MEMBERS of the Plateau State caucus in the Federal House of Representatives have passed a vote of confidence in deputy speaker Hon Idris Wase despite calls for his removal after he insulted Nigerian diasporans by saying that have no business in the affairs of the country.
On March 10, Hon Mark Gbillah, the lawmaker representing Gwer East-Gwer West Constituency of Benue State, attempted to submit a petition filed by the Mutual Union of Tivs in America (Muta), condemning the killing of Tivs in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states. However, the petition was rejected by Hon Wase, who was president overt the House in place of speaker Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to Hon Wase, Nigerians who sit in their comfort zones abroad are not eligible to file petitions against the federal government on issues regarding insecurity. His comments have sparked widespread anger across the diaspora that remits $25bn back to Nigeria annually and Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chair of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission has written to Hon Gbajabiamila asking for clarification.
Even though the House of Representatives has apologised for the insult and Hon Wase has refused to admit any wrongdoing, the Plateau State caucus has backed him to the hilt. Hon Beni Lar, the chairman of the caucus, said their resolve became imperative as the incident had been given an ethnic and political coloration which ought to be a purely parliamentary affair.
Describing Hon Wase as a seasoned legislator known to have listening ears and accommodating of all views, the caucus implored the public not to misunderstand the intentions of the deputy speaker, who according to them is known to act in accordance with laid down procedures. This is despite the fact that the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation gave Hon Wase 14 days to withdraw his comments, which he has refused to do.