The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) says it plans to engage sign language interpreters to educate the deaf and dumb voters on electoral procedures during the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi.
Mrs Dorothy Bello, the commission’s Head of Civil Society Organisations Division, announced this on Tuesday in Lokoja at the opening of a one -day sensitisation workshop organised by the INEC for signs language interpreters.
Bello said that the interpreters who would work as volunteers were being engaged to help hearing-impaired to understand what “is being said in a variety of situations on election day’’.
According to her, they must understand the subject matter of discourse so that they can accurately translate what is being spoken into sign language, hence the need for the sensitisation.
The director said that it was the intention of the commission to conduct a free, fair and credible governorship election on Nov. 16, saying that the effort was to make sure that the election was inclusive.
“There is a need for people living with disabilities to make informed choices in voting which is basically a function of knowledge of the process and procedure,’’ she said.
Bello then charged participants to be attentive and participate effectively.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. James Apam, said that the sensitisation workshop was part of efforts to get all the segments of the society involved in the electoral process.
He commended the volunteers for making themselves available for service to their country, urging them to be ready to transfer their knowledge to others in the various local government areas of the state.
Mr Solomon Yahaya, the state Chairman of Joint Association of Persons Living With Disabilities, applauded the INEC for its various moves to carry along the physically challenged in the activities.
He said that involving the members of the association in the electoral process would further deepen the country’s democracy and make the outcome of elections credible and acceptable.