The house of representatives has finally admitted a petition from the “Mutual Union of the Tiv in America” which was earlier rejected under controversial circumstances.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker, admitted the petition for consideration during Tuesday’s plenary session when it was presented again by Mark Gbillah from Benue state.
The petition accused the federal government of not resettling the Tiv people displaced from their ancestral land through various attacks.
Thousands of Nigerians were reportedly displaced in the north-central region as a result of the farmer-herders crises.
It was rejected last two weeks when Idris Wase, the deputy speaker, presided over the plenary session,
He had questioned the eligibility of the signatories because they do not “really know” the situation in Nigeria.
His decision was widely criticised by many Nigerians but Wase said his contention was on the “legality of the petitioners and not on whether Nigerians in the diaspora have a right to petition the house or not”.
Gbajabiamila said the deputy speaker was misunderstood and that the house does not discriminate against Nigerians no matter where they are.
“The house of representatives does not discriminate against Nigerians wherever they may be. And whatever the protest involved may be, they remain Nigerians,” he said.
“I must also say that the deputy speaker of the house of representatives has been a champion for diaspora voting and was also involved very much in the creation of diaspora committee in the house some years back.”