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Nigerians abroad share their thoughts ahead of presidential elections

Boye Bangboye works in investment banking in the United Kingdom   -  
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Nigerians living in the UK share their thoughts ahead of presidential elections taking place in the country on Saturday.

Last week, a Nigerian court dismissed a lawsuit that sought to allow citizens residing abroad to vote.

The Nigerian constitution states that only registered voters "residing in Nigeria" have the right to vote.

"Of course 100% I would vote if I could, I see my colleagues, my counterparts, my friends in Nigeria going out getting their PVC (permanent voter's card, Ed.). and its very inspirational, its very profound, to just see that they want better, and I want better because it's my country, it's home and I want better for home", said Boye Bangboye, works in investment banking.

Government figures from 2017 estimate that there are 17 million Nigerians living abroad and contributing billions of dollars to the economy through remittances.

Emmanuel Ahanonu is the sixty-four year-old chairman of Ezienyi Social club, a club for Igbo-speaking Nigerians in London added "during the last constitutional amendment when the issue came up for debate in the house we were disappointed that some of the members (of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Ed.) could not see the importance of diasporas voting in Nigerian elections. Look at the impact that we are having on the Nigerian economy".

Bolu Ayeye, a 27-year old Nigerian residing in Manchester share similar views.

"If diaspora voters could get to vote I think there would be more responsibility to invest their money into the country. Which would help, not just sending money back home, but investing money and time into institutions and putting money into businesses and more because they trust the direction of the country is heading in. So I think diaspora voting will help the country and I feel like a lot of diaspora Nigerians do greatly care for Nigeria", argues Ayeye

As of 2021, the British government estimates that over 300,000 people born in Nigeria are living in the UK.

A year ago Nigerian lawmakers voted against a bill to allow diaspora voting.

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