Former presidential aspirant, Kingsley Moghalu has berated the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Ahmed Wase, over his insensitive comment that Nigerians in the Diaspora cannot submit petitions on matters affecting the people.
Wase, who presided over plenary in the absence of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila last Thursday, rejected a petition from the Mutual Union of the Tivs in America, saying Nigerians in the diaspora do not “really know” the situation in the country, and are thus not eligible to file petitions to the National Assembly..
The petition, which was presented by Mark Gbillah, lawmaker representing Benue Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, had accused the federal government of not resettling the Tiv people displaced from their ancestral land through various attacks by rampaging herdsmen as well as other security challenges.
The deputy speaker has however refuted the claims.
In a statement issued on Monday by Umar Puma, Wase’s chief press secretary, the deputy speaker denied the allegations that he rejected such a person, despite video evidence, adding that he only questioned the “legality of the petitioners”, and did not contest “whether Nigerians in the diaspora have a right to petition the house or not”.
Moghalu via his twitter handle, has tongue-lashed Wase. He wrote:
“I’m OUTRAGED at @nassnigeria House of Representatives Dep. Speaker @HonAhmedWase saying Nigerians living abroad have no right to submit petitions to parliament. Remittances from our countrymen and women at $20 billion a year keep alive families impoverished by our politicians!”
The former top wig of the Central Bank of Nigeria, used the medium to remind Nigerians of their possible electoral choices come the next elections, saying there is a need to be careful about who is elected into public office.
This is why we must be careful who we elect into high offices. We need #electoralreform NOW, and diaspora Nigerians must have the ability to vote from abroad as is the case in Ghana and many other countries. If @cenbank can woo their remittances, we need their votes too!
Although not much has been heard from Moghalu after the last 2019 presidential elections, it is unclear if he will be taking another shot at the presidency in 2023.
Wase’s action has been greeted with various reactions from Nigerians, as tons of them have expressed utter disappointment in the words and display of the deputy speaker.