The 10th Senate has affirmed its commitment to revisit the Diaspora Voting Bill within the current week. The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), conveyed this assurance during a virtual discussion organized by the Engage Diaspora Foundation in collaboration with the Directorate of Diaspora and International Affairs under his office,Daily Trust report.
The virtual dialogue, centered around the theme “A Pivotal Step Toward Achieving Diaspora Voting Right,” featured discussions on the significance of amending the 1999 Constitution to enable Nigerians living abroad to participate in the electoral process.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that in March 2022, the 9th Senate rejected the Diaspora Voting Bill. The proposed legislation aimed to amend the constitution, granting Nigerians abroad the right to vote and be voted for.
Bamidele, serving as the Chief Host/Chief Speaker at the event, acknowledged the keen interest of Nigerian citizens in the diaspora to engage in the electoral process. He emphasized the global acceptance of diaspora voting as a best practice.
Assuring the Nigerian diaspora, Bamidele asserted that the 10th Senate is determined to exert more effort to pass the bill this time. He emphasized the intrinsic nature of diaspora voting as a right rather than a privilege, highlighting the constitutional significance of recognizing this right.
The lawmaker revealed that the Diaspora Voting Bill had already undergone the first reading on the Senate floor, with the second reading scheduled for the current week. Once the second reading is concluded, the bill will be referred to the Constitution Review Committee, chaired by the Deputy President of the Senate, with the Vice Chairman being the Leader of the Senate.