Amidst the row over the sex scandal surrounding three members of the House of Representatives, who visited the US on a training, the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), has urged the government to respond to the allegations and not sweep it under the carpet.
The CEE-HOPE, in a press statement issued in Lagos, asked the government to get to the bottom of the issue and not allow it die off like previous scandals.
“The recent revelation by the USA Embassy concerning the alleged acts of our lawmakers while in the USA is not only an international embarrassment on our nation but also on future generations of Nigerians whose perception of our leaders have further dimmed,” said Betty Abah, CEE-HOPE’s Executive Director.
“These allegations cast a very dark cloud of moral bankruptcy, not only on the three fingered lawmakers, not only on the National Assembly but also on our national integrity.
“Why should supposed role models who should represent us in the ideally hallowed chamber be cast in the moulds of touts lacking in sexual discipline? What examples are they showing to the younger generation?” She queried.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, had in a recent letter petitioned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, accusing the three members of the lower chamber of improper conduct, attempted rape and soliciting for prostitutes while on official trip to the U.S A.
The Ambassador, in the letter dated June 9, 2016, addressed to Speaker Dogara, alleged that Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi), Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) had, on a recent visit to the United States for the International Visitor Leadership Programme, brought disrepute to the parliament by soliciting for sex from prostitutes and attempting to rape a housekeeper.
Though the speaker had responded and promised investigation, the group said it feared that “it may go the way of other scandals-silenced and forgotten.”
CEE-HOPE asked the constituencies to recall the affected lawmakers without fail “if it is established that the lawmakers erred so as to serve as a deterrent to others who may contemplate towing the same line.”
It also criticised the prolonged silence from the Presidency, wondering if the body language of the government did not run contrary to the President Buhari’s government’s much-stressed integrity.
“Government should not be seen or sensed as endorsing or condoning indecent acts by its citizens and especially public officials which should be the face of the government. We had expected a swifter action from the government over the issue.
“At a training that was meant to empower them to carry out better legislative processes back home, the allegation is that the law makers were more interested in debauchery and they should not only be adequately shamed but shown the way back home if found guilty. This is a collective shame,” added Abah.