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Nigeria Politics

TINUBU VOWS TO INVOLVE DIASPORANS IN HIS POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL: July 27th, 2023

Tinubu vows to involve diaspora Nigerians in policy implementation

President Bola Tinubu said on Tuesday that the government would make sure Nigerians living abroad are part of the policy-making process

He added that this would help deepen democracy in the country and ensure his administration enjoys the needed support from Nigerians in the diaspora.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, the President at the 2023 National Diaspora Day in Abuja, Tinubu noted that Diaspora support and contributions to national development were key.

Tinubu said, “Our country is emerging into a new dawn of dedicated efforts to ensure national development guarantees peace and promote prosperity for all our nation’s people.

“The ambition we have in this regard cannot be fully realised without the support, contribution, and participation of our brothers and sisters all over the world.

“As such, all deliberate efforts will be made in this administration to ensure that Nigerians in the diaspora community are involved in designing, implementing, and reviewing public policies, plans, and programmes.

“May I also let you know that this new democratically elected government is a Diaspora-friendly one. This will provide an enabling platform for effective policies for the Diaspora with the view to galvanizing support for the new administration and concretising our democracy, setting an example for other African countries to emulate.”

Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adamu Lamuwa, stated that Nigerians in the diaspora must be sustained towards achieving a developed country.

Lamuwa stated “We have entered a new phase of consolidating diaspora engagement to promote national development.

“This momentum must be sustained even in a dynamic world to bring about the rapid development of our great nation.”

In her remarks, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said, “Our theme is not only appropriate but a summary of the entire mandate of NiDCOM which is to engage and harness the talent, skills, resources and global exposure of Nigerians in the Diaspora for national development.

“Our interactions with the Diaspora community during this year’s National Diaspora Day celebrations, therefore are expected to mobilise the Diaspora to key into some of the programmes of the government and to chart improved and better ways on how to achieve the positive results for national development within the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of the government.”

@Punch

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Nigeria Politics USA/Europe

NIGERIA IS NOT TECHNICALLY RIPE FOR DIASPORA VOTING – DIASPORA LEAGUE

PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : January 2nd, 2022

Prince Olalekan Ojo Martins, Convener, Nigerian Diaspora League (NDL)

NIGERIA IS NOT RIPE FOR DIASPORA VOTING

The Nigerian Diaspora League on Friday in a new year message listed certain arrangements that must be in place before the National Assembly could come up with necessary legislation that would enable Nigerians who are resident abroad to participate in future general elections in the country.

The NDL also said the current situation in the country regarding power, ICT proficiency and poor telecommunications system was not conducive for the National Assembly to come up with a law that would legalize voting in the country.

The Convener, Nigerian Diaspora League, NDL, Prince Olalekan Ojo Martins in the State of Texas, USA, has said that Nigeria is not yet technically and financially ready to allow Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the 2023 and 2027 general elections.

The Ojo Martins during a meeting with NDL Executive Committee members said he was not against the right of Nigerians in Diaspora participating during elections by voting.

He noted that it was the National Assembly that should pass the relevant laws to give a legal backing to Diaspora voting.

The Chartered Public Relations Practitioner who disclosed this in an interview with Push News 24 International said that the call on National Assembly by Nigerians to fast track legislation that would allow Nigerians in diaspora to vote would not be possible following common home-grown irregularities that are still militating against the electoral process in the country.

To this end, the irregularities that mars the electoral system must be looked into before Nigerians in abroad could vote.
Irregularities, which include lack of an undated voter’s register, late arrival of voting materials among, adequate voters education, security amongst others, must be corrected before initiating diaspora voting.
“If a child is born, the child will learn how speak, crawl before beginning to run.
Voters in Nigeria do not have confidence in the electoral process in term of provision of voting materials. All these have not been corrected.
“There are a lot of names of voters not being appeared on voter’s register which militating against the electoral process to have free and fair elections in the country and this must be looked into
” Martins explained.

