I was in the UK during voters registration. I couldn’t register in the UK. And I couldn’t come back to Nigeria just to register. Makes me wonder why in the 21st century I have to be physically present in my country of residence to register or even to vote. So that was how I was disenfranchised.
The National Conference approved voting rights for the Nigeria ‘Diapora’. But Andy Uba, Chairman Senate Committee on Electoral said that it wasn’t possible because Nigerian Embassies don’t have data on all Nigerians living abroad. David mark, Senate President said it the logistics are impossible and too expensive.
I’m not a ‘Nigerian in Diaspora’. Do you people even now the meaning of Diaspora? It sounds like a slave term. Like ‘mulatto’ or ‘half caste’. It is not sexy. Economic migrant sounds better. Or lets appropriate the white mans term – Nigerian Expatriates. Anyway. I was a Nigerian ‘in transit’. Absentee, not Diaspora. Not Expatriate. I was gone for a while. I didn’t even work. I’m not resident over there.
What I needed was an absentee voters process. I don’t think I need a constitutional amendment to get that done. I don’t think it will cost all that much. What will an extra 152 card readers at each embassy cost? And an online link? Some extra training? But I know it cant and won’t be done any time soon
There are a lot of things that can’t be done in Nigeria and wont be done till we implement a national identity scheme. The ‘rulers’ don’t want to implement it because then we night actually know exactly how many Nigerians live where and might actually start an equitable revenue allocation system.
We don’t have data on Nigerians living in Nigeria! Is Andy Uba a moron?
Until thats done, until someone at Aso Rock grabs his or her balls and does it even at risk of death by assassination or political death there will be no development in Nigeria. That should be the first promise from anyone that is sincere about reforming Nigeria and ending impunity and corruption. Not how many jobs you going to create. Who you creating them for? You don’t know do you?
This lack of a national registration system also hampers development in the private sector. I know entrepreneurs are getting creative to overcome the challenge but it imposes limits on a sector that needs to grow to get Nigeria out of its present doldrums. We don’t even have an accurate census. Until we fix that one this will remain a zoo.
So, I’m not voting but I am going out there to observe and report on what I see. That is also my constitutional right as a Nigerian citizen.
Vote wisely And remember, we will do it again in 4 years. Its not a do or die affair.
Say no to violence.