President Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerians in diaspora that there are too many people talking lazily about restructuring and that they will not participate in the 2019 general elections. He also noted that Nigerians outside the shores of the country will not vote in the 2019 general elections.
The President made this statement during an interactive session with Nigerian Community living in France, on Monday, 12 November 2018.
The Nigerian community is made up of Nigerian Diaspora Organization (NIDO), All Progressives Congress (APC) members in France, students, and friends of Nigeria were asked questions ranging from restructuring, security, anti-corruption, education and opportunity for Nigerians in diaspora to vote in 2019 general elections.
According to Buhari, there should be a proper definition of what Nigerians want before the government can delve into restructuring the country. He also noted that many Nigerians who have been calling for restructuring have been doing so without defining what the restructuring should be.
“There are too many people talking lazily about restructuring in Nigeria. Unfortunately, people are not asking them individually what do they mean by restructuring? What form do they want restructuring to take?
“Do they want us to have something like the three regions we used to have? And now we have 36 states and the FCT. What form do they want? They are just talking loosely about restructuring.
“Let them define it and then we see how we can peacefully do it in the interest of Nigerians. They are just saying they want Nigeria restructured and they don’t have the clue of what the form the restructuring should be.
“So, anybody who talks to you about restructuring in Nigeria, ask him what he means and the form he wants it to take,”
President Buhari also gave reasons why Nigerians in diaspora might not vote in the 2019 general elections, saying that it will be very difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place structures to accommodate them with just about three months to the 2019 elections.
While noting that the increasing Nigeria population in the diaspora supports the calls for their participation in electing Nigeria leaders, Buhari said that it might not happen in the 2019 general elections as INEC had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements to conduct credible elections within the country.
But he said that Nigerians in diaspora would definitely participate in future elections. He added that the Nigerian constitution had taken into cognizance the need for representation in the political structures in order to ensure harmony and development, urging more people to pick interest in governance and quality representation.