Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Worldwide (NIDOWW), has flayed a Bill for an Act to alter provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on Diaspora voting and other related matters.
This is contained in a communiqué issued by Linus Unamadu, NIDOWW’s Coordinating Chairman, on Thursday, in Abuja.
The communiqué was co-signed by Dr Chikelu Kingsman, Chairman NIDO-Africa, Engr. Obed Monago, outgoing Chairman NIDO-Americas, Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, Chairman NIDO-Asia, Dr Bashir Obasekola, Chairman NIDO-Europe and Unamadu, Chairman NIDO-Oceania.
According to Unamadu, NIDOWW frowns at the recent voting down of the bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution, to provide for Diaspora voting and other related matters.
“We therefore request that the National Assembly immediately reconsider the Bill; we are readily available to discuss any matter that will assist in ensuring that this Bill is reconsidered timely and passed.
“This Bill presents the 9th National Assembly a golden opportunity to entrench its name in the history of Diaspora engagement.
“At this stage, in order to be heard, we may not need to descend on the National Assembly or protest on the streets of our various embassies abroad, as being currently considered by our constituency.
“We feel it is sufficient through this medium to appeal to the Senate and the House of Representatives to see that our concerns are resolved,” it said.
NIDOWW said that the right of Nigerians in Diaspora to vote was the hallmark of citizenship, saying their Foreign Direct Investment and knowledge transfer were significant in nation building.
The group decried voting down of the Bill saying, it had brought to naught the Federal Government’s national policy on Diaspora and relative engagement, adding that NIDOWW often portrayed Nigerian in good image.
NIDOWW described Nigerians in Diaspora as great ambassadors and would not mislead lawmakers, reiterating that it was time for compatriots in Diaspora to vote in the forthcoming election.
NIDOWW is the continental umbrella organisation of Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO), in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
The position of the Coordinating Chairman of the organisation is rotational and based on a three-month single term.