The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said the much anticipated Diaspora voting would not feasible until the Electoral Act is amended. The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said this at a three-day national stakeholders’ forum on electoral reform in Abuja. Jega, represented by INEC Commissioner, Election Party Monitoring, Hajiya Amina Zakari, said INEC might not be ready to conduct Diaspora voting until the Electoral Act was passed into law. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he said since the people in the Diaspora were citizens of Nigeria, it was necessary to include them in the choice of electing their representatives at all levels of governance. At the moment, only citizens residing in Nigeria at the time of registration of voters can vote at any election. Section 77 (2) of the Electoral Act says: “Every citizen of Nigeria who has attained the age of 18 at the time of the registration of voters for the purposes of election to a legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election.” The INEC boss, however, said it was proposing an amendment to the Act, to enable Nigerians in the Diaspora who are 18 years as of the time of registration to vote. Jega said denying the Diaspora the right to vote would be an infringement on their right, adding that the proposed amendment would enable them to exercise their fundamental right. The electoral umpire, however, expressed concern over the conduct of party primaries, saying most political parties flouted the electoral law while conducting their primaries. The INEC boss said the Electoral Act did not give the commission enough power to deal with such cases. Jega stated that INEC had to resort to self help on such cases by writing to the affected party to correct the anomaly. He said such impunity where candidate who did not stand for primary was substituted for those who did, would no longer be tolerated, if the proposed Electoral Act was approved.
“There is not a truth existing which I fear or wish unknown to the whole world.” – Thomas Jefferson“When it comes to the truth, the real bias is thinking any one side has a monopoly on it.” – A Barton Hinkle.Three events or incidences prompted me to write this article.First one was the wide dissemination […]
The Niger State House of Assembly has suspended its Minority Leader, Hon. Mohammad Nuradeen Umar, over allegation financial inducement against the assembly. Umar represents Kontagora I constituency in the assembly. The lawmaker, who was suspended yesterday at the plenary, had alleged in an interview he granted a national daily on June 12 that the lawmakers […]
I HAD intended not to dignify Femi Fani Kayode with any response since he decided to dance naked in the market place. Somebody ought to have reminded him that those who live in glass houses don’t throw stones. He has only himself to blame about his unpalatable past which has been on display all over Facebook […]