FORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) deputy governor and presidential candidate Professor Kingsley Moghalu has called on Nigeria’s National Assembly to hurriedly pass new laws that will enable diasporans vote in the 2023 general elections.
A former diasporan himself, Professor Mogahlu ran for president in the 2019 elections as the candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP). Pointing out that Nigeria needs to contributions of the disapora, Professor Moghalu said allowing them to vote would give them a higher sense of belonging.
He added that Nigerians must have the ability to vote from abroad, as is currently the case in Ghana and many other countries. According to Professor Moghalu, fast-tracking the constitutional review to accommodate diaspora voting now would give the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) enough time to fine-tune the process.
Professor Moghalu said: “Nigerians living and earning their living abroad is not a crime. It is their right, so their citizenship should not be denigrated because of where they live.
“Every country has a diaspora, some at leisure and others by force of circumstances like economic migration. Now, 2023 may seem far but is by the corner, especially for Inec as it needs ample time to register and accommodate every eligible Nigerian living abroad to be part of the voting process.
“If the Central Bank of Nigeria can woo diaspora remittances, we need to woo their votes too.”
In October last year, former Inec chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, urged the National Assembly to amend sections of the constitution and the Electoral Act to enable Nigerians abroad to vote. His views have been championed by the chair of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.