• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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House of Reps’ Deputy Speaker, Kalu, launches ‘Food for Peace’ initiative

House of Reps’ Deputy Speaker, Kalu, launches ‘Food for Peace’ initiative

…Distributes motorcycles, generators, others in Abia LGAs

Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has launched the ‘Food For Peace’ initiative.

Kalu, while launching the initiative, an offshoot of ‘Peace ln Southeast Project’ at his country home, Bende, in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, noted that a hungry man is an angry man, hence the need for the people to be fed always.

He also said that the launch was consistent with the 8 pillars of the recently unveiled ‘Peace In South East Project’ (PISE-P), a novel idea initiated by the deputy speaker which canvasses a non-kinetic approach to resolving the security challenges of the South East.

Read also: S/E Development Commission will resolve post war imbalance – Deputy Speaker

Subsumed under the agriculture and food security pillar of PISE-P, the event themed ‘A Hungry Man is an Angry Man’ recognised the importance of food in the drive for peace in the region, hence its quick implementation.

This would be the first step towards implementing the ‘Food for Peace’ programme.

The launch witnessed the distribution of food items across the 17 local government areas of Abia State and other areas in the region.

The details showed that over 6000 bags of rice, 150 bags of beans, 80 bags of gari, 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 pesticide-sprinkling kits.

Others were several sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, children’s clothes and brocade clothes for thousands of beneficiaries.

The Deputy Speaker disclosed that it was expected that the motorcycles would be used to access the farmlands in the hinterlands, the pesticide-spraying machines would also help to keep the farms healthy just as generators and the deep freezers among other items would 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 emphasized the need for peace.
He told the people that in the weeks ahead, PISE-P would unveil other phases of the programme which include infrastructural development to sufficiently better the lots of the citizenry.

He also solicited support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, 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 the 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 Ndi Igbo. 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 to an Igbo man, saying to Igbos, take care of the economy of Nigeria. If he has that confidence in Ndi Igbo to say that the oil and gas infrastructure should be protected by an Igbo, I can assure you that all is well with Ndi Igbo.

“If he will also insist on your son to be the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and for another to be Minister of Works, then, he means well for us.

“Let us drum support for him. Let us draw closer to the centre 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 from Abuja to Bende for the unavailing 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 of 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 entire South East zone.

“It is this particular project that has lobbied for the passage of the 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.

While acknowledging that peace was important to the zone, they pledged to work assiduously for the total restoration of peace in the South East