Is the Nigerian Diaspora Community, a Nigerian Community?
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There are millions of Nigerians in the Diaspora who actively participate in Nigeria's growth. According to Business Day Newspaper, Nigerians in Diaspora sent $274 Billion in the last 14 years. In 2018 it sent home $25billion which accounted for 87% of the Budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Should they not then vote? The Nigerian Constitution thinks they should.
"The Nigerian Constitution if it is read wholly, actually allows those in the Diaspora to vote - and should vote in the 2019 election," says Ike Okwuobi, a member of the Nigerian Diaspora Community in Canada. The argument may come down to the simple question of what a Community is - and if the Nigerian Diaspora Community is a Community in the sense of the Nigerian Constitution. And if it is, is the Nigerian Consulate in the Diaspora, not the governments arm of that community?
The case was filed in November 2018.It currently in the Federal High Court and the legal premise relies on three sections of the Nigerian constitution. Section 38(1) which defines what a Nigerian community is, Section 14 (2) C, which ensures participation of such a community in their government and section 42(1) A which exhorts the Nigerian government to ensure its agencies do not deprive any member of such a community any such rights, including the right to participate in the Nigerian elections.