Nigerians in Diaspora faults Reps Deputy Speaker on alleged doctored video

―Insists on public apology

The coalition of Nigerians in Diaspora Organizations (NIDO), on Monday, dismissed a report credited to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Idris Wase, alleging that the trending video on the derogatory statement against Nigerians in Diaspora was doctored and slanted with a view to give it political and ethnic colouration.

The group’s position was contained in a statement signed by Dr Bashir O. Obasekola (Chairman, NIDO Europe); Chief (Engr.) Obed Monago (Chairman, NIDO Americas); Engr Prof E. C. Ejiogu (Chairman, NIDO Asia); Hon Gary Linus Unamadu (Chairman, NIDO Oceania) and Dr Obinna Kingsman (Chairman).

While maintaining its stance on the 14-day ultimatum issued to the Deputy Speaker to offer public apology directly or through National Assembly instrument or Zoom, the Coalition condemned the attempt by Hon. Wase to divert attention.

“While we patiently wait for the official statement from the National Assembly on the derogatory statement against the Nigerian Diaspora by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wase, we are compelled to respond to his accusatory statement of video doctoring contained in his press statement, ‘the media report of the matter had been doctored, slanted and bent to give political and ethnic colouration to an event that was otherwise strictly based on Rules of Parliamentary Procedures.’

“The Deputy Speaker, in an attempt to rebut, doubles down on his defiance by going further to accuse the Diaspora, the media and or Hon Gbillah of doctoring the original video clip.

“NIDO is apolitical and does not harbour any ill against our dear country, that would warrant the doctoring of the video clip as alleged. We strongly demand, at this time that the Deputy Speaker produces his version of the encounter to buttress his allegation of doctoring.

“There is a saying that “bad excuse is worse than silence.” We found his excuses lame and an insult to our collective intelligence as Diaspora. Nonetheless, please be advised that our contention and effusions do not border on issues of parliamentary procedures and protocols, but rather on the Deputy Speaker’s statement that categorically denies the locus standi of diaspora Nigerians in litigating issues of national interest, notwithstanding our dual citizenships.

“The Deputy Speaker by his utterances, totally displayed a degree of ignorance of the law that will not be tolerated even from a freshman lawmaker, considering his 16 years of service at NASS.

“One would have expected a country like Nigeria to respect and value its Diaspora as a strategic partner in harnessing foreign human capital and an indispensable resource in light of their significant fiscal and social contributions to national development.

“On the contrary, we are receiving such asinine and insidious remarks from someone in such a hallowed position in government.

“To allay the fears of the Diaspora, we once more call on the Deputy Speaker to make bold and take back his statements, either personally or through the instruments of NASS. A ZOOM conference with the Diaspora will suffice.

We are using this opportunity to humbly urge the various arms of our government to not only establish standards and policies that seek to embolden the diaspora discourse but harmonize our common interests.

We are still hoping that we would hear from the Rt. Honourable Speaker before the expiration of our 14 days notice.

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