The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) has urged large turnout of voters on Saturday, Feb. 23 to protect the country’s democracy.
Prof. Hauwa Ibrahim, the organisation’s Assistant Secretary, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN), on Thursday in Abuja.
“You only have one vote and one voter’s card; there are a lot of challenges around it, but people should know that their votes count and that is their franchise.
“They should please go out and excise their franchise.
“This is the best place to be, I have been to over 70 countries and I tell you, there is no greater country than this country.
“I want to say without fear of contradiction that because it is our country, we must make it work and we have what it takes to make it work.
“The world is moving forward and we cannot play a catch-up game.’’
Ibrahim also cautioned Nigerians on spreading fake news, noting that the country’s democracy must be protected and sustained.
“We have the artificial intelligence that is in play and we have the algorithms.
“So, it’s changing the dynamics of how politics is being played globally.
“Some of us have a lot of misinformation from the grassroots and a chunk of the people are out there, so the little thing they will hear in the front, they will make it a big fire and just blow it out.
“With the benefit of the artificial intelligence and algorithm multiplication of small information into fake news and a multiple of fake news, I just want to say that we as diaspora, we want people to be cautious, and to know that there is something greater than each of us which is the country called Nigeria.
Mr Taofeeq Olatinwo, ICT Head, NIDO Canada, commended Nigeria’s polity, noting that there were improvements in the country since it returned to democracy in 1999.
“Essentially we are here to observe and as part of observers, because we also are Nigerians in diaspora, we are hoping that we will be able to do credible elections with high integrity.
“We have observed in a way that they have been some kind of stability or improvements in the process, going back since 1999 when we returned to democracy.
“We are just hoping that the maturity will keep increasing so that we in diaspora when we come back we will be able to take this further.
“We believe the stability is going to be something that will help us so that is why we are here as observers to ensure that we are able to go through credible election, something of high integrity.
“Because we have seen it work outside Nigeria so it should be able to work in Nigeria as well and we should just keep improving on what we have on ground,’’ he said.(NNN)
Edited by Lydia Beshel