Elec­toral law amend­ment should cover Di­as­pora vot­ing –Dabiri-erewa

The Punch - - POLITICS TODAY - John Ameh, Abuja

The Chair­man/chief Executive Of­fi­cer of the Nige­ri­ans in Di­as­pora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-erewa, on Tues­day, re­vis­ited the call to amend the coun­try’s elec­toral laws to cover vot­ing by Nige­ri­ans in the Di­as­pora.

The Na­tional As­sem­bly is cur­rently propos­ing fur­ther amend­ments to the Elec­toral Act, and the NIDCOM chair­man said this pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity for di­as­pora vot­ing to be in­cluded.

Dabiri-erewa, a for­mer Chair­man, house of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ Com­mit­tee on Di­as­pora Mat­ters, stated this at the Pres­i­den­tial Villa, Abuja, after a meet­ing with the Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (retd.).

She said, “Our laws, as we have to­day, there is no pro­vi­sion for Nige­ri­ans out­side the coun­try to vote.

“So, what we are say­ing is add a sim­ple amend­ment to al­low Nige­ri­ans liv­ing out­side the coun­try to par­tic­i­pate dur­ing elec­tions,” she stated.

Ac­cord­ing to Dabir­iErewa, the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Commission is ready for di­as­pora vot­ing, ex­cept that it lacks the le­gal back­ing to do so.

“INEC has said that it is ready. So, we can work in col­lab­o­ra­tion with INEC for this to be done,” she added.

The for­mer Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Di­as­pora Af­fairs, said she came to brief Buhari on the ac­tiv­i­ties of NIDCOM in the last one year since its in­au­gu­ra­tion.

She told State house Cor­re­spon­dents that among the achieve­ments of the commission was the pro­posal on Nige­ria’s Di­as­pora Pol­icy, adding that it was await­ing for­mal pas­sage through the leg­is­la­ture.

The for­mer law­maker, who rep­re­sented Iko­rodu Fed­eral Con­stituency at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, dis­closed that up to $25bn of funds from Nige­ri­ans in the Di­as­pora was re­mit­ted home in 2019.

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