Lawmakers angry over exclusion of zone in projects listing
From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Members of the House of Representatives South-East Caucus met on Monday in Abuja, over the passage of certain bills which they considered inimical to the zone.
According to sources at the meeting held in the office of a ranking member from the zone, the lawmakers extensively discussed the Grazing Bill, the Sharia Bill and the recent request from President Muhammadu Buhari for approval of the $29.960 billion external borrowing (rolling) plan from 2016-2018.
Daily Sun also learnt that at the meeting which had the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo in attendance, the Caucus resolved to vote against the approval of the borrowing plan.
At the gathering which is the third in the series, it was agreed that the issue of the Sharia Bill would be handled diplomatically to avoid a gang up against the zone which is already perceived to be anti-government.
“In the last one month, we have come together to discuss certain bills which have made our people uncomfortable. But we thought it wise that even when we can oppose the Grazing Bill, we should tread softly when it comes to the issue of the Sharia Bill because our goal is to get support for our position on it and not to steer up resentment against our zone,” he added.
Chairman of the South- East Caucus, Chukwuka Onyema, confirmed that members met earlier in the week.
“It’s true we met with the Abuja branch of Ohaneze and they spoke on national issues they considered very important to our people and one or two bills they expressed misgivings on.
“We explained the actions we had taken and that we are doing all we can to protect the interest of our zone. I believe they were satisfied with the explanation we gave them,” he said.
The House had received bashing from Christian groups since May when it passed a pro-Sharia bill for second reading.
The House had also in March passed for second reading a bill to establish national grazing routes and reserves as well as a commission to manage the reserves.