Ohanaeze appreciates passing of South-East Development Commission bill

Ohanaeze appreciates passing of South-East Development Commission bill

The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, on Thursday, hailed the passage of the bill seeking the establishment of the South-East Development Commission by the Senate saying ‘although it is coming too late, nevertheless, it is a welcome development as it would help develop the region.’


The Senate, on Thursday, passed the bill seeking the establishment of the SEDC, to be charged with the responsibility of receiving and managing funds from the allocation of the Federation Account for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses, and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region as a result of the effect of the civil war.

The Red Chamber took the decision while considering the bill’s clauses at its Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio.


The House of Representatives had on December 21, 2023, at its Committee of the Whole chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who is also the sponsor of the bill, unanimously passed it for a third reading and sent it to the Senate for concurrence.


Some of the functions of the commission, when established, include to “conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the South East states in the field of transportation including roads, health, education, employment, agriculture, industrialization, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications; cause the South East states to be surveyed to ascertain measures which are necessary to promote its physical and socio-economic development.”

The President of the Senate, in his remarks after the bill was passed, said once the bill becomes law, it would bring development and the region’s fears would be addressed.


Akpabio said, “It’s a very important bill passed by this 10th Senate, this bill addresses all the fears of our brothers and sisters from the South-East. I want to say congratulations. I pray this commission will bring a lot of development to the South-East and we will assist you to stop any form of agitation and bring peace to your region. When harmonized, it will address the fears of the southeast”.

With the passage at both chambers, a Conference Committee will be set up to harmonise differences before it will be transmitted to President Bola Tinubu for his assent.


Reacting to the development, the Vice President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, said, “Inasmuch as it is coming late, it is a welcome development because it is part of Gowon’s administration three ‘Rs’ of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Rebuilding after the civil war in 1970 which has never been implemented.

“Another major issue that is still waiting to be implemented is the creation of more states in the South-East to balance the equity, which is what the Ohanaeze has been advocating for, equity, fairness and justice.’’


“In appreciation of what the National Assembly has done, we believe they will also use this to create additional states in the South-East. We also believe the commission will be well managed when fully established because nothing has been mismanaged in the South-East and we also believe this will engender developmental growth in the region.”


Also, the Indigenous People of Biafra said the passage of the bill establishing the SEDC was coming far too late.

The group, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said it is not against the commission, however, it is insisting on Biafra independence.


He said, “We are not against the establishment of the the commission, but Nigeria came late because we have crossed the Rubicon and nothing will stop us not to restoring Biafra as an independent nation.

“IPOB is not interested in this commission because it cannot serve the purpose of doing anything good towards and in the South-East Region because has been subjected as an enemy in Nigeria and they won’t change it, how are they going to start, are they going to start to replace the life of those they murdered unjustly?”

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