The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been urged to register Nigerians in the Diaspora to enable them exercise their franchise in the 2019 elections.
The Eze Ndigbo, Mekong River, Thailand and Nigerian Peace Ambassador to Asia Eze Uzochukwu Jerome Ezeneche made the call in a statement made available to Daily Sun.
Ezeneche said that the non-registration of Nigerians in the last general elections disenfranchised them from participating in the election of their leaders. He drew attention to elections civilised democracies where citizens in the Diaspora are registered though their embassies and vote on Election Day. INEC should set machinery in motion to achieve this goal, he said.
While condemning the low turnout of Nigerians in the ongoing registration exercise, Ezeneche blamed the development on poor voter education. “Most people are not even aware that such important exercise is going on. Most of them don’t even know the importance of voter’s registration to the development of the country, so when you ask them to go and register, they go for their business instead.”
On the Fulani herdsmen attack which has resulted in the deaths of Nigerians across the nation, Ezeneche advised the Federal Government to adopt the Netherlands model. “As you may know, that country is the largest producer off cattle and dairy products in the world, yet you can never see cattle roaming the streets. Cattle are kept in ranches where they are fed without causing any destruction to farmlands,” he said.
On former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida’s letters to President Muhammadu Buhari not to context next year election, Ezeneche said it was time for elderly Nigerian leaders to give way for the youths. He said rather than contesting the election, the President should nominate Vice president Yemi Osinbajo as his successor. By so doing, he would have proved that he had the interest of Nigerians at heart.