By i Precious Ewuji
Bridget Sarumi, a 45-year-old visually impaired businesswoman andpp an indigene of Aramoko Local Government in Ekiti State has condemned the process of the gubernatorial election held in Ekiti State on June 18. Sarumi stated that she got to her polling unit at 10 am with the aid of her clutches but was not attended to until 1 pm. “When I got to the polling unit, the Adhoc staff told me that the election materials were not available yet. I waited until the election materials arrived.
“Even after the materials arrived, they neglected me in the sun and I had to beg to be in the queue. At noon, I called one of the Adhoc staff and explained to her that I came to the polling unit very early because there was no one to take me home,” she added.
She disclosed that she had never missed voting in her state and at the national level — which was why she had to endure the practice.”Where I was standing, some old people were also with me. They were not paid attention nor were they given preferential treatment. At about 2:16 pm, after one of the officials lent his voice to them, we were allowed to vote.”
“We are pleading with the government to do something about this and make everyone inclusive. We want to get involved but involvement won’t seem to happen when our voices are not being heard or when we get deprived of our privileges,” she lamented. In 2018, a law was signed by the Federal Government on Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities, however, for people like Sarumi, this law has not provided an encouraging environment for inclusion in politics for them.