A university don and political analyst, Dr. Ken Nweke has faulted calls for the introduction of diaspora voting in Nigeria, describing it as a distraction from the realities she is confronted with.
Nweke, who is an associate professor of Political Science at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education stated this when he featured as a guest on a live radio programme in Port Harcourt monitored by The Tide.
Recall that the Federal Government had urged the National Assembly to approve diaspora voting, even as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) kicked against it, saying Nigeria was not ripe to handle such voting practice.
Corroborating INEC’s stance, Nweke said diaspora voting is strange to Nigeria and its citizens, stressing the need to first strengthen the electronic voting system before thinking of the diaspora voting.
Though he said Nigerians living abroad are citizens who have the rights to exercise their franchise, the country was not yet ready to take on diaspora voting due to the myriad of issues facing the country.
“That is a bit strange to Nigeria and Nigerians. When you talk about diaspora you talk about offshore, Nigerians living abroad simply having access to our voting system, so to say, or being givien the right to participate in Nigeria’s elections.
“They are Nigerians we are talking about who also have some rights and they are citizens like I said and they ought to have rights to express their feelings as long as choosing who leads them is concerned. But here we have a lot of challenges, a lot of hurdles to grapple with and we have not been able to deal with the myriad of issues that we have in our electoral process much less to talk about diaspora voting. We have been having challenge of electronic voting.
“We have not been able to introduce electronic voting system in Nigeria at least to ascertain that it is working and working perfectly before you can now extend it beyond the boarders of Nigeria. So, calling for diaspora voting at this stage, for me, is a mere distraction from the realities that we face as a nation. People have been calling for electronic voting and even the card reader has been a problem and, of course in most cases card readers fail”, Nweke said.
By: Dennis Naku
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Bode George Urges FG To Relax Lagos Lockdown
A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
Prince Charles, Kagame, Others Condole Buhari Over Loss Of Kyari
Prince Charles has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and people of Nigeria over the death of Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to the President.
According to a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, last Wednesday, Prince Charles described the death of Mallam Kyari was “a desperately sad news”.
Prince Charles regretted that the death of Kyari had occurred through “this pernicious virus…I can only begin to imagine what an immense gap Mr. Kyari’s untimely death will leave in Your Excellency’s life and my heart goes to you and Mr Kyari’s family”.
In a message through the Embassy of Rwanda in Abuja, President Paul Kagame, the government and people of Rwanda extended their heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian leader.
Kagame used the opportunity “to express solidarity to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as we are faced with the Covid-19 global crisis”.
The former Vice president, Architect Namadi Sambo in his own message to the President, described the death of Abba Kyari as a “monumental national loss”.
In his condolence message to the president, an industry leader and businessman, Abdulsamad Rabi’u said he was deeply saddened by what he described as “this colossal loss”.
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