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The Nigerian Diaspora Must Be Allowed To Vote - Politics - Nairaland

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The Nigerian Diaspora Must Be Allowed To Vote by Maazieze(m): 7:58pm On Jul 17, 2023
"A diaspora, different
Nigeria’s diaspora is a special breed of people, excelling in practically every area, from sports and entertainment to the corporate world. In the UK, it is now common to find whole graduating classes in certain disciplines dominated by Nigerian immigrants of the first or second generation. In the US, they are one of the groups with the highest levels of educational attainment. UK cabinet minister? Check. High-ranking US official? Check. Hollywood actor? Check. Seeking opportunity and fortune, they march through the world, showcasing their Nigerianess in all its glory. They are at once far but never too far from home.
This connection reflects in what they send back home. According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s remittance as a share of GDP is 4.4%, compared with a global average of only 0.7%, while the average for Sub-Saharan Africa is 2.6%. These remittances supplement meagre household incomes, which prop up significant parts of the economy—children go to school; houses are built; and the sick can get treatment. Without them, the multi-dimensional poverty which affects 133 million Nigerians would surely be worse."

"By denying Nigeria's diasporans the chance to vote abroad, the National Assembly is out of sync with much of the African continent and even the world. According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 160 countries allow voting from abroad, with 40 of those countries in Africa. "

I advise reading the article are is discusses much and references another article; https://republic.com.ng/february-march-2021/too-foreign-to-vote/ ; I think its important that the diaspora be allowed to vote, some of you will oppose it because you think it might disadvantage whatever party you support, but their importance to the country cannot be ignored and they can be a crux for change as they likely experience and know what good governance is and have higher expectations from politicians.

The reason why its been oppose dis because politicians don't want voters that are immune to intimidation and voter suppression.

Giving the diaspora the ability to influence change from abroad more directly would also encourage permanent returns and frequent visits.

The first article divulges on this and examples why corrupt/underperforming parties oppose this; Research done by Elizabeth Iams Wellman (which I initially encountered in this article) suggests a clear partisan logic for the inclusion (or exclusion) of diasporans across the African continent. To summarise, the author argues that incumbent parties are more likely to enfranchise diaspora voters when they are certain of the support of that group. She cites several examples we will go through one by one. I read it, so you don’t have to.

In Ghana, just before democracy returned in November 1992, the Rawlings regime decreed that only Ghanaians resident in the country could vote. The only exceptions were those Jerry Rawlings appointed, who were residing in foreign missions. Those who made up most Ghanaians abroad at the time were fleeing the poor economic conditions in his military rule. It is easy to believe that voters from abroad would have punished Rawlings if they could vote."

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