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    Communique of the March 19, 2022 First Virtual Civic Engagement Series of the Diasporans for PDP

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    For Immediate Release
    Houston, Texas
    March 24, 2022

    Communique of the March 19, 2022 First Virtual Civic Engagement Series of the Diasporans for PDP

    The first virtual Civic Engagement Series of the Diasporans for PDP was held on March 19, 2022. It welcomed leaders and stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as well as lovers of the party from all walks of life and from all parts of the world, including the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Estonia, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, and Nigeria, to mention a few.

    The principal theme, “Diaspora Voting Rights, Participation, Diversity and Inclusion,” attracted a line of speakers and panelists drawn from educators, political activists, university academics, independent scholars, community leaders, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and statesmen and stateswomen. This includes Professor Stella Effah-Attoe, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Hon. Susan Nguveren Waya, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Hon. Nnenna Elendu Ukeje, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Senator Esther Nenadi Usman (duly represented by Mrs. Jiritmwa Morgak Goyit), Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo, Dr. Chidi Igwe, and Hon. Mrs. Victoria Pamugo.

    Moderated by Pastor Chinwe Nnorom and Mr. Meendos Ahmed, the speaking slots were complemented by a panel discussion in Q&A format that grappled with the importance of political participation and enfranchisement, voting rights, diversity and inclusion of women, youth and Nigerian citizens in diaspora in national politics.

    In her welcome remarks, Diasporans for PDP Founder and National Chair, Honourable Victoria Pamugo, emphasized that Nigerian citizens living abroad constitute a powerful economic block that remits more than $16 billion annually to the country. It is unfair that such an important economic contributor has not been enfranchised to contribute in determining the political, social and economic direction of the country through voting in general elections.

    Below are some of the key highlights of the March 19th Civic Engagement Series:

    • Professor Effah-Attoe highlighted that a full civic and political inclusion of women, youth and diasporans in Nigeria will take time to achieve but that it is inspiring to know that the new PDP National Working Committee sees these issues as a key priority directly linked to the party’s philosophy on diversity and inclusion.
    • Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, noted that inclusion and diversity are the bedrock of building a modern nation. Every segment of the population has a role and must be allowed to play its role in nation building. There must be an intentional effort to include women, youth and Nigerians in diaspora in all aspects of the political and economic development of Nigeria. Progress has been made in the review of the 1999 constitution and the introduction and recognition of electronic voting system has made it even more imperative for the reclamation of diaspora voting rights and has overridden every other reasons previously advanced for the exclusion of this vital economic block in general elections.
    • Senator Biodun Olujimi recognized inclusion or the lack there of as one of the problems facing the nation today. The fact that people are being disenfranchised or marginalized in various parts of the country presents an opportunity for PDP to remain true to its manifesto and constitution and become a champion for diversity and inclusion in our national politics.
    • Senator Mao Ohuabunwa emphasized that increasing political participation is central to achieving other things such as diaspora voting rights. It is important to guarantee that all citizens can become members of the electoral system no matter where they live. A PDP government in 2023 must recognize this and fight for diaspora voting rights because, in the long term, Nigeria will be benefited by it when the country joins other global partners in advancing universal franchise, which will improve Nigeria’s rating in social and political development of the world.
    • Hon. Nnenna Elendu Ukeje highlighted the need to amend section 77(2) of the constitution, which has constantly been stonewalled at the National Assembly. It is estimated that more than 17 million Nigerians live in diaspora and there is no obvious reason to continue to ignore the amendment of the above section of the constitution which disenfranchises this important block of citizens that have proven to be reliable contributors to all aspects of national development in Nigeria.
    • Hon. Susan Nguveren Waya highlighted the need for the constitution to provide a legal framework to allow for the full participation of Nigerian citizens living in diaspora. She lamented that the National Assembly turned down a recent opportunity to amend the 1999 Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act as recommended by the National Electoral Commission.
    • While responding to questions from participants, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo emphasized that Nigerian citizens in diaspora have the right to influence the outcome of elections directly or indirectly through engagement and by helping to bring important campaign issues to public awareness. As PDP harnesses plans for an updated party manifesto, the Diasporans for PDP’s Civic Engagement Series can become a platform for the generation of ideas on how Nigeria can be rescued and revived. Diasporans have a role to play not only in bringing constructive ideas for nation building to the table but also in holding the country and political parties accountable.
    • Speaking on behalf of Senator Esther Nenadi Usman, Mrs. Jiritmwa Morgak Goyit recognized the organization’s efforts in bringing this important issue of diaspora voting rights and enfranchisement to the front burner. The issue is not just a PDP issue. It is a national conversation that requires a constitutional amendment by the National Assembly. PDP diasporans are strongly behind this advocacy for voting rights and will benefit from future partnership with domestic and international non-governmental organizations in the area of politics and governance to push this agenda from all fronts. This will earn the country more respect in the global conversation about social justice.

    In closing, Honourable Pamugo reiterated that Diasporans for PDP was established in 2018 to champion the cause and promote PDP’s agenda and messaging within and outside Nigeria. The organization will support PDP to return to power in 2023 knowing that PDP will restore Nigeria’s lost glory as the giant of Africa and achieve the following for all Nigerians:

    • usher in a new era of diversity and inclusive politics that has a role not only for men but also for women and youth,
    • guarantee the security of life and property in Nigeria,
    • create jobs for young people and exploit existing human and natural resources for an inclusive national growth,
    • rebuild our bad roads, collapsing bridges, dilapidated schools, and infrastructure,
    • restructure and restore value in Nigeria’s educational and healthcare systems,
    • and above all, give value and dignity to human life.

    Diasporans for PDP believes that, with amendments to the Electoral Act to include Electronic Voting, there is no longer any cogent reason to continue excluding Nigerian citizens in diaspora from voting in general elections.

    The organization appealed to the National Assembly to pass the Gender Bills as well as the Bill on Diaspora Voting Rights. It appealed to the Federal Government to build and maintain an accurate and up-to-date electronic data compilation of all Nigerian citizens in diaspora by country consulates, as this will make it easy for diaspora verification and voting. The organization also appealed to PDP to fully implement the 35 percent affirmative action as enshrined in the party's governing documents.

    The Civic Engagement Series is the flagship event of Diasporans for PDP dedicated to promoting current and future leaders of the People’s Democratic Party in Nigeria and in diaspora. The event brings leaders and the civic population together in town hall formats for exchange of ideas in ways that promote understanding of PDP’s agenda, platform and manifesto, among the voting population.

    The Civic Engagement Series is organized twice in a year in the form of physical, virtual or hybrid events. Please visit the organization’s website regularly for news and updates regarding future events:



    Honourable Mrs. Victoria Pamugo, Founder and National Chair
    Dr. Chidi Igwe, National Publicity Secretary
    Mr. Farouk Suleiman, Coordinator, United Kingdom

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