2027 Election: Senate Leader, 12 others to lead discussions at diaspora forum
Opeyemi Bamidele, Senate Leader
Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga
To support the National Assembly in its ongoing efforts to further educate Nigerians abroad on the plans for diaspora voting, the Senate leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, will lead 12 other speakers to chart a new path for the country’s electoral process before the 2027 general elections.
Bamidele, who is the Chief Speaker, would be leading the NIDCOM boss, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and other Nigerian experts residing abroad at the Diaspora Virtual Dialogue forum put together jointly by the Engage Diaspora Foundation and Nigerian Diaspora Forum (NDF), to discuss the need for the Electoral Act 2022 to accommodate Nigerian citizens living abroad to exercise their voting rights during elections.
Announcing the conference fixed for Sunday, November 12th, with the theme: “A Pivotal Step Towards Achieving Diaspora Voting Right”, the Engage Diaspora Foundation, in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, stated that the forum would serve as an avenue for both lawmakers and Nigerians abroad to share ideas on best mode for diaspora voting.
It added that during this dialogue, they would be able to share ideas on challenges that had previously prevented diaspora voting and emerging issues that had made involvement of Nigerians abroad in the electoral process important.
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According to the statement, this dialogue is with a view to repositioning the nation’s elections towards giving Nigerians, irrespective of their locations outside the country, the opportunity to participate during general elections by casting their votes beginning in 2027.
The forum would be coming days after the senate indicated that there was a need to amend the Electoral Act to allow for diaspora voting, especially citizens on essential services abroad.
The Senate noted that it was necessary for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be unbundled to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in the preparation and conduct of elections.
“Introduce diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens,” according to a communiqué issued by the Senate at the end of its retreat in Ikot Ikpene, Akwa-Ibom on October 21st.