Gbajabiamila Accepts Controversial Tivs in Diaspora Petition

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  • Gbillah appeals to Nigerians in diaspora to rescind decision on withholding remittances

By Udora Orizu

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila at the plenary on Tuesday, accepted the petition of the Tiv people from Benue State resident in the United States of America, which was earlier rejected by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase.

Recall that the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase who sat in for Speaker Gbajabiamila penultimate week rejected the petition.

The petition, which was presented by Hon. Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue) accused the federal government of nonchalance towards the perils facing those who have been displaced as a result of herdsmen activities.

Wase, while responding, argued that Nigerians abroad had no rights to file a petition on the crisis.

The rejection had however attracted widespread condemnations from Nigerians all over the world.

But presented again by Hon. Mark Gbillah at Tuesday plenary, Gbajabiamila who presided over the session accepted the petition.

He said that the House of Representatives cannot discriminate against any Nigerian wherever they may be in any part of the world.

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.”

Speaking to Journalists after the plenary, Hon. Gbillah while commending the Speaker for his intervention, appealed to Nigerians in diaspora to sheathe their swords and rescind their earlier threat of withholding their home remittances in the light of the acceptance of the petition.

The lawmaker also appealed to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase to apologize for his statement.

He said, ”I would also like to first all commend Nigerians in diaspora for rising up to defend their constitutional rights. It is their privilege to do so. I appreciate their rallying around us, the Tiv people and the Tiv Association in America who brought up this petition in the first place. I don’t want us to lose focus on the crux of the petition itself.

“I want to appeal to them in the light of the final submission of the petition and Mr. Speaker’s confirmation of the commitment of the House in the furtherance of the issue of our people in diaspora to sheathe their swords and rescind their earlier ultimatum with regards to remittances.”