MUTA petition: “You’re suppressing the people’s voice” – Ortom tackles Reps Deputy Speaker Wase
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has faulted the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase after a video emerged of him blocking Mark Gbillah, a Benue State lawmaker, from presenting a petition by a diaspora group.
Ortom spoke through a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase on Wednesday.
Recall that the diaspora group, Mutual Unions of Tiv in America (MUTA), recently petitioned Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila over the matter.
MUTA threatened to withdraw some remittances unless Wase retracted an “unfortunate statement” he made against the group and allowed Gbillah to present its petition before the House.
Reacting to the controversy, the Benue State Governor described it as “unfortunate”
The statement read, “Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom describes as shocking, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Hon Idris Wase’s rejection of a petition from the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA), brought before the House by the member representing Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, Hon Mark Gbillah.
“The Governor states that the action of the House Deputy Speaker amounts to suppression of the people’s voice; a development he says contravenes the very principles upon which the country’s democracy is built.
“He stresses 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.
“He commends Hon Mark Gbillah for his calm disposition despite Hon Wase’s utterances and urges 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.”