Reps reject bill to hold Nigerian govt. liable for hunger

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The House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill which seeks to make government liable for hunger. Entitled “A Bill for an Act to make provision for freedom from hunger and the right to adequate food of accessible quality; the right of every child to basic nutrition and related purposes,” was sent to the House from the Senate for concurrence. The bill had earlier been debated but sent to the House Committee on Rules and Business to ensure that it is not conflicting with the Constitution. The Chairman of the Rules and Business committee, Mr. Emmanuel Okey-Jev, in his submission, gave the go ahead for continuation of debate, stating “just as the legislature is allowed to make law on minimum wages, the House is allowed in this case also.” In his contribution, Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) admonished the House to exercise some restraint and not start what it can not finish. He argued: “Adequate food as fundamental human right will open government to litigation, let us not start what is going to later embarrass us, do we have enough food to ensure compliance” Aminu Shagari (APC Sokoto) in his own submission stated “under this law, it’s going to be impeachable offence for elected officers to breach the provision of this bill. “Go to our prisons or IDP camp, are we feeding them well, if we cannot feed people in IDP camp, how do we intend to feed the whole country? I don’t think the government can do this, I wish we could”. The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, thereafter put the bill to vote and it was defeated by voice vote.
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