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Nigerians abroad insist on right to vote


Nigerians living abroad say they have submitted a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Constitution Amendments seeking to be granted the right to vote and be voted for.

Chief Gabe Okoye, Secretary of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation in Americas (NIDOA) disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Monday.

He said that the memorandum was also sent to the President, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Okoye disclosed that the leaders of all Diaspora organisations would be in Abuja in April to start lobbying for the proposed change.

He said NIDOA would soon announce a date for every Nigerian in Diaspora who could afford it to travel to Abuja in support of their voting rights. `` We have also started dialoguing with National ethnic organisations to help lobby the National Assembly contingent from their respective regions in favour of our proposal. On the Nigerian Diaspora Commission bill before the National Assembly, Okoye acknowledged that the bill was making progress, but at a snail-speed pace.

According to Okoye, , NIDOA is working to ensure the passage of the bill. ``NIDO also convened a meeting of all Diaspora organisations and we took the same steps as we did for the voting rights issue. `` We wrote a letter to the President, reminding him of his promise to create this Commission and copied the letter to all the top rank leaders of Nigeria.

``The Letter Delivery Committee will soon finish delivering this letter to all concerned. The lobbying effort is for both the Diaspora Voting Rights and Nigerian Diaspora Commission Bill,’’ he stated.



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