NIGERIA: UK GROUPS OPPOSE SUSPENSION OF BILL ON DIASPORA VOTING…DAILY TRUST

UK-based Nigerian groups yesterday said the suspension of the Bill on Diaspora voting by the National Assembly was a “collective disenfranchisement of innocent citizens”.

The bill, which seeks to allow Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote in future elections, suffered a setback in the House of Representatives as it was suspended for further input.

Most of the lawmakers who spoke on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN Lagos), said the country could not afford the cost of conducting such an election.

How can they say Nigeria cannot afford the cost of conducting such an election when Nigerians in Diaspora contribute over $20 billion to the economy annually? Why don’t they just pass the bill and let us fund it from the Diaspora?

SUPPORTER…. Ms Jenny Okafor, President of Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum

“Clearly, this is collective disenfranchisement of a group of innocent citizens by our government on the basis of their abode,” Ms Jenny Okafor, President of Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum, said in an interview in London.

“It amounts to discrimination and breach of our fundamental human rights.

She explained that the reasons cited for the suspension of the bill such as costs, geographical spread of Nigerians abroad and the timing were not made “in good faith”.

“In order for true democracy to prosper, every Nigerian of qualifying age, mind and character, whether at home or abroad, must be able to vote,” she said.

OTHER SUPPORTERS OF DIASPORA NIGERIANS’ VOTE

Okafor commended the efforts of the proponents of the bill, including Dabiri, for their commitment towards the well being of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Also, the Association of Nigeria-British Counselors, while expressing disappointment, said the country must be ready for progressive steps to strengthen democracy for an all inclusive voting.

Mr. Adedamola Aminu, Chairman of the group, said it was unfortunate that in spite of the yearly remittances made by Nigerians in the Diaspora to the country, they were being disenfranchised.

“Some African countries with less resources and technologies are already creating the enabling environment for their Diaspora to vote.

“We (Nigerians) in the Diaspora are remitting billions of dollars yearly to the country and willing to share our skills and expertise for the development of the country, yet we are being excluded from the scheme of things.”

He explained that most developed countries where Nigerians were residing already had infrastructure in place that could facilitate such exercise.

Nigerians Are Passionate about their Country, But It Is Not Enough to Just Write and Criticize our Leaders.

An avid reader of Nigerian news papers, blogs will notice the passion with which Nigerians debate the problems and affairs of their country.  Sometimes these debates fall along political, and tribal lines. But one cause that should unite all of us is the ability to vote regardless of our location.

This Movement transcends any tribal or political organization. It is about one issue.

One Nigerian One Vote… Regardless of location.

That is why this campaign is neutral in terms of tribe, political affiliation. Once we secure the vote, we can make individual decisions to vote for any person or party that will best move our country forward.

Writing and criticizing the government openly or anonymously on line or the pages of the news papers may be okay and necessary, but it will never, ever force or make the Government or the leaders do anything contrary to their own instincts or fears about giving us the vote.

If those instincts and fears are unfounded or detriment to the progress of the country, we can write articles from here to Kingdom come, nothing will change until we channel our numbers and financial strength towards a specific demand;

OVER NIGERIAN ONE VOTE

REGARDLESS OF LOCATION.

Social critics like Tai Solarin, Gani Fawehinmi, and now Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka have been criticizing Nigeria’s bad leadership for over 50 years.

Not a single policy of the Nigerian government has been changed as a result of all the criticism.

We Need To Make One Specific Demand and Back It Up With Action.

 If not, the Nigeria leadership will continue to do what they do best, ignore the criticism and label these social critics as trouble makers.
In a democracy, only one solution leads to good governance.
It’s the ability to participate in choosing and electing good leaders. When these leaders turn bad, we must have mechanisms to remove them.

If we don’t have a vote, we don’t have a prayer, in terms of changing or influencing any policy..

You cannot participate by criticism alone; you must have the ability to effect changes by exercising your constitutional right to vote.

