Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Diaspora, NGO and Civil Societies, Senator Surajudeen Bashiru Ajibola has disclosed that diaspora voting have many challenges accompanying.
According to him, while he is in support of calls for diaspora voting, it appears more conceptual as challenges accompanying makes it difficult to be realistic.
Sen. Ajibola who represents Osun Central Senatorial District made this disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after presenting lecture at the Correspondents’ chapel of Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Ilorin on Thursday.
He said, section 172 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulated that a prospective voter must be registered. It would therefore be infeasible for diaspora to register physically most especially for the legislative elections. Which constituency or ward would their votes be counted for?
He added that even if they are allowed to vote in the Presidential election, what would be the value of their votes? Would the diaspora votes represents addition to required percentage in any state? Or, will such votes be regarded as the 38th State or what?
Adding that the issue of data is very important and key to diaspora voting which the country does not have. He therefore called for a critical examination of the legal and political issues to be surmounted for diaspora voting to be visible.
Earlier, in his lecture titled, “Democracy and the Rule of Law”, Ajibola advocated the need for State police as a Federation rather than a unitary system that is incapable to adequately guarantee the security of lives and properties.
He bemoaned a situation where Nigeria is the only Federal Democracy with unitary police as opposed to countries like United States of America, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada.
He added further that he has “sponsored a bill seeking to alter the Constitution of he Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 cap 23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to delete item 45 from the Exclusive Legislative List and to make police a concurrent matter.”
Senator Ajibola also advocated increase in the number of Supreme Court Judges to about 40 and more capacity building for Nigerian Judges in order to foster rule of laws in the emerging democracy to strengthen it.