Elections
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in handshakes with President Muhammadu Buhari. Source: Twitter.

The British Government has made it clear that it will maintain neutrality when Nigerians head to the polling units in 2019 to elect new leaders of the nation for the next four years.

This is as international agencies in conjunction with local Civil Society Organisations told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to device means for Peoples Living with Disabilities (PWDs) to easily participate in the electoral system in 2019.

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According to the agencies, which include: British High Commission and Australian High Commission in Nigeria, British Department for International Development (DFID) and Foundation For Justice and Social Development (FOJSOD), excluding the people living with disabilities from the electoral system is not in line with the
global best practices.

Speaking at a one-day dialogue programme tagged : ‘Enhancing Electoral Participation of PWDs in 2019 General Elections’, the Political Adviser to the country’s Deputy British High Commissioner, Wale Adebajo, said the British government is supporting neither President Buhari nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or any other candidate in the election.

Adebajo said the National Disability bill that is awaiting presidential assent will help to resolve some of the issues bedeviling the group in the country.

He commended INEC for including PWDs in its strategic plan for 2017-2021 elections, saying the British government and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were favourably disposed to the action.

“When we pointed out in the Ondo governorship election the need to make the PWDs more inclusive in our elections, INEC responded positively to our response by establishing desk officers in INEC offices to take care of the PWDs. This to us was a signal of INEC’s commitment to improving access to electoral system.

“We want to clear the air that the British government is not supporting any candidate in the election. We are neutral when it comes to election in Nigeria,” he said.