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 Nigeria Presidential elections. So we urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), And the National Assembly to expedite action by amending sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act (2010 as amended) to make way for Nigerians living outside the country to participate in the electoral process and vote.
We believe that Nigerians living outside the country should have the right to vote for a variety of reasons: they are citizens of Nigeria interested in the affairs of their own country; they make considerable contribution to the economy through huge financial inflow to the country; there is a sizable amount of Nigerian citizens living outside the country; and Diaspora voting is consistent with global best practices “.
Over the years, African communities originating from Mali, Senegal, Benin, Algeria, Namibia and Mozambique, among others, granted the opportunity to vote from their new home during election, have reinvented their ties with their countries of origin. 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. Over the years, in addition to accessing this right, certain members of the diaspora have also chosen to create new tools for mobilisation and involvement in order to amplify their contribution to politics, the economy and society across the continent. Associations, brainstorming clubs and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been created in numerous host countries with a view to increasing participation in the electoral process in Africa. These members of the diaspora have become more than just voters living abroad: through these initiatives and organisations they have become opinion leaders, and educators who disseminate information on institutional mechanisms and citizens’ participation… in short, genuinely engaged stakeholders, promoting democracy. Another essential element, which even takes precedence over the electoral issue, is the growing economic weight of members of the diaspora in African economies.
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 foundations 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 The strong involvement of members of the diaspora in building a sustainable africa economy
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