From Kenneth Udeh , Abuja
Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has expressed optimism that Nigerians in the diaspora would be able to vote soon from their countries of residence.
He spoke on Thursday night in Maryland when he met Nigerians living in the United States at the home of Hon Emeka Eboe.
Kalu said the next National Assembly would fashion a way to actualise diaspora voting to accommodate millions of Nigerians living outside the country.
Kalu, who represents Abia-North in the National Assembly said: “As a Nigerian, irrespective of where you stay or live, you should have a say in deciding who leads you. Therefore, in the nearest future, it should be possible for Nigerians in the diaspora to participate in our national elections. In 1992 as a member of the House of Representatives, I introduced the dual citizenship bill. By God’s grace in the 10th Senate we will introduce a bill that will allow Nigerians in diaspora to vote their choice candidate.
“We cannot ignore the millions of Nigerians across the globe making a significant impact on the country’s economy and our overall development as a nation.”
He emphasised the importance of effectively mobilising Nigerians in the diaspora who he described as critical components of the country’s development.
Kalu urged citizens living abroad to remain patriotic and committed to the country’s development irrespective of the current security situation.
“Continue to be patriotic here. Don’t lose hope on Nigeria; keep hope alive. We are going to overcome our challenges as a nation.
“I’m appealing to you all to always promote our country positively. Yes, we have challenges, but Nigeria is our only country. We must therefore unite irrespective of our religion, ethnicity or race,” he said.