MARK ESSET MOTION ON ILLICIT BREAD PRODUCTION AND SALE: A SECOND LOOK
Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive. Roland Barthes.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the member representing Nsit Atai state constituency, had sought the leave of his colleagues to move the Motion on the need to curb the menace of illicit Bread production and sale within Akwa Ibom state. The speaker of the house had recognized him to take the floor, which he did. The motion was later withdrawn by the Lawmaker, because it was not supported by some members of the “peoples Assembly” as the sixth Assembly in the state is called.
Some members according to report made available to the public, gave various reasons for killing the motion on arrival.
Some lawmakers were quoted to have said thus:
I have been eating local bread since I was born and I am is still alive. So far, nobody from the public has filed in a petition to complain the production and sales of bread in Akwa Ibom State.” – Member representing Mbo State Constituency, Hon Samuel Ufuo.
“I find it very difficult to agree that this motion has to do with public interest. There is no public outcry. The House of Assembly has not come across any petition reporting illicit production or consumption of illicit bread.” – Member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Rt Hon Usoro Akpanusoh.
“There is no adequate data and statistics to backup case of harmful bread, therefore, I and my colleagues will not support it.” Member representing Abak, Elder Friday Iwok.
“The motion to stop harmful bread will damage bread industry, so let us not support it.” – Member representing Itu State Constituency.
Having gone through the motion which expresses worries over the fact that most bread consumed in the state are produced by unregistered and unorganized bakeries within and outside the state. Also placing emphasis on the need for government to swing into action, that since and ensure that bread production goes through an approval guideline of agencies in the sector.
Maintaining that despite the awareness created and the efforts of government in ensuring that bread available for consumption of all, harmful additives and ingredients were still been used.
Hence, it is a very unfair thing to say that since no cases of this illicit bread has been reported in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the motion should not be supported, and attention of the government should not be drawn to it.
According to Harvey Fierstein, when a politician like Marco Rubio is willing to sacrifice his career defining immigration reform legislation solely to ensure that gays and lesbians are denied equal protection under the law, we have to admit that we’re under attack. This is not pragmatic politics at work. These are the policies of bias, exclusion and unfairness.
One might begin to wonder, if the motion was rejected on political grounds, or the fact that the mover of the motion Hon Mark Esset who was one of those that opposed the property charge bill, which was sponsored by the member representing Esit Eket state constituency, Rt Hon Usoroh Akpanusoh.
That thinking may become necessary, from the list of the lawmakers who killed the motion on illicit bread and sales, are those who supported the property charge bill.
Taking few word from Mr Franklin Isong in his article , MARK ESSET MOTION AND THE BANANA ASSEMBLY, I quote ” with what is playing out on the floor of the sixth Assembly, it seems an unseen verdict had been passed that Mark Esset, and those lawmakers who stood against the real property charge bill cannot see the light in the Assembly henceforth”.
Could this mean that the motion has a good intention for the people, but politics is out to kill it?
If this is indeed the true position of what is going on as regard the motion by Hon Mark Esset and the People’s Assembly, then I stand with P. J.O’Rourke’s line of thought that ” when buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
Looking at the nature of Bread, one can not rule out the fact that, bread is the most commonly consumed product so far, hence matters concerning bread production, sales and consumption, infact flours made product should concern the Government, and adequate measure taken, to ensure due process.
On insinuations, that the lawmaker who brought this bread motion to the house for deliberation, is nursing an ambition to set up a bread factory in the state, and intend to bury other bakeries, and outshine.
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I think It is very funny the way some people reason, how does Hon Mark Esset setting up a bread factory going to influence the Government on supervising, giving rules and guidelines to bread manufacturers?
Well to me, I think this motion should be revisited, this is the type of motion that should be encourage, and supported, as it is people’s oriented. This infact will make some Akwa Ibom people to go into the bread production business, while having confident too on the type of bread produced here in the state.
It is a pity that sometimes, politicians because of politics throw away the baby with the bath water. Some of those who are oppose to this motion, if truth need to be told, are those who prefers crunches, OK Tantalizer, new Royal buttered, Rich blend,De choice bread and many others produced and imported into the state,than our own Testimony, Ultimate,Adrian, wheat bread,love butter and others produced here in the state.
Not to talk of the likes of Toasted chicken, prince, African queen bread produced here in Uyo , as well as Monef bread produced at a factory at Ikot Ebom Itam. So what is the argument?
Are those bread coming into the state, sometimes smuggled in without proper supervision, better than our own? I don’t think so, but because those who patronizes them feels since it is imported in from Aba and other places, it is hygienically packaged, who said so?
To Gresham Barrett “I will always support legislation which respects and values life”
While still considering the contention as regard this motion, I came across a document on Toxicology Report 2014, Vol.1:224–230, with the tittle ” Bromate and trace metal levels in bread loaves from outlets within Ile-Ife Metropolis, Southwestern Nigeria” .
Where intellectuals like J.A.O. OyekunleA.S. AdekunleA.O. OgunfowokanG.O. OlutonaO.B. Omolere, came together to examine and write on the issues as regard bread production, sales and consumption.
The experts were reported to have taken different samples from different bread factories to confirmed if what the manufacturers writes on the leafs of their bread as regard the use of bromate and saccharine-free are true.
Bread is made from low protein wheat flour, some of the basic ingredients, apart from flour, are table salt, sugars, flavours, and at least, a flour improver such as potassium bromate . Potassium bromate as a flour improver has been a common choice among flour miller and bakers throughout the world because it is cheap and probably the most efficient oxidizing agent.
The research became necessary, because the use of potassium bromate in flour milling and baking was banned in Nigeria by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2003, and its use infringes on the drug and related products registration decree 20 of 1999 and NAFDAC Decree 15 of 1993 . However, since the ban, it is not certain to what extent Nigerian bakers have complied with the ban imposed by NAFDAC with respect to the use of potassium bromate in bread baking.
READ: Revealed! Why Mark Esset Motion on Illicit Bread Production was rejected by Akwa Ibom Assembly
In the concluding part of the report,after all experiment were done,and analysis issued, the experts came to the conclusion that, in Ile-Ife and its environs, was revealed that the millers and bakers did not comply with the bromate free rule stipulated by both NAFDAC and WHO contrary to the “bromate free” indicