The President of the Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria (PMNN), Alhaji Yahaya Ndu has make case for the inclusion of provisions that would enable Nigerians abroad to vote in 2019 general elections.
The group also urged the National Assembly to ensure that necessary legal and budgetary requirements were made to make voting by Nigerians in the Diaspora vote next year.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the former presidential candidate of the defunct African Renaissance Party (ARP) recalled that the Nigerian Diaspora in 2017 remitted over $27 billion to Nigeria.
He lamented that it was unfathomable that over 30 million citizens of the country “most of whom are distinguished professionals in all areas of human endeavour are most unpatriotically shut out of the election polity under a democracy.”
The statement reads: “We most respectfully remind the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to kindly ensure that provision in expressly made and forms part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) budget being discussed presently for the upcoming 2019 general elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As you are no doubt aware a properly constituted court in Nigeria in 2007 had expressly held in a judgement that Nigerians in the Diaspora should be allowed and accommodated to vote and be voted for in the nation’s elections.
“A full eleven years and two general elections after that judicial declaration Nigerians in the Diaspora are still disenfranchised.
“Democracy must be predicted on the Rule of Law and the present National Assembly in line with its avowed commitment to the observance of the Rule should ensure that the Nigerian Diaspora are expressly accommodated in the provisions and budget for the upcoming 2019 general elections
“Fortunately, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC as presently constituted has always spoken out on the need to provide for, allow and accommodate Diaspora voting and here is an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine commitment to this noble goal.
“Incidentally about 21 African countries and over a hundred and fifty other nations in the globe allow and made provisions for their own Diaspora voting.
“Nigerian Diaspora in 2017 remitted over $27b to their father land Nigeria and it is unfathomable that over 30 million citizens of our countrymen and women most of whom are Distinguished professionals in all areas of human endeavour are most unpatriotically shut out of the election polity under a democracy
“We therefore trust that the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will ensure that the Nigerian Diaspora are allowed and accommodated to vote and be voted for in the upcoming 2019 general elections”, the stat concluded.