President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday advised Nigerians abroad to mount pressure on the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws with a view to making diaspora voting a reality.
Speaking at a meeting with the executive committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia (NICE) in Addis Ababa, the president stated that it was his wish for Nigerians in a foreign land to fully participate in the choice of leaders during elections in the country.
Responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, on the issue, Buhari asserted: I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make diaspora voting a reality.
On the conduct of Nigerians living overseas, the president expressed concern, noting that the activities of some of the citizens had not projected the country in a good light.
He, therefore, urged a change of attitude and obedience to the laws of their host nations.
Buhari commended the Nigerians residing in the Horn of Africa, observing that they had the highest number of professionals in the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) agencies and other international organisations.
This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement, he stressed.
The president told the meeting that his government was committed to the protection and prosperity of law-abiding Nigerians at home and abroad, urging all to be good citizens and worthy ambassadors of the country.
The Nigerian leader also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, reminding them: While you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.
He, nevertheless, urged them to use their resources, skills, and talents in developing Nigeria.
Buhari reiterated that his administration was determined to end all acts of criminality, including banditry and terrorism in the country.
He appealed to all patriots to support and cooperate with security agencies to defend and preserve the unity of the nation.
The meeting, moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had observed a minute silence in honour of the citizens that were killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno State.
The pervasive insecurity in parts of the federation notwithstanding, the president pledged that the protection of the citizenry and containment of corruption remain key to his administration.
On economic matters and ease of doing business in Ethiopia, Buhari said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies in the East African nation.
I have directed the relevant ministries to take up these issues with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian authorities, he added.
In his remarks, Nigerias Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government in the landlocked country since independence.