The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has told Nigerians in the Diaspora to prevail on the National Assembly to approve voting for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Dabiri-Erewa made the call at a Diaspora Leadership Conference, organised by the Nigerian Consulate in New York, U.S noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had indicated its readiness for Diaspora voting, but the lawmakers were uncomfortable with the idea for reasons unknown to her.
Dabiri-Erewa whose confirmation as chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission is pending in the Senate said that Diaspora voting was one of the things the commission would pursue relentlessly when operational.
Pointing that the system was critical to the development of the nation’s politics and electoral process, Dabiri-Erewa pleaded with Nigerians overseas, to join forces to make it happen.
While noting that it is going to be tough to achieve, he said all that is needed to be done is to make it happen.
“It is going to be tough and I tell you in politics, lawmakers are not too comfortable with the idea. I don’t know why.
“But we have to make it happen. If Ghana and Sierra Leone, smaller countries are doing Diaspora voting, why can’t we?
“It just has to happen and I believe Diaspora voting will help our politics and voting system.
“INEC has said they are ready. President Muhammadu Buhari told you when he met you that he is ready. The only people we have to beg to make that happen is the National Assembly,” she stated.
It could be recalled that In 2016, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said the commission was “determined to provide Nigerians living outside the country the opportunity to have a say in determining who will be our leaders”.