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 Orji's legislative activities at the National Assembly, saying that the bill was very important to national development hence the president should give assent.
The legislation known as "SB.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 Purposes" 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 Thursday, October 13, 2016 and has been awaiting the presidential signature and seal to become an Act. It is expected that it would open a new vista on how Nigeria manages the food and nutritional needs of its citizens.
The 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 that 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.
"There is nothing that a senator should do that Senator Orji has not done perfectly hence he should be returned for second term," 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 Deputy Governor of Abia State Ude Oko Chukwu lauded Orji, saying that he has transcended his constituency and should rightly be regarded as a senator for the entire Abia State.
"We want to thank him (Orji) for being a good ambassador of Abia for his quality representation and for being the voice of Abia at the National Assembly," he said.
Describing Orji as "our father and mentor", the deputy governor noted that the Abia Central senator was behind the peace and tranquility being enjoyed in Abia 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 Orji's virtues, pointing out the various ways he has positively touched the lives of Abia people.