And if someone, or some group should put a barrier in front of you, that says “thus far and no further,” your response should be “bring it on” You should say to such people; “Give me liberty or give me death” I think it was Napoleon who said,   ”that barrier has not yet been created that can say to any one intelligently bent on success, “thus far and no further”

If Mandela can sacrifice twenty seven years of his life for the opportunity to help his people secure a one man one vote, I don’t see any reason why any of us will not come out and support the initiative to give Nigerians in the Diaspora the ability to vote.
Therefore, your first task is to stand up and be counted. The days of criticizing anonymously on the internet ate over. Be a man or woman while protecting your rights and that of your children to come. Please sign up
immediately at. Diaspravotefornigerians.org

Please click here…

Therefore, I am appealing to all Nigerians in the Diaspora to sign immediately stand up and be counted. This is one cause you need to get behind. Do this for your children and grand children’s sake. Do it for the sake of Nigeria. Do it for your own sake, so that 5 10, 20 or 100 years from now you or your children can be proud of your efforts.
Thousands are currently dying in Syria just to remove what they perceive as bad leadership and for the ability to put in place an elected leader of their choice.
In Nigeria, we are not at that stage, and I sincerely hope we will not need to shed blood just to get what is out constitutional right.

Why Need Support from All Nigerians, especially Nigerian Leaders.

It is in the best interest of all Nigerians to support this effort. Nigerian’s in the Diaspora are an asset to our beloved country, therefore, giving them a vote will only strengthened our country and it will make everyone a stake holder.

Nigerians in the Diaspora want to make the most contribution to the progress of their country, and helping them to get the vote gives them a stake and a reason to contribute.

The opportunity to move Nigeria forward belongs to all Nigerians, but denying some Nigerians the opportunity to vote does not help our progress because the Nigerians in the Diaspora are eager to contribute to help develop the country and create jobs.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of every Nigerian to come out and support this initiative of

OVER NIGERIAN ONE VOTE

REGARDLESS OF LOCATION.

Click here to lend your support. (Hyperlink) to go to a form.  That allows supporters to register…

Why should people in Diaspora have a vote?

This is an argument that some people may advance to thwart our efforts.
We should remind them that we have been making steady contributions to the country ever since we left its shores behind.
Diaspora Nigerians sent over $21 billion to Nigeria in 2012.
If this money were devoted to building power plants by dedicated Nigerian leaders, the money is enough to build 21,000 megawatts of electricity.
It is enough to equip every Nigerian school and University with state of the art technology to give our people the best educational system in the world. This money is enough to reconstruct every mile of road in Nigeria to remove the death traps that our roads have been famous for.

Besides all the above, we are Nigerians, and it is our right. The world is now a global village, and regardless of where we live on the face of this earth, we wake up every day consumed about the problems and affairs of Nigeria.

These are problems we have no control over, or have the ability to solve unless we can influence policy. The first step to influencing policy is to elect good leaders. Most Nigerians and their leaders want to see Nigeria progress. Putting our hands together to achieve this goal is critical.

Therefore, the time has come to take our place in the future growth of our country. Nigeria will be 100 years old in about 10 months from today, February 2013.

We want to build a Nigeria that is different to the one that has existed in the last 100 years. We want a Nigeria that provides equality to all on the basis of your ability not on the basis of your connection.

We want a Nigeria where our children can turn the light on to do their home work, not rely on candles.

We want a Nigeria where the corrupt people are punished expeditiously without dragging the case for several years hoping we all forget.

As a Nigerian in the Diaspora, write your own wish for Nigeria and then sign up to lobby for the vote..

Click here Now.

I want a Nigeria that….  And I am willing to fight for it, by seeking a vote first and exercising my vote to elect good leaders. So help me God.

Ask yourself why you want the ability to vote in Nigeria.
I want to vote because I want to help elect good leaders
by electing good leaders, and helping to create the policies to remove bad ones, I can ensure a stable, progressive, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

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One Nigerian One Vote…. Click here Now to Join

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