From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has described as shocking, the rejection of the petition from the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA), by the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Idris Wase just as he urged lawmakers to overrule him (Ease) in the petition.
Recall that a few days ago, member representing Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, Mark Gbillah had presented the petition before the House for consideration but the Deputy Speaker who was presiding that day rejected it.
Reacting to the development, Governor Ortom, in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, stated that the action of the House Deputy Speaker amounts to suppression of the people’s voice.
The Governor noted that such development contravenes the very principles upon which the country’s democracy is built.
The statement explained that Nigerians home and abroad have a right as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (amended) to express their feelings about affairs of their country.
“Governor Ortom says the condition of thousands of people who have been displaced from their ancestral homes as a result of herdsmen attacks and now live in camps in Benue State deserves the attention and support of other Nigerians.
“He appreciates the Mutual Union of Tiv in America, as well as other concerned groups for their solidarity.
“The Governor points out that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission was established to cater for the affairs of the country’s citizens living abroad, and wonders why anyone would now claim to be oblivious of the significant contributions Nigerians living in other countries make to their fatherland.”
Ortom also commended Gbillah for his calm disposition despite Wase’s utterances even as he urged the Gwer West representative not to be discouraged from championing causes in the interest of his people.
“Governor Ortom expects the House of Representatives to overrule the Deputy Speaker and accept the MUTA petition as well as patriotic concerns of other Nigerians bordering on state of the nation.
“He equally calls on the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to intervene in the matter, in order to prevent a repeat of the ugly scenario in the future,” the statement concluded.
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