The Nigerian Senate is set to consider diaspora voting rights as part of the ongoing review of the country’s 1999 Constitution, according to Opeyemi Bamidele, the Leader of the Senate. The diaspora voting rights will be among the issues addressed during the constitution review, with a bill already on the floor of the Senate scheduled for the second reading. Bamidele emphasized the importance of recognizing diaspora voting as a right in the Constitution and called on stakeholders to engage with state governors and assemblies to ensure the bill’s passage into law.
- Diaspora Voting Rights:
- The Nigerian Senate will consider diaspora voting rights during the ongoing review of the country’s 1999 Constitution.
- The bill addressing diaspora voting is already on the floor of the Senate and is scheduled for the second reading.
- Constitution Review Committee:
- The Constitution Review Committee, chaired by the Deputy President of the Senate, will consider the diaspora voting bill after the second reading.
- If approved, the bill will be referred to the House of Representatives for concurrence before being transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly.
- Approval Process:
- To become effective, the bill requires approval from two-thirds of the 36 State Houses of Assembly.
- Stakeholders are urged to engage with state governors and speakers of the State Houses of Assembly to ensure the bill’s passage into law.
- Generational Fight:
- Opeyemi Bamidele emphasized that recognizing diaspora voting as a right in the Constitution is a generational fight aimed at ensuring greater inclusion in Nigeria’s electoral process.
The consideration of diaspora voting rights in the ongoing review of Nigeria’s Constitution reflects a significant development in recognizing the political participation of Nigerians living abroad. As the bill progresses through the legislative process, the engagement of stakeholders with state governors and assemblies will play a crucial role in shaping the outcome and determining the inclusion of diaspora voting rights in the Constitution.