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Nigerian envoy wants INEC offices in foreign missions

2015-02-12 22:23
A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Badagry - Mr Lawrence Obisakin, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, on Thursday called for the establishment of offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in some Nigeria’s foreign missions.

He said that foreign offices of the commission would address the agitation by Nigerians living abroad to participate in the electoral processes at home.

Obisakin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) could also be used as identity for Nigerians in foreign lands.

He said that the campaign organised by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) in Cotonou recently indicated that it would be possible for Nigerians living aboard to vote in future elections in the country.

"There are possibilities of Nigerians living abroad to vote in future elections if the issue of voter registration and provision of electoral materials are addressed.

Also read: INEC weighs six-week election delay: lawmakers

"Voting of Nigerians living aboard may not be hectic in the future if those issues are address.

"Apart from voting, the PVC will help in developing the data base for the country, because it will create a genuine identity for Nigerians,’’ the envoy said.

He said that the agitation of Nigerians in the Diaspora was genuine and that INEC should look into it.

"It is extremely important that Nigerians in Diaspora should be able to vote during the general elections, because it would allow them have a say in the election of leadership back home,’’ Obisakin said.

He said that Nigeria was gradually attaining the global standard practices in electoral processes in spite of hiccups.

"Nigeria has made a lot of progress and the truth of the matter is that it can only get better.

"We will definitely reach the expected global standard practices in election and we will surpass it," he noted. 

Read more on: inec  |  elections

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