Bende Federal Constituency is set to get two federal institutions as the House of Representatives today, read two bills sponsored by Rep. Benjamin O. Kalu for the first time. The bills titled; Federal College of Education Bende, (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2020 (HB. 852) and Federal College of Land Resources Technology, Igbere (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2020 (HB. 853) seek to establish a federal college of education and a college of land resources technology in Bende Federal Constituency.
Rep. Kalu, who doubles as the spokesperson of the House, spoke passionately to reporters about his bills and the launch of his online campaign tagged #BendeAfederalConstituencyWithoutAnyFederalInstitution.
“There is hope as we push for more because we cannot remain a federal constituency without any federal government institution. We cannot be a federal Constituency with only two federal roads; the Umuahia-Bende road and Umuahia-Uzuakoli road which are in a very bad shape and totally impassable at some points.
“I have taken it upon myself to change the narrative by not only speaking up for the House of Representatives but for my people of Bende who have been neglected since the local government area’s creation in 1976. We are farmers but ecological problems are eating up our lands, cutting up our roads and breaking our bridges with floods which have swept off homes. We shall no longer keep quiet, we shall speak up for Nigerians to know that we are a federal constituency without a single federal institution. Nothing is in this federal constituency to show we are a federal constituency and the question is why?”
Advocating for the equal treatment of his constituency in line with federal character provisions, the spokesperson demanded that federal institutions be sited in Bende.
“I challenge any person in any arm of the Government to prove me wrong. From Ugwueke to Itumbauzo, from Uzuakoli to Igbere and Item, Bende with a landmass and a population big enough to be four Local Government Areas has nothing to show that we are a federal constituency. We must be treated as other federal constituencies in the country in terms of projects and siting of federal institutions.
“We shall no longer accept this indifference towards our development. Bende Federal Constituency in line with the provisions of the federal character provisions of our constitution with regards to siting of projects has been fully marginalised and neglected over the years and we say no to this illegality. It is the provisions of the constitution in sections defining Federal Character Commission (FCC) as a Federal Executive body established by Act No 34 of 1996 to enforce this Principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructures among the various federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The provisions of Sections 14 and 153 strengthened the establishment of the Federal Character Commission for a smooth running of a democratic system of Government.”
The bills passed first reading in the House today and are now to be slated to a second reading.