Nigerians in Diaspora have threatened to halt remittances over recent remarks of Ahmed Wase, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mr Wase who presides over plenary on Thursday rejected a petition brought before the house by a diaspora group, Mutual Unions of Tiv in America (MUTA) over insecurity in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states. He said Nigerians abroad lacked the moral privilege to question the federal government on national issues.
In a petition to the national assembly dated March 14, 2021, Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) asked the lawmaking arm of government to clarify its position on privileges of citizens residing outside the country within 14 days or have it halt weekly remittances which Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, recently said surged by 500 percent from 5million to 30million dollars.
“We, the Nigerians in Diaspora worldwide (Nigerians in Europe, Americas, Asia, Oceania, Middle-East and Africa), are totally appalled by these statements of the Deputy Speaker, Hon Ahmed Idris Wase. His inference, his body language, his facial expression and posture are totally disgusting,” the letter read in part.
It added that it was equally disturbing that none of the House members spoke up during the plenary session to call Wase’s attention to the contributions of Nigerians in diaspora to the development of the country, as well as their rights and privileges, wondering if the view and position expressed by the deputy speaker were the same as those of other members of Nigeria’s political elite.
The organisation is demanding a full retraction of Wase’s comments and an unconditional public apology to the Nigerians in diaspora. It is also asking that Gilbah be allowed to present the motion for and on behalf of MUTA as a concerned group of Nigerians in diaspora and that the speaker convene an urgent virtual meeting with the Nigerians in diaspora community to address this issue and to reassure them of his full support.
“Rt. Honourable Speaker, being someone that had lived and worked in the Diaspora, we request that you personally address this issue openly to allay the fears of Nigerians Diaspora on the true position of NASS and your leadership on all aspects of the relationship between the Nigerian Diaspora and the Nigerian Government, including the pending Diaspora voting right bill.
“We would like to state that falling short of the above within 14 days upon the receipt of this letter, we might be compelled to take further actions, which might include but not limited to calling out all Nigerians in Diaspora to withhold further home remittances with immediate effect,” the epistle added.