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Nigerians in diaspora should be allowed to vote - Soyode

2015-01-15 22:28
Party supporters dance carries a banner with picture of Nigerian President and Presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party Goodluck Jonathan during a rally in Lagos on January 8, 2015. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thurs ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Lagos - Mr Alistair Soyode, the Chairman of BEN Television, UK, has urged the Federal Government to allow Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote in subsequent elections after 2015.

Soyode told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that the authorities would have to take the necessary steps to make the demand a reality through a constitutional amendment.

"I think it is very important for Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote.

"Since the advent of the present administration they have always been trying to promise that the Nigerians in Diaspora should be able to vote from that 2011.

"But now as we know, this is a new era, Nigeria is celebrating her centenary year as well - 2014 from 1914.

"There’s no better time as much as we have been than to actually move into a new century season which starts again from 2015 for Nigerians.

Also read: INEC assures on diaspora voting

"So, we are hoping that whoever is going to come in, if it is the same government, would absolutely deliver the promise they have been making for Nigerians that they should be able to vote.

"And if it is a new government that is coming in, then we want them to make it a priority that they remember that other African countries are actually doing the same allowing their Diaspora community and citizens to vote.

"There’s no any other impediment that should not allow Nigerians who have contributed massively towards national development.

"And have contributed immensely in their host countries to be able to vote, especially, bearing in mind that they want to vote.’’

Soyode, however, admitted that it might not be possible to allow all Nigerians in Diaspora to vote because of their scanty presence in those countries.

He said that countries like the UK, U.S., Germany, Brazil, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore could be used as a springboard for Nigerians in the Diaspora to exercise their civil rights.

NAN reports that Soyode is a founding member of Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) and the former the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the organisation.

He is also the founder and initiator of Africa Diaspora Investment Forum, an NGO mobilising the Diaspora to invest in Africa, through organising forums and seminars between African businesses in Africa and the Diaspora since 2004.

Read more on: lagos  |  elections 2015

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