Nigerians Living Abroad Can’t Talk about Insecurity in Nigeria –Ahmed Idris Wase, Deputy Speaker Warns
Ahmed Idris Wase, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has stated that Nigerians living abroad are unable to file petitions regarding certain incidents that occurred in the country.
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During Thursday’s plenary, Mr. Wase, who sat in for Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, rejected a petition filed by the “Mutual Union of the Tiv in America.” “in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba on insecurity
Mark Terseer Gbillah, a lawmaker from Benue’s Gwer east/Gwer west federal constituency, presented the group’s petition, in which they accused the federal government of failing to rehabilitate Tiv people who had been displaced from their ancestral lands as a result of various attacks.
Gbillah expressed his thoughts as follows:
“I have a petition from the Tiv Mutual Union in America against the Nigerian federal government, and the issue is about the TIV people’s ancestral land, which appears to have been possessed in recent times through various attacks, and the fact that they are languishing in IDP camps without any intervention.”
“Honourable Gbillah, did you say Tivs in America?” Wase responded to the petition. What knowledge do they have of Nigeria? What is their line of work? They can’t stay in their bubbles and keep up with what’s going on in Nigeria.”
Wase added, “if they are in America, could they really be an interested party here?” after Gbillah confirmed the petition is from the mutual union of Tiv people living in America. Do they really understand what’s going on?”
However, after the Benue lawmaker argued that the group can file petitions because they have family members and people living in Nigeria, the deputy speaker interrupted him, saying,
“I don’t want to make a broad generalisation about those who live in diaspora.
“I believe this petition has a very high block standard if it comes from within the country. Those who live in America, on the other hand, come to lodge complaints.”
“Some of them are just studying, some are just going to do courses, and they’re a union and are Nigerian citizens,” Gbillah responded.”
The deputy speaker interrupted him again, saying, “No, if there are Nigerians, they are Nigerians, but I’m not sure if they have dual citizenship.” “They don’t have dual citizenship, they’re all Nigerian citizens,” Gbillah countered.
Wase then inquired about the group’s registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), noting that the commission requires all associations to be registered. At this point, Gbillah referred the deputy speaker to section 40 of the constitution which provides for freedom of association.
“I am not stopping that,” the deputy speaker said again, “but I am saying that if they are Nigerians living in Nigeria and bringing issues, I agree.” Someone in America, however, who lives far away from this country.”
“This is not the first time we have presented petitions even from those who are residents in Nigeria, we even have those in the diaspora,” the Benue lawmaker interjected ““I am not convinced that someone from America can come here and then delay issues in Nigeria,” the Deputy Speaker said. I am not persuaded.”
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When Gbillah asked the deputy speaker to refer the petition to the committee on diaspora, he said, “I’ll refer you to the functions of the committee on diaspora, if you go through that, it’s nothing relevant to what you’re now presenting.”
“I am not convinced that we need to take that petition,” he added.
# Ahmed Idris Wase on Nigerians Living Abroad
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