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U.S. group seeks Nigerians in Diaspora representation in National Assembly, describe House Deputy Speaker comment as “disgraceful”

The Washington DC, United States-based US-Nigeria Law Group has described as disgraceful the statement by the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Idris Wase, that Nigerians in Diaspora has no right to speak on the issue of the insecurity in the country.

In a statement by the leader of the group, Emmanuel Ogebe, the US-Nigeria Law Group regretted that the statement is coming when “sensible countries” who understand the value of their Diaspora people as strategic foreign human capital reserve woo them accordingly.

For the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to habour the opinion that their opinion, the U.S. based group said, shows that the intellectual quality of leadership has gravely declined under President Muhammadu Buhari.

In fact, the group said that because of the economic value they bring to Nigeria through their remittances, “the time has come for us to consider having a member of the National Assembly representing the Diaspora.”

The statement signed by Emmanuel Ogebe reads: “I was appalled to hear of the disgraceful statements attributed to Nigeria’s Deputy Speaker that Nigerians abroad have no right to speak about insecurity at home.

“Such an asinine remark is shocking but not unexpected. Indeed it is part of the logical consequences of brain drain that dim wits will fill the power vacuum. At a time that Nigeria is exporting global leaders like Ngozi Iweala, Akin Adesina and Amina Mohamed to the headship of multilateral institutions, it is the likes of Idris Wase left in power.

“So, Nigerians abroad who remit $22B yearly to Nigeria are NOT Nigerian enough to comment on Fulani violence but Fulanis from abroad can come into Nigeria, kill Nigerians and harm our agro-economy with impunity?

“Sensible countries understand the value of their Diaspora as a strategic foreign human capital reserve and woo them accordingly. President Obasanjo’s administration certainly did so and introduced the annual Diaspora day. Indeed when on a VOA interview with one of Obasanjo’s ministers he said Diaspora was “inconsequential” we immediately took him up as out of tune with his president’s policy priority.

“Unfortunately the intellectual quality of leadership has gravely declined under Buhari that you can now find members of parliament representing cows over humans.

“At a time when US President Biden’s administration has appointed more high profile Nigerians than ever in history, it is pathetic that Idris Wase is denigrating us at home. Thus it is said that a prophet is without honor in his own home.

“The reason why the US and UN do not as a principle negotiate with terrorists is not for lack of funds or concern but strategic – do not create a precedent that will make your citizens or diplomats become easy profit targets for kidnappers! Governor El-Rufai sought out Fulanis abroad and paid them money not to kill Kaduna State people because he their Fulani brother was now the governor.

“What did this mean? It meant that these foreign Fulanis could now monetize the killing of Kaduna people. It meant that they could do so with impunity because their brother the Fulani was Governor. What happened? Fulani kidnap syndicate now have established entire kidnap villages in Kaduna state where hostages are housed, fed, killed or freed from with impunity.

“The two-hour Abuja-Kaduna road is now more dangerous from Fulani kidnap syndicate than from Boko Haram on Benesheikh road in the northeast. Bad governance has consequences as does lack of principles. Nigerians in Diaspora on the other hand save the country. While politicians are looting money abroad, our remittances have stabilized the economy from hemorrhaging.

“Indeed recently the CBN switched to dollar remittances for money transfers to make up for the shortfall in petro dollar incomes. Nigerians abroad are part of the few nationalities in Diaspora who get nothing in return for the economic value they bring. The time has come for us to consider having a member of the National Assembly representing the Diaspora.

“Idris Wase does not represent well the good and hospitable people of Plateau who host more expatriates than any State in the north. He represents a typical Nigerian politician who doesn’t know his job and is illiterate on democracy and governance.”

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