NIGERIAN postgraduate students spoke out against laws that prohibit Nigerians in the diaspora from voting in the upcoming presidential elections.
“The INEC (Nigeria Independent National Electoral Commission) has not made provisions for Nigerians abroad to vote because there is no constitutional provision for that at the moment,” said Mark Amaza, contributor to the online publication Nigeria Dialogue.
Amaza confirmed there have been attempts by the government to legalise voting rights outside of Nigeria but suggests these have not received any “traction”.
PhD candidate Innocent Ike, who voted in the last presidential elections, said the law should be amended to cater for Nigerians in the diaspora.
“The law does not favour Nigerians living abroad,” said Ike who said the government has been working hard to “amend the law so that Nigerians living abroad will be able to vote outside the country”.
Amaza said there was little advocacy from government officials abroad for those living in the diaspora to vote in the presidential elections.
PhD student and chairperson of the West African Students’ Association, Aurosusi Tunde, said he would not participate in the elections even if he had been in Nigeria.
“We have people in leadership today whose ideologies are from the (19)80s, that is why I believe Africa is in the problem that it is in right now,” said Tunde.
The presidential elections will take place on March 28 after being postponed from February 14.