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
"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
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
"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
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