MBJF Applauds Gbajabiamila Over Tiv Diaspora Petition

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  • Demands robust debate, conversation by lawmakers on issues

The Middle Belt Journalists Forum, (MBJF), has applauded Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabamila for accepting the Tiv diaspora petition on insecurity earlier rejected by the House Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.

Also, the Forum insists that lawmakers at all levels of government must always uphold equity and the freedom of speech as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Forum praised Speaker Gbajabamila “for applying himself to the principle of freedom of speech and fair hearing by permitting Hon Mark Gbila’s petition on behalf of some Tiv diaspora be heard on the floor of the House.”

Signed by its President, Jonathan Ipaa and National Secretary, Oikeke Igado Kure, the statement said; “In the petition bordering on insecurity and presented by the Benue Lawmaker, germane issues that were raised should have been attended to rather than dismissed by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris when he presided over the House.”

The Forum said lawmakers have a critical role in democracy and must be seen to be the people’s voice, adding that; “Any attempt by anyone to deny people an opportunity to lay the petition of their citizens within the ambit of the law before the legislature must be resisted.

“The Speaker of the House of Representatives has done what is expected of a person occupying such office, and other presiding officers, elected persons and those appointed must know that they hold such positions in trust for the Nigerian people.

“At a period such as this when there is tension and unease across the country, the MBJF advice Nigerians, especially, public office holders to be circumspect in their comments and actions.”

Furthermore, the MBJF expressed its willingness and availability “to work with the lawmakers and other people of goodwill to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle Belt and other parts of the Country which are not being paid the desired attention.”

The journalists’ body therefore “call on the two chambers of the National Assembly to come up with a Legislative agenda to address the human deprivation in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.”

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