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NIGERIA: SENATE PUSHES FOR DIASPORA VOTING IN 2019

The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs is pushing for Diaspora voting in the coming general elections in 2019, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu has said.

Sunmonu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that giving franchise to Nigerians abroad would give the impression that “they are part of the system”.

“The first thing that we must do is for Nigerians to have their rights to cast their votes anywhere they are.

“If you cast your vote, that makes you a part of the system,” she said.

She also said her committee had suggested how Nigerians in the Diaspora could vote in future elections.

According to her, the Diaspora Nigerians who have the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) can cast their votes as the PCV has all their personal data and fingerprint.

“The Nigerian Passports that are issued to people outside the country is the same thing with fingerprints and personal data.

“They can use that to cast their votes outside. So that shows they are Nigerians.

“If we start from there and they know that Nigerians outside can as well vote, then they will be able to know that we incorporate them into the system.

“They will know that it is their rights to come and fight for anything in Nigeria, to come and say yes, this is our votes in New York, Switzerland or anywhere.

“We must start with that; that is where we must start, to make them eligible to vote.”

Sunmonu, however, said she could not promise that Diaspora voting would be a reality in the 2019 general elections.

“I can’t say but we know that as things are going now, the Senate will not hesitate to do its best and I will say that I give kudos to the leadership of the Senate who is looking at this.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK