Nigerian Senate Pushes For Diaspora Voting, Unbundling INEC

Nigerian Senate Pushes For Diaspora Voting, Unbundling INEC

8 months ago
1 min read

As a way of promoting inclusiveness of Nigerian citizens, the senate has called for review of the electoral laws to allow Diaspora Voting at least for presidential election.

The senators are also tinkering with the idea of unbundling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a bid to improve the electoral body’s efficiency.

These were some of the resolutions reached after a two-day retreat of the Senate in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

READ ALSO: 2023 And Nigeria’s Uncharted Water Of Diaspora Voting: Taking A Leaf From Kenyan Example

In the build up to the last general elections, issue of allowing Nigerians in the diaspora to vote during elections was one of concerns raised as part of deepening inclusive democracy as diasporans contribute to the country’s economy through remittances that runs in billions of dollars annually.

Also, various groups who believe that INEC is loaded with a lot of responsibilities have called for split of the Commission into different agencies to manage all aspects of electoral activities efficiently.

According to a communique issued after the Senate retreat, the lawmakers also called for mandatory electronic transmission of election results starting from the next general election in. the country.

Part of the communique reads: “INEC should be unbundled to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in the preparation and conduct of elections.

“Relating to the use of technology in elections, remove the ambiguity evident in Section 64 of the EA22.

“Also, make electronic transmission of results mandatory from the next general elections in 2027, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation.

“Introduce diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens.”

On the part of political parties, the upper chamber lawmakers said there should be sanctions for failure to submit the register of party members “not later than 30 days before the date of party primaries, congresses, or conventions in relation to Section 77(3) EA22, which the political parties have observed in the breach in the 2023 elections without penalty.”

READ ALSO: 2023 Elections: Cardinal Onaiyekan Sheds Tears Over INEC Chairman, Yakubu’s Dishonesty

The lawmakers also emphasised the need for development of a “comprehensive “national security strategy” to address the needs of Nigerians.

Part of this they suggested is designing and implementing community policing system to identify and prevent terrorist attacks.

“The government should also work with civil society organizations and local/traditional communities to identify and address security concerns.

“Establish independent oversight mechanisms for the security sector. These mechanisms can help to investigate allegations of abuse and corruption and to ensure that security forces are accountable to the law,” it added.


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