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Nigeria not ripe for Diaspora voting — NBA

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Auta Nyada, the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Legal Education Committee, has said Nigeria is not ripe enough for Diaspora voting.

Mr Nyada said this at the Multi-stakeholders’ Forum on Youth Electoral Reform Priorities on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that although the idea of Diaspora voting had been raised by many groups in recent times, the electoral system was not matured enough to accommodate it.

Mr Nyada advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to concentrate on addressing the loopholes observed in the 2023 general election and the other off-cycle elections rather than delve into Diaspora voting.

“Diaspora voting is actually a good idea, but for me, I don’t think that Nigeria has reached the stage for Diaspora voting, introducing Diaspora voting will require a lot to be successful.

“Nigeria is still struggling with the operation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and people are talking about Diaspora voting.

“We are witnesses to the malfunctioning of the BVAS in the 2023 general election, I think we should work toward rectifying the problem, instead of talking about Diaspora voting, ” he said.

Mr Nyada said that Nigeria must put in a watertight technology before thinking about Diaspora voting.

“So many foreigners are getting the National Identification Number (NIN) in spite of the stringent regulations by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

“If you introduce Diaspora voting today in Nigeria, all black people in the world could decide to vote as Nigerians.

“We don’t have a watertight security system to identify genuine Nigerians from others, I think Diaspora voting is for future and not now, ” he said.

Mr Nyada also called for the amendment of the Electoral Act to ensure that all election matters were terminated before elected officials were sworn in.

“You can’t expect me to have a control over the state power apparatus and still expect me to lose an election case in court, it is really impossible, ” he said.

NAN

 

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