel the notes. It’s done in South Africa, and Ghana, it’s not a big deal.”