Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to end the delay in giving assent to the food security bill which was passed by the National Assembly 18 months ago.
The call was made by stakeholders of Abia Central senatorial zone when they gathered to celebrate the third anniversary of Senator Theodore Orjiâ€™s legislative activities at the National Assembly, saying the bill was very important to the national development, hence the president should give his assent.
The legislation known as â€œSB.71: A Bill For An Act to Make Provision for Freedom From Hunger and The Right to Adequate Food of Acceptable Quality, Right of Every Child to Basic Nutrition and for Connected Purposesâ€ was sponsored by Senator Orji, who represents Abia Central senatorial zone.
The pro-people bill popularly called food security bill was passed on the floor of the Senate on October 13, 2016, and has been awaiting the presidential signature and seal to become an Act.Â It is expected that it would open a new vista on how Nigeria manages the food and nutritional needs of its citizens.
Abia State Commissioner for Information, Hon Chidiebere Nwoke, expressed the collective concern of the Abia Central stakeholders over the delay in assenting to the bill which would have a direct positive impact on every Nigerian.
He warned that the food security bill should not be politicised since, according to him, the delay in giving presidential assent might not be unconnected to the fact that it was sponsored by a senator from the opposition party.
Nwoke, who was a majority leader in the fifth session of Abia State House of Assembly, said Orji has acquitted himself very well as a federal lawmaker, noting that he has been very productive not only in lawmaking but also in oversight duties and representation of his constituents.
â€œThere is nothing that a senator should do he has not done perfectly, hence he should be returned for second term,â€ Nwoke said, adding that within the first six months of his inauguration, he was rated the third most productive senator by the Daily Trust.
The state Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, lauded the Abia Central senator, saying he has transcended his constituency and should rightly be regarded as a senator for the entire state.
â€œWe want to thank him (Orji) for being a good ambassador of Abia for his quality representation and for being the voice of the state at the National Assembly,â€ he said.
Describing Orji as â€œour father and mentor,â€ the deputy governor noted that the Abia Central senator was behind the peace and tranquility being enjoyed in the state today following his implementation of the charter of equity which made it possible for power to shift to Abia South in 2015.
Several speakers, including the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the event, extolled the virtues of the senator, pointing out the various ways he has positively touched the lives of Abia people.