…Gifts other empowerment items
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
In continuation of his Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) initiative, the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Sunday, distributed over 6000 bags of rice and beans to his constituents and people from other parts of the South-East.
Launching the initiative at his Bende country home in Abia State, the Deputy Speaker said the initiative was consistent with the eight pillars of the PISE-P programme which is his brain child.
PISE-P advocates a non kinetic approach to resolving the security challenges of the South-East.
The event entitled “A Hungry Man is an Angry Man,” recognises the importance of food in the drive for peace in the region hence its quick implementation.
Details of the items include: 6000 bags of rice, 150 bags of beans, 80 bags of garri, 3000 cartoons of spaghetti, 100 cartoons of vegetable oil and 3000, pieces of wrappers were distributed to each of the LGAs.
The launch also featured the distribution of motorcycles, deep freezers, sewing and grinding machines, big capacity generators and pesticides sprinkling kits.
Others were several pieces of wrapper, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, children’s clothes and broadcade clothes, recording thousands of beneficiaries.
While it is expected that the motorcycles will be used to access the farmlands in the hinterlands, the pesticide spraying machines will also help to keep the farms healthy just as generators and the deep freezers among others items will also serve some useful purposes in the agricultural value chain.
Kalu before the distribution of the items, met with the coordinators in the State and emphasised the need for peace.
Notiing that “a hungry man is an angry man,” he told the people that in the weeks ahead, PISE-P will unveil other phases of the programme which include infrastructural developments to sufficiently better the lots of the citizenry.
The deputy speaker also solicited support for the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government, stressing that the South-East stood a chance to benefit immensely.
He said: “It is time for unity, it is time for peace. That is the only way we can rebuild our region: Peace and unity. Our hard work will only pay when we do it in peace and unity. It is a new dawn for South-East. The sense of belonging and importance that you need, this is the time to have it.
“Preach the good news for people to draw closer to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He means well for Ndigbo. He has shown us love by appointing the Chief of Naval Staff, an Igbo man to take care of Nigeria’s economy that is dependent on oil and gas. Yes, the security of oil and gas is handled by the Navy and he gave it to an Igbo Man, saying to Igbos, take care of the economy of Nigeria. If he has that confidence in Ndigbo to say that the oil and gas infrastructure should be protected by an Igbo, I can assure you that all is well with Ndigbo.
“If he will also insist on your son to be the Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives and for another to be Minister of Works, then, he mens well.
“Let us drum support for him. Let us draw closer to the center of leadership by supporting the President. Let us send the message across. Let us all be advocates of peace. It is only when the region is calm that our longing for the release of our brother can take place. They relocated Abuja to Bende for the unveiling of the PISE-P. Nnamdi Kanu is from Old Bende. If the President came to Old Bende, that is to tell you I am not afraid joining hands to work with him.
“How are we playing the ball in our court now they have passed it to us? The only way we can play it back is to encourage peace to spring up around Abia State and the South-Eastern zone.
“It is this particular project that has lobbied for the passage of South-East Development Commission Bill that failed in the 8th and 9th Assembly. We lobbied the members of the national assembly and said, please, see the reason for this bill and all of them said yes to South-East Development Commission. If that is not a great achievement for peace in the South-East, I wonder what it is.
“The funds that will be used to buy arms and ammunition to fight in the South-East will be put in the development commission to create jobs for your children, build those roads that we are complaining about, build those schools and hospitals and the issue of marginalisation will stop.”
Many of the beneficiaries lauded Kalu’s initiative, benevolence and kind gestures, saying that this was unprecedented and would assist them economically.
Acknowledging that peace was important to the zone, they pledged to work assiduously for the total restoration of peace in the South-East.