Martins said, “ There are so many things that are involved in Diaspora voting. It is not just enough to say that we are going to do diaspora voting.

it is not as if we are opposed to diaspora voting as stakeholders but there are so many challenges and issues that we have to be resolved first.

Prince Martins noted that the local elections in the country are usually confronted with numerous challenges especially when few numbers of votes are needed to determine the winner of an election, particularly at the state levels.

He said, “ For instance the Sokoto governorship election where the margin between the winner and the runner-up was very slim. Who will be the beneficiary of the votes from the Diaspora especially when the winner would be determined by the votes from the diaspora?

“We also have to determine who constitute the diaspora. Are they only Nigerians in Europe, America and Asia or are we also going to recognise Nigerians who are living in African countries?

There are speculations that the population of Nigerians in Sudan, Niger, and Chad alone are running into millions. We also have Nigerians residing in other African countries. So, will all those millions of Nigerians there be allowed to vote under the diaspora voting?

Another issue to determine is that, is it only those who genuinely emigrate and legitimately living in those country that would be regarded as diaspora? Are we talking about the documented and non documented Nigerians that are living abroad?

Now, because of the nature of our elections, in which of the elections would the Nigerians in Diaspora vote? For instance, we talk about the local government election. Will the Disporans vote in such elections? How are we going to determine the local government they are voting for?

“Will they also vote in the National and state assembly elections? How are we going to determine the constituency or the lawmakers they are voting for? Is there any machinery in place to determine that? The answer is No!

In the governorship election, are they going to vote according to their state of origin? The fact is that we don’t even have any arrangement or records in place to determine that, at least for now.

So, it is not just enough to say the National Assembly should legislate on Diaspora voting but we have to find a way to address the serious issues that could hinder the process before coming up with any legislation that would give it a legal backing.”

Prince Ojo Martins noted that Nigeria Diaspora League (NDL) will be willing to work with the National Assembly on Diaspora voting but that all the important issues must be critically looked into to avoid consequences that may jeopardize the bill.

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Nigeria Politics USA/Europe

DIASPORA VOTING : NIDCOM TO ASSIST IN DRAFTING BILL – ABIKE DABIRI

PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : January 2nd, 2022

Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NIDCOM Boss

Former Lawmaker and Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has come to clear the air on diaspora voting as we count down to the 2023 general elections.

Abike Dabiri, who, without a shred of doubt had raised the bar during her hugely successful stint as a journalist, who has been the face and link between Nigerians living abroad and the Federal Government is also confident that diaspora voting is doable.

Push News 24 International confirms that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission through Abike’s leadership has expressed its readiness to assist Nigerians abroad to ensure that the National Assembly passes a law that will allow them to vote during general elections.

It however agreed that the proposed diaspora voting can be limited to some countries for a start.

The NIDCOM Chairman, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed these in an interview with the media.

Dabiri-Erewa in the interview, said her commission would do everything possible to assist Nigerians in Diaspora to achieve their dream on diaspora voting.

The assistance, she explained, would include the drafting of a bill that would be sent to the National Assembly as well as the necessary lobbying needed to ensure that the proposed amendment to the nation’s electoral laws scale through at the parliament.

She further disclosed that a seminar, where the issue and others as well as the possible challenges and how to tackle them would be addressed, had been fixed for Monday.

She said, “We will do everything to push along with Nigerians in diaspora on this issue of diaspora voting.

A bill will be drafted and sent to the parliament to be included in the constitution amendment process because we will need the constitution to be amended to accommodate it.

For now, diaspora voting may not feature the whole world. We will draft the bill in a manner that will give INEC the discretion to decide which countries for now, whether UK, US or so.”

Dabiri-Erewa worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for fifteen years, anchoring the weekly NTA News line programme and taking a particular interest in poverty and social justice issues. She retired from her position at Nigerian Television Authority to stand for election in the House of Representatives, winning with a substantial majority.

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