The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has described the push for the inclusion of Diaspora voting in the next constitution amendment as a generational fight.
Bamidele, while speaking at a virtual diaspora dialogue organised by the Office of the Senate Leader in collaboration with Engage Diaspora Foundation and Nigeria Diaspora Foundation, said the red chamber will consider the diaspora voting rights this week as part of the review of the 1999 Constitution.
The bill was among the proposals that were rejected in the last constitution amendment exercise in 2022. But the 10th Senate reintroduced it, and it scaled first reading two weeks ago.
“I see this fight as a generational fight. It is about your children. It is also about ensuring greater inclusion in our electoral process. We cannot be interested in what is coming from you, but deny you the right to vote,” he said. He added that “As it presently is, the constitution review committee is chaired by the Deputy President of the Senate. As the leader of the Senate, I am the Vice Chairman. You can be rest assured that I am with you in this effort.”
Daily Trust reports that after the concurrence of the House of Representatives, the bill would be transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly, and two-thirds of the 36 State Houses of Assembly must approve it to become effective.
Bamidele, therefore, challenged the stakeholders to engage governors of the 36 states of the federation and Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly to ensure the passage of the bill into law.