Mrs Patience Key, a former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has urged Nigerians to always have the growth and development of the country at heart.
Key, also a former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), gave the advice in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said although many Nigerians in Diaspora desired to vote in the 2023 elections but could not make it, citizens could achieve a lot if they closed ranks and l worked together in the nation’s interest.
She applauded the Federal Government’s electronic voting system, saying, “We want things to move forward and for Nigeria to develop.
“Nigeria has what it takes not only to be a catalyst for Africa’s growth but the advancement of the world.
“The earlier people understand and believe that, the better for them.
“The only way voting right can favour any body in the Diaspora now is that we carry our bag and enter Aeroplane to come home and vote.
“So, we cannot vote outside the country. Nigeria is technologically fit but we do not just want to do the right thing, I just want Diasporas to work closely together for the good of compatriots.
“To see that the economy is working and put businesses together and to help the nation to thrive.When such measures are in place we can repatriate such good things back to Nigeria.
“They are so many good and talented people in Nigeria, so we can all work together and move our nation forward.”
She decried voter apathy, vote buying, godfatherism, electoral violence and corruption among other things to have hindered smooth democratic transitions in the country.
She advised Nigerians to shun electoral violence and related crimes, saying they should ensure they are accredited to vote and that their vote count in elections.
“Nigerians should imbibe tenets that proves them to be peaceful citizens by exercising their civic duty, vote buying is not a good idea,, people should not sell their votes, that is enslaving the citizenry.
“When we engage in vote buying, we already know the reason those buying the votes are doing so, everyone should come out and exercise their conscience.
“Although it is a good thing that government is hammering against vote buying; it should also go after the offenders to curb vote buying.
“It is one thing to make policy against vote buying and it is another thing to effectively implement such policy. Everybody should be able to come out and vote their conscience as a people.
“There is nothing as good as working with free conscience for the good of the people; election should be free for all, it is about doing service to the people”.
The former NIDOA boss also urged the electorate to eschew apathy and to come out and vote in future elections.
“If those with PVCs do not come out and vote that means they are telling the candidates to come and do whatever they want with our lives.
“No one should sit back and keep lamenting that we have bad government if we all vote and our vote counts.” (NAN)