The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has admitted the petition of the Tiv people from Benue State resident in diaspora.
It will be recalled that Mark Gbillah who is representing Gwer East West Federal Constituency of Benue State had at last week’s plenary presented a petition from the Tiv petition resident in the United States.
He said: “Mr Speaker, I have a petition from the Mutual Union of Tiv in America against the federal government of Nigeria. And the issue has to do with the ancestral land of the Tiv people that seems to have been possessed in recent times through various attacks and the facts that they are languishing in IDPs camps without any intervention. With your kind permission, Mr Speaker, I want to lay this petition before this honourable House.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase who presided over plenary had rejected the petition, saying Nigerians in diaspora were not in the right position to make a petition to the House.
He said Nigerians in the diaspora do not “really know” the situation in Nigeria and thus are not eligible to file petitions.
The rejection had long attracted condemnations from Nigerians all over the world.
However, at Tuesday’s plenary, Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary had accepted the petition in the grounds that Nigerian in any part of the world should not be discriminated by the house. According to his words:
“I believe this is the same petition that has been causing a lot of misunderstanding.
“The misunderstanding came from the issue of signature.
“Having cleared that misunderstanding, please, go ahead and lay your petition to be given proper attention
“Thank Hon Mark Gbillah. Thank you for your patience”, Gbajabiamila said.
The petition, presented by Mark Gbillah, had accused the federal government of not resettling the Tiv people displaced from their ancestral land through various attacks.