By Ajibola Abayomi
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe (NIDO-Europe) has commended the National Assembly for adopting clause 52 (3) in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021, which stipulates that voting during election and transmission of results shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Further to this, the organization urged the Federal Government to consider amendment of the constitution to allow Nigerians abroad to vote during elections.
A statement signed by the Continental Chairman of NIDOE, Dr Bashir Obasekola and the Continental Public Relations Officer, Fidel Wilson, said”: This adoption is indeed a step in the right direction as it allows INEC to be more technologically inclined and introduce more technology into the electoral process.”
NIDEO was optimistic that the step would enhance credible elections in Nigeria, including e-voting.
The statement in parts further stated that: “As the block-chain technology develops, it has become clearer that it is possible to do e-voting without the fear of hacking.
“Above all, we, Nigerians in the diaspora, are optimistic that the introduction of this clause would eventually pave the way not only for absentee voting, but accelerate the adoption of diaspora voting that would bring assurance to the rights of diaspora Nigerians to vote in Nigeria elections.
“To this end, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to also yield to the yearnings and expectations of Nigerians at home and abroad by assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 once it gets to his desk. When the Bill becomes a law it will significantly boost citizen civic participation and trust in Nigerian electoral process.
“In the same vein, we are hopeful that the Joint Constitutional Review Committee of the National Assembly will invoke the same spirit of democratic progress in taking on board, the proposals on the constitutional amendments that will make diaspora voting a done-deal in Nigeria before the 2023 general elections.”