By Christiana Ekpa
Following recent attacks on political office holders by Nigerians abroad, particular the incident involving Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the House of Representatives committee on diaspora has said it will engage Nigerians abroad with a view to promoting restraint in relating with Nigerians visiting foreign countries.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Tolulope Sadipe disclosed this yesterday at the inaugural meeting of the committee and presentation of work plan to members.
The committee proposed an interaction with stakeholders with a view to changing the narrative.
She said: “The recent and most unfortunate incidents involving a sitting Senator, Ike Ekweremadu in Germany and Senator Buruji Kashamu in United Kingdom were warning signals of dangerous trends that this Committee must nip in the bud.”
“Therefore, we must champion a new relationship between Nigerians in diaspora and the political elites at home,” the lawmaker said.
She stressed that in a bid to be proactive, the Committee has reviewed and recommended some organisations to the Speaker for inclusion in the Standing Order of the House.
“They are: Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Nigeria National Volunteer Service; Diaspora Scholarship programmes in all MDAs, annual budget estimates on diaspora matters in all MDAs which were approved and we expect inclusion in the reprint”, she noted.
She also said that her committee will seriously engage other stakeholders “in addressing all issues confronting citizens outside the shores of our dear nation”.
“Let me reiterate that the era where Nigerians in Diaspora are treated as filth without commensurate response to the nationals of those countries are over.
“We will also synergize with other stakeholders to make Nigeria, a nation where its citizens will no longer be migrating in droves seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
“This is the ultimate among all democratic dividends that the political elite must deliver to the masses and this Committee will vigorously pursue this,” the committee vowed.