The Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria (PMNN) has called for inclusion of Diaspora voting in the 2018 Supplementary Budget for the 2019 general elections.
The President of the group, Alhaji Yahaya Ndu, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ndu explained that there was need to remind the National Assembly to kindly ensure that provision was expressly made and forms part of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) budget being discussed presently for the upcoming general elections.
“As you are no doubt aware a properly constituted court in Nigeria in 2007 had expressly held in a judgment that Nigerians in the Diaspora should be allowed and accommodated to vote and be voted for in the nation’s elections.
“A full 11 years and two general elections after that judicial declaration, Nigerians in the Diaspora are still disenfranchised,’’ he noted.
He said that democracy must be predicated on the rule of law.
He added that the National Assembly in line with its avowed commitment to the observance of the rule should ensure that Nigerians in Diaspora were accommodated in the provisions and budget for 2019 general elections.
The president of PMNN explained that INEC as presently constituted had always spoken out on the need to provide and allow Diaspora voting and here was an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine commitment to this noble goal.
“Incidentally about 21 African countries and over a 150 other nations in the globe allow and made provisions for their own Diaspora voting.
“Nigerian Diaspora in 2017 remitted over $27 billion to their father land Nigeria.
“And it is unfathomable that over 30 million citizens of our countrymen and women most of whom are distinguished professionals in all areas of human endeavour are most unpatriotically shut out of the election polity under a democracy.
“We therefore trust that the National Assembly has the will to ensure that the Nigerians Diaspora are allowed and accommodated to vote and be voted for in the upcoming 2019 general elections,” Ndu urged.