That Nigerians In the Diaspora) should be allowed to vote
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We, the undersigned, believe that Nigerians abroad (In the Diaspora) should be allowed to vote in the Nigerian Presidential Elections. To this end, we urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the National Assembly to expedite action to make it a reality. This should be done by amending sections of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 and the Electoral Act (2010 as amended), to enable Nigerians living outside the country to participate in the electoral process by voting.
We believe that Nigerians living outside the country should have the right to vote for a variety of reasons. Pertinent among which are:
1. They are citizens of Nigeria who are interested in the affairs of their own country;
2.They make considerable contributions to the Nigerian economy through huge financial inflow to the country;
3.There is a sizable number of Nigerian citizens living outside the country, and Diaspora voting is consistent with global best practices.
Over the years, it has been noted that African communities originating from Mali, Senegal, Benin, Algeria, Namibia and Mozambique among others, who have been granted the opportunity to vote from their new homes during elections in their respective countries, have reinvented their ties with their countries of birth. In addition to its symbolic value, the vote, as a fundamental expression of democracy has become a means of reaffirming and reinforcing citizenship. This major change has brought about a feeling of greater closeness to their “native land.” By making emigrant citizens permanent stakeholders in the ongoing history of their country. The right to vote has demolished a significant portion of the psychological barrier that used to exist between them and their homeland.
Furthermore, in addition to accessing this right, certain members of the diaspora have also chosen to create new tools for mobilization and involvement in order to amplify their contributions to the politics, economy and general wellbeing of the society all across the continent. They’ve done this through the creation of associations, brainstorming clubs, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in numerous host countries with a view to increase participation in the electoral processes in Africa. Consequently, these members of the diaspora community have become more than just
voters living abroad. Through these various initiatives and organizations, they have become opinion leaders and educators who disseminate information on institutional mechanisms and participation participation. As a matter of fact, they are indeed genuinely engaged stakeholders, strongly promoting democracy. Another essential element which arguably takes precedence over the electoral issue, is the growing economic weight of Africa diaspora in the African economy.
Over the last two decades, the granting of the African Diaspora’s right to vote has mechanically stimulated their commitment to democracy building. At the same time, this “revolution” has laid down the foundation for a new citizen’s representation, sustained notably by the idea diversely promoted by the diaspora of a “different management” of political power in African countries. We believe in the strong involvement of members of the diaspora in the promotion of good governance, and in building a sustainable African economy.
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