Nigeria: NiDCOM to Continue Advocating Diaspora Voting in Nigerian Elections – Official

According to Ms Dabiri-Erewa, diaspora voting is something that has to happen; although the parliament argues that Nigeria has yet to perfect voting and as such, is not ready for diaspora voting.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on Wednesday said it will continue to advocate for the passage of the diaspora voting bill that was shut down months ago by the Nigerian parliament.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of NiDCOM, during a press briefing to announce the upcoming National Diaspora Day, said the commission will continue to appeal to the national assembly.

“Without the national assembly amending the laws, we are all helpless. We have to continue to lobby, beg, plead for parliament to see the need for diaspora voting and all of you media should make it a topic of discussion,” she said.

According to Ms Dabiri-Erewa, diaspora voting is something that has to happen; although the parliament argues that Nigeria has yet to perfect voting and as such, is not ready for diaspora voting.

“If we keep waiting for perfection, nothing will happen and INEC is ready. Now there is electronic transmission of results, so it is just to engage the national assembly more,” she said.

The national assembly had in March voted against diaspora voting during a constitution review despite INEC saying it was prepared for diaspora voting.

Ms Dabiri-Erewa charged members of Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) present at the meeting to also lend their voice to the advocacy.

Nigerian National Diaspora Day

Nigeria will on July 25 mark its national diaspora day in a hybrid event in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The event themed “Diaspora Engagement in global challenging times for National Development,” according to Ms Dabiri-Erewa, is essential for national development as “no nation in the world will grow without its Diaspora.”

She added that it would be a networking, advocacy and mobilisation event to celebrate the achievements of the over 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora who contribute to national development; as well as facilitate engagements among the Diaspora with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government amongst others.

Susan Waya, chairperson of NIDO UK South said, “we use the National Diaspora Day to empower the less privileged. It is not just about sending money back home but identifying with home.”

She also urged young people to stop the mass exodus from the country, saying “There is nothing out there.”

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