Gbajabiamila slams Dep Speaker, welcomes petition by Tivs in diaspora
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has welcomed the petition submitted by the Tiv people from Benue State resident in the United States under the auspices of the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA).
Hon. Gbajabiamila’s move came barely a week after the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase rejected the petition presented by a member of the House representing Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, Hon. Mark Terseer Gbilla.
ElombahNews had reported, in an article written by Zacharys Anger Gundu, how Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase shouted down Hon. Gbilla when he attempted to submit the petition from MUTA.
The petition had drawn attention to the plight of Tiv Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States.
Wase was presiding and rudely stopped Gbilla in his tracks from presenting the petition.
According to Wase, Nigerian’s in diaspora do not know what is going on in the country to the extent of expressing any concerns on the Nigerian challenge and petitioning President Muhammadu Buhari on matters that may concern them.
He asked whether the petitioners are actually Nigerian citizens; whether the Union (MUTA) under which they had petitioned is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and whether anyone could come from far away America and have locus standi in a matter like this.
Since the petition could be placed before the House only with the permission of the Speaker, and Idris Wase on this day was presiding, he did not give his permission and Gbillah was pointedly guided to sit down.
The rejection, meanwhile, attracted widespread condemnations of Nigerians from various quarters.
During plenary on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary accepted the petition.
According to him, the House of Representatives cannot discriminate against any Nigerian wherever they may be in any part of the world.
Giving his reasons for accepting the petition, Gbajabiamila said:
“I believe this is the same petition that has been causing a lot of misunderstanding.
“The misunderstanding came from the issue of signature.
“Having cleared that misunderstanding, please, go ahead and lay your petition to be given proper attention.
“Thank you, Hon Mark Gbillah. Thank you for your patience.”
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