The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has revealed that the commission has concluded plans on ensuring that Nigerians in the Diasporas are eligible to vote in general elections in Nigeria.
Prof. Mahmood disclosed this at the National Assembly on Wednesday after he led the management of the commission to defend its budget in the Senate.
While speaking to journalists, the INEC chairman stated that “the commission is desirous of giving Nigerians living abroad the right to vote.” He, however, noted that for that to become a reality the National Assembly would have to “amend the electoral Act” in order to activate the Diaspora voting rights of Nigerians.
Yakubu noted that “after all, all our neighbouring countries do so” already. He also disclosed that the commission had “already worked on the document [electoral Act]” and only waiting for the National Assembly to do its part to activate the process.
Prof Mahmood was last week reappointed for another 5-year term by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Senate has already started his confirmation process even as it suspended all plenary activities to allow its various committees to work with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the 2021 budget proposals.