Deputy Speaker of the Home of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase has stated that Nigerians dwelling overseas cannot submit petitions over some incidents which occurred within the nation.
Mr. Wase who sat in for Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila throughout Thursday’s plenary, rejected a petition filed by “Mutual Union of the Tiv in America” on insecurity in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba.
Mark Terseer Gbillah, the lawmaker representing Benue Gwer east/Gwer west federal constituency had offered the group’s petition during which they accused the federal authorities of not resettling the Tiv folks displaced from their ancestral land by way of varied assaults.
“I’ve a petition from the mutual union of the Tiv in America in opposition to the federal authorities of Nigeria and the difficulty has to do with the ancestral land of the TIV people who appears to have been possessed in latest instances by way of varied assaults and the truth that they’re languishing in IDP camps until date with none intervention.”
Responding to the petition, Wase requested “Honourable Gbillah, did you say Tivs in America? What do they learn about Nigeria? What’s their enterprise? They will’t sit of their consolation zones and know what is going on in Nigeria.”
When Gbillah confirmed the petition is from the mutual union of Tiv folks dwelling in America, Wase added “if they’re in America may they actually be an occasion right here? Do they actually know what is precisely happening?”
Nevertheless after the Benue lawmaker argued that the group can file petitions as a result of they’ve members of the family and folks dwelling in Nigeria, he was interrupted by the deputy speaker who stated;
“I don’t wish to make a blanket assertion concerning those that are in diaspora.
“If this petition is coming from those that are throughout the nation, I consider it has a really block normal. However these dwelling in America, then coming to lodge complain.”
Gbillah responded by saying that “a few of them are simply learning, some simply went they to do programs and so they’re a union and are Nigerian residents.”
He was once more interrupted by the deputy speaker who stated “no if there are Nigerians, they’re Nigerians, however I don’t know if they’ve twin citizenship. Gbillah countered this by saying “they don’t have twin citizenship, they’re all Nigeria residents”.
Wase subsequently questioned if the group was even registered with the Company Affairs of Fee (CAC), noting that all associations are registered with the fee. At this level, Gbillah referred the deputy speaker to part 40 of the structure which offers for freedom of affiliation.
The deputy speaker once more interrupted saying “I’m not stopping that, however I’m saying if they’re Nigerians and dwelling in Nigeria and bringing points, I agree. However any person in America who is much away from this nation.”
After the Benue lawmaker interjected by mentioning that “this isn’t the primary time we’ve got offered petitions even from those that are residents in Nigeria, we even have these within the diaspora”, the Deputy Speaker stated “I’m not satisfied that any person from America can come right here after which delaying points in Nigeria. I’m not satisfied.”
When Gbillah requested the deputy speaker to refer the petition to the committee on diaspora that handles the problems of Nigerians within the diaspora, he responded by saying “I’ll refer you to the capabilities of the committee on diaspora, should you undergo that, it’s nothing related to what you’re now presenting.
He added: “I’m not satisfied that we have to take that petition.”