…..As the Speaker accepts Gbillah petition on Tiv killing
By Christiana Ekpa
The Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday accepted the petition of the Tiv people from Benue State resident in the united States of America.
The Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase had last week rejected the petition, saying Nigerians in diaspora were not in the right standing to make a petition to the House.
The rejection had attract widespread condemnations from Nigerians all over the world.
But represented by Hon. Mark Gbillah representing Gwer East West Federal Constituency of Benue State at Tuesday plenary, Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary 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 also that his deputy has been championing the cause of the Nigerians in diaspora.
“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 Hon Mark Gbillah. Thank you for your patience”, Gbajabiamila said.
Speaking to Journalists after the plenary, Gbillah commended the Speaker for his intervention.
He appealed to diaspora Nigerians to sheathe their swords and rescind their earlier threat of withholding their home remittances in the light of the acceptance of the petition.
“The Speaker sat today as you were aware and obviously with somebody of his vast legislative experience, he also understood clearly that there was a fall par in the event that unfortunately occured on March 10, 2021 because the rules clearly state that a petition stands laid. So, let me commend the Speaker, Nigerians in diaspora were watching and I want to tell them all very clearly that Mr. Speaker has made a statement today addressing that issue finally about the fact they have inalienable rights to present any petition on any issue before their legislature regardless of whether they are dual citizens or not. We do not require registration with CAC as Nigerians to associate or approach our parliament.
“These rights are enshrined in section 40 of our constitution. So, I am happy this issue has been put behind us and I am hoping that in the same vein, the media will make Nigerians in diaspora, home and all over the world that this honorable House holds diasporas in high esteem and upholds the constitutional rights of every Nigerian regardless of where they are.
“I commend the Speaker for being statesmanly and upholding the tenets of our constitution and rules.
“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.
“I am sure the deputy speaker himself is contrite about the who matter even though he has not formally apologized which I will appeal to him to do, but I want to appeal moreso to my compatriots in diaspora to sheathe swords and rescind their earlier ultimatum with regards to remittances”, Gbillah said.