The Independent National Electoral Commission said in Abuja on Tuesday that the possibility of Nigerians living abroad to vote in the 2019 general elections would depend on the amendment to the country’s electoral laws.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, stated this when he played host to the Senate Committee on Diaspora and NGOs.
He said for the nation to allow Nigerians living abroad to vote, several sections of the constitution and the Electoral Act must be amended by the National Assembly.
He said it was after his was done that the hope of voting by Nigerians living outside the country would materialise.
Yakubu said, “Because election is a continuous process, the first thing to do is to provide the enabling environment.
“So, we have to start from the amendment to our constitution and the Electoral Act. I want to assure you that this INEC is determined to providing Nigerians living outside the country the opportunity to have a say in determining who will be our leaders.
“But the first thing in actualising this rests squarely on the National Assembly. They have the power to amend the constitution and our laws.”
For now, he said the commission was only concerned with the registration of Nigerians living abroad who “are 18 years of age and above.”
Earlier, the Chairperson of the committee, Senator Rose Oko, had told the INEC Chairman that there had been calls from various quarters for Nigerians living abroad to be involved in the nation’s electoral process.