If there is anything that the All Progressives Congress, United Kingdom is passionate about and has vigorously pursued, it is the inclusion of Nigerians in Diaspora in the electoral process. The Chapter led by Prince Ade Omole has been in the forefront championing the inevitable need with the support of other Diaspora organisations, considering the fast-developing technological innovation in the world today, for the electoral umpire, INEC to introduce Diaspora voting (DV).

The Chapter at every given opportunity, different fora and seminars has constantly emphasised Diaspora voting that will ensure that Nigerians living abroad, whose contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) ratio is in no small measure being a corollary of their annual fund disbursement to families and friends in Nigeria.

In furtherance to this engagement that commenced many years back, APC UK executives on Monday, August 5, 2019 took same campaign to the Green House of the National Assembly to kick-start the lobbying process for DV. The team led by the APC UK leader, Prince Ade Omole alongside Dr. Akin Badeji paid a working visit on Hon S. A Fatoba and Hon. Babatunde Ahmed. During the tête-à-tête, the need for Diaspora voting was at the front burner of discussions among other Diaspora issues. The honourable members quickly bought the idea and promised to get more of their colleagues on-board including the recently appointed HoR chairman on Diaspora issues, Mrs Tolulope Akande-Sadipe.

A draft of the Diaspora voting bill commissioned by the Executives of APC UK and prepared by constitutional lawyers Frank Egboh (Frank Egboh Solicitors, Nigeria) and Austin Otah (Esquires Legal, Nigeria) was handed over during the meeting for fine-tuning and necessary amendments. The same process will commence at the Senate upon return from recess. Omole urged members to look forward to the 1st reading of the bill on the floor of the house. He went further to say “social media campaign for Diaspora voting is good but we need boots on ground to get the law amended for Diaspora voting to happen. We’ve been able to convince few members of the National Assembly; we will continue the campaign in-country and canvass for more support. I am confident that #NextLevel will deliver Diaspora voting”.

Prince Omole had met with President Buhari on Diaspora voting issue early last year and also agreed the DV process with Senator Bukola Saraki, ex-Senate President in 2016.

In appreciation of the tireless efforts of the UK executives and members to sell the party’s manifestos and programmes globally, the Honourable members present at the meeting commended, greatly, the leadership prowess of the UK executives. Hon Fatoba reiterated the need for the APC at the national level to work in synergy with Diaspora chapters to further accentuate and consolidate on the #NextLevel agenda of Mr. President.

Jacob Ogunseye
Publicity Secretary, APC UK