Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has explained why Nigerians living abroad will not vote in the 2023 general elections.
While speaking about the commission’s preparations for the 2023 general elections at Chatham House in London on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the INEC chairman stated that he wanted Nigerians living abroad to vote in the 2023 general election, but the commission lacks the authority to allow diaspora voting.
“Voting by those in the diaspora should be a settled issue. I support it but INEC doesn’t have the power to make it happen. They’re citizens and they must enjoy rights,” he said.
He also stated that INEC and some diasporans proposed to the national assembly that Nigerians living abroad be allowed to vote, but their proposal was turned down.
It should be noted that in 2022, the electoral body urged the National Assembly to amend sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act (2010 as amended) to allow Nigerians living outside the country to vote in their home country’s elections.
According to the commission, Nigerians living outside the country should have the right to vote because they are citizens who contribute significantly to the economy through large financial inflows into the country.
During his speech at Chatham House, Yakubu, however, stated that the commission has promised Nigerians and Nigerians’ friends that the 2023 general election will be free, fair, and credible.
He stated that the electoral body is pleased with its preparations for the 2023 general elections, adding that they have left no stone unturned in their preparations.