Moghalu criticises deputy speaker for blocking petition from Nigerians in diaspora
Former presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu has criticised the deputy speaker of the house of representatives for rejecting a petition from Nigerians based abroad.
Recall that the Deputy Speaker, Wase who presided over plenary last Thursday, had rejected a petition from the Mutual Union of the Tiv in America, saying Nigerians in the diaspora do not “really know” the situation in the country, and are thus are not eligible to file petitions.
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.
In a statement issued on Monday by Umar Puma, his chief press secretary, the deputy speaker denied rejecting the petition — despite video evidence — and claimed 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”.
But in a post on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday, Moghalu criticised the deputy speaker’s action, and said the fact that Nigerians live abroad is not an excuse to sideline them from submitting petitions to the house.
“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!” Moghalu wrote.
“This is why we must be careful who we elect into high office. 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!
“Nigerians living and earning their living abroad is not a crime. It is their right. Their citizenship shouldn’t be denigrated because of where they live. What opportunities exist for them at home if they did not move out Nigeria?
“Every country has a diaspora, some at leisure (people who just want to live in foreign lands), others by force of circumstances (economic migration). You won’t get a Nobel Prize for guessing where we fit in.”
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