The dream of Nigerians living outside their homeland to participate at national elections seems to be edging closer to realisation.
A strong case was made on Tuesday for diaspora voting rights at the National Assembly by no less a person than a leading member of the ruling APC and Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Hon. Dabiri-Erewa urged the National Assembly to pass a bill that will allow Nigerians in the diaspora Nigerians to participate in elections from their places of residence worldwide.
She made the appeal in Abuja when she appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs to defend the NiDCOM’s 2020 budget proposal.
She said, “Diaspora voting is in your hands and I think it will be a legacy that you can leave. It does not have to be in 2023 but put a timeframe to when they can vote. It is something we owe Nigerians in the diaspora”.
Dabiri-Erewa also called for an enabling bill allowing electronic voting, which is necessary to facilitate diaspora voting.
Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation has been calling for voting rights to be extended to citizens living abroad for many years. However, analysts call for a cautious approach on the matter as diaspora voting entails gargantuan logistics challenges which if not well managed could also more opportunities for electoral malpractice.