Voters Registration Exercise: Whither Diaspora Votes?
The last time I checked about the promise for Nigerians in diaspora to vote, was that the bill did not scale through at the National Assembly. However, President Buhari while on a 2 day visit to Cameroon in 2015, promised that Nigerians in diaspora would be eligible to vote in the next generation election which is 2019. Till date no information whether those in diaspora would vote or not. No idea if President Buhari is genuinely interested in this project or not.
Those of us in diaspora appear not to be helping matters either. There should be sustained pressure, protest and lobbying at the National Assembly till this bill is passed. Nigerians in diaspora account for the second largest source of foreign exchange. World Bank estimates that Nigerians in diaspora would remit $22 billion dollars to Nigeria in 2017. Over 19 million Nigerians are in diaspora. They are very significant to be disenfranchised from voting. Logistics can be worked out as other third world countries are doing it.
Time to revisit the bill that would allow diaspora votes.