Why INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu Is Making Case For Diaspora Voting

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu Makes Case For Diaspora Voting

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has said Nigeria’s quest for inclusive election will not be complete until there are provisions for diaspora voting.

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INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu Makes Case For Diaspora Voting

Yakubu stated this on Tuesday at Chatham House in the United Kingdom.

He said there is a need to look into the necessary framework to ensure that persons in the diaspora can participate in Nigeria’s elections.

“Voting by millions of Nigerians living outside the country remains a recurrent issue for the commission. Nigeria is said to have one of the largest diaspora communities in the world,” he said.

“Our quest for a fully inclusive electoral process in Nigeria will not be complete as long as these Nigerians are unable to vote.

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“However, the commission only acts in accordance with the electoral legal framework, which remains the main reason why we cannot implement diaspora voting for now. 

“Both the 1999 constitution and the 2022 Electoral Act provide that voters can only be registered and vote within the country. For instance, section 77(2) of the constitution provides that ‘every citizen of Nigeria, who has attained the age of eighteen years residing in Nigeria at the time of the registration of voters for purposes of election to a legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election’. 

“Sections 132(5) and 178(5) tie the eligibility to register and vote in executive elections (presidential and governorship) to the requirement of residency as in the case of legislative houses.

“The commission hopes that these legal obstacles will be cleared at some point to enable Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in elections.”

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Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo has refuted media reports which alleged the state government abandoned the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Celestine Uzodike blessed with sextuplet.

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