From Jonas Ike, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Thursday concurred with the Senate in the passage of a bill to establish the South East Development Commission.
The Bill which scaled through second reading during plenary presided by Deputy Speaker, Hon.Yusuf Lasun witnessed a debate that showed how sentimental some members are in the development of the country.
The heated debate however became emotional on the floor particularly as lawmakers representing South Eastern States as those canvassing for 9th Speakership position seized the opportunity to explain how the zone has been neglected since the civil war.
According to Hon. Eucharia Anazodo(Anambra,PDP), we need this bill to reconstruct and rehabilitate the zone from the civil war.
Hon. Nicholas Ossai (Delta,PDP) while speaking on how every part of the South East has been eaten by erosion as well as the destruction caused by the civil war explained that the commission will help carry section of the country along.
The mention of the civil war resulted to a point of order from a lawmaker, Hon. Sanni Abdul(Bauchi,PDP) who advised that Mr. Ossai should stick to the subject matter instead.
But the presiding officer however resolved the matter by pointing out that the bill entails environment and under development of the zone.
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The South East lawmakers however continued in their push on the reason the bill should be passed.
Among those who contributed further were Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha and Hon. Linda Ukeje. They argued that there is no point playing sentiment instead the House should look at what will unite the country at large.
Contributions from Hon. Umar Badeh(Kaduna,PDP) and Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano,APC) gave a resounding hope for the bill be passed.
The lawmakers both from the North emotionally explained how the civil war negatively affected the South East zone in terms of development. They therefore advised house that if the bill is for the development of the South East and the country in general, they are in full support of it.
“There is a chunk of under development in the South East. The passage of this bill will help unite this country. Lets show them that they are part of this country. We should rise above ethnic sentiment and pass this bill”, Jibrin said.
It was victory at last particularly for lawmakers from South East as a majority voice vote put up by the Deputy Speaker went in favour of the bill.
The bill was therefore referred to the House Committee of the whole for further action.
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