BY BENEDICT NWACHUKWU, ABUJA
The Director, Directorate of Diaspora, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Ade Omole, has said that more than 1.6 million Nigerians with Permanent Voters Card in the diaspora will brighten the chances of the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in Saturday’s election.
Omole said this on Monday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen at the party’s Buhari House national secretariat.
Omole, who doubles as the leader APC United Kingdom, said registered Nigerian voters in the diaspora were willing to return to the country to cast their votes during the forthcoming general elections.
“We are all Nigerians, though we live outside the country, we have families in the country, we have sister, brothers, fathers, mothers and our employees.
“Nigerians in the Diaspora matters a great deal, not just because of the amount of money we remit to the country annually which equal the amount from the sales of crude oil.
“But because we are all stakeholders in the country and the electoral process, most Nigerians in the diaspora are registered voters’’.
Omole revealed that the directorate had gone into agreement with British Airways and Luftthansa Airline to offer rebate tickets to such Nigerians irrespective of party affiliation to make travelling easy for them.
“From our last research, more than 1.6 million Nigerians with PVCs live outside Nigeria and would surely return to the country to vote during the coming elections.
“This is probably more than the number of people in some states within the country, so Nigerians in the diaspora do matter. There are progressive Nigerians and supporters of Sen. Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate with PVCs who will come back to the county to vote for him”.
The UK based APC chieftain added that even if the entire 1.6 million registered Nigerian voters in the diaspora do not return to the country to vote during the election, over one million of them would return.
He said though there was no law that currently permits Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote from their country of residence, a bill to that effect; the Nigeria Diaspora Voting Bill was presently in the National Assembly.
According to him, “That bill went to as far as the third reading before it was eventually voted down at a joint meeting between the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
He argued that the directorate had been dissecting the action plan of Tinubu for Nigerians to understand it better and had also put up a site called; Teamtinubushettima.com. which he said had the profile of Tinubu and Shettima his running mate and all that Nigerians needed to know about them.
He further explained that the essence was to correct the erroneous narratives about Tinubu and his running mate that had been circulated in the social media and provide answers to them.
“Knowing the importance of the international community in the affairs of nations, the APC PCC Diaspora Directorate had been meeting with officials of most countries and Nigeria`s international partners.
“Because we know how very important it is to have very positive feedback from international communities, partners, associations and foreign governments.
“Especially the United State and the United Kingdom among other countries because they do support us in several ways, security being one of them. The diaspora directorate had been meeting with officials of these countries to assure them that Tinubu, our principal, believes in democracy and his ethic,’’ he added.
He explained that the meetings were to ensure that the international community continued to extend hands of friendship to Tinubu if he was elected as the country`s next president.
“He understands and feels the pulse of the nation, he is a detribalised Nigeria, he works his talk and he is ready to take tough decisions and do the right thing to take Nigeria to greater heights.
“Tinubu has done it before, and he has done it exceedingly well, he has the experience, integrity and character and that is why the feedback within and outside the country had been positive.
“Tinubu is the only aspirant that had been talking to Nigerians with an organic crowd wanting to listen to him anywhere he went to campaign.”