President Muhammadu Buhari has sought for pressure to be mounted on the National Assembly to amend relevant provisions in the constitution to allow for Diaspora voting in the near future elections.
The President told Nigerian community in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa today, February 11, in the course of his official engagement in that country that he had always been in support of it, but that legislation is required to make it a reality.
”I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality.”
President Buhari assured Nigerians that his government is committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad for them to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, reminding them: ”while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”
He advised them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.
He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.
”Nigeria has continued to live the saying that Africa is the centerpiece of her foreign policy especially with the many impacts in the AU, the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA) and Ethiopia as whole.”
The Ambassador commended President Buhari for reciprocating the visit to Abuja of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia given the country’s zeal to develop stronger ties with Nigeria.
He extolled the President as one who has appointed the highest number of career ambassadors and attributed it to his flair for professionalism.
Also speaking , the President of NICE commended the President for the establishment of NiDCOM and his continuous leadership and contributions which have cemented Nigeria’s role as a central player in strengthening the AU.
Omozuafoh appealed to the Nigerian government to fast-track the implementation of the MoU with the United Nations on the Junior Professionals Programme allowing young Nigerians access to opportunities in international organizations.
”Similar opportunities should be explored with the UN Volunteers Programme, the AU Volunteers Corps as well as the ECOWAS Youth Volunteer Programme.”