Diaspora Nigerians Seek FG’s Collaboration, Want Inclusion In Voting

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Nigerians in the diaspora have called on the Federal Government to collaborate with it in a bid to move the country forward, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

The Nigerians also challenged the government to amend its electoral law to accommodate the country’s citizens who reside abroad to participate in the country’s election process through the casting of votes, starting from the 2023 general elections.

Mr. Abolaji Adedayo, the President of the Nigerian Community in Mantova (NCM) in Italy stated this over the weekend in the European country to mark the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria.

Adedayo in his opening remarks, at the event with the theme: ‘Nigeria Elections 2023: The Role of Nigerians in the Diaspora,’ said that the remittance of Nigerians abroad would never be enough, but said their inclusion in the country’s election process would contribute meaningfully to the rapid infrastructural and socio-economic development of the country.

He also appealed to the Italian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to work on the Nigerian Government to make this a reality and urged it to include this in its National Diaspora Summit scheduled for November in Rome.

He said: “The meditation from our part in the association, rather than continue complaining, but trying to proffer solutions actually birth this occasion with the theme, the invited guests, selected topics and speakers.

“I believe the guest speakers will discuss extensively, how pertinent it is to appreciate and collaborate with us on advocacy for diaspora voting of Nigerians in Nigeria general elections; how valued and resourceful Nigerians are in contributing to policy-making outside the shores of Nigeria; and, how socio-political integration and cooperation contribute to socio-economic development.”

Adedayo also regretted that despite the independence from Britain in 1960, the exodus of Nigerians to Europe and other continents around the world had increased with the “Japa syndrome.”

He queried if the country was truly independent, lamenting that Nigerians home and abroad were feeling the heat.

The President also mentioned the paucity of funds to execute many of its projects and the apathy of most Nigerians toward the association as some of the challenges facing the NCM.

“More so, the big challenge, is our members in the Province and beyond find it difficult to secure apartments to rent despite being regular with documents and employment. I appeal for assistance in this regard.”

He appealed to the host country to wade into the situation and create a level playing field for all irrespective of their origins.

But, he noted the host country had been consistent over the years, especially in the areas of hospitality for Nigerians in that province.

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