September 25, 2022

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We’ll keep advocating Diaspora voting – NiDCOM

The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission has said it will continue to advocate for Diaspora voting amid rejection by the National Assembly.

The NiDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated this at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the 2022 edition of the National Diaspora Day celebration scheduled for July 25, 2022, with the theme, “Diaspora Engagement in Global Challenging Times for National Development.”

Dabiri-Erewa, who lamented that the National Assembly’s efforts to get Diasporans to vote in the 2023 general election were futile, urged stakeholders not to give up.

The PUNCH reported that a Bill to provide for Diaspora Voting, and for Related Matters, was rejected by the National Assembly on the basis that the country does not have the capability, although the Independent National Electoral Commission indicated readiness.

Speaking on the issue, Dabiri-Erewa said, “We cannot give up on diaspora voting.

It’s not going to happen in 2023, but it’s going to happen eventually and I urge all of you (the media) to make it a focal point of discussion so that the National Assembly will do what they have to do and make it possible for people in diaspora to vote.

“We can’t be talking about billions of dollars of remittances without giving you the right to extend your civic duty. So it’s not something we should relent on. It’s something that we should continue to advocate for and I believe that someday, the diaspora will vote.”

The NiDCOM boss urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to join in engaging and lobbying the legislators until Diaspora voting is achieved.

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“So, we have to continue to lobby, beg, and plead for parliament to see the need for the diaspora vote and also, all of you media, make it a topic of discussion. It is also something that should happen. It’s something that has to happen but the argument is that we haven’t even perfected it locally,” she added.

Then, why do you want to start Diaspora voting, among others?

“My argument is that if you’re waiting for perfection, then nothing will happen. You know, INEC is ready, and in a world where we are now doing electronic transmission of results, it is possible. So it’s just to engage with the National Assembly more,” she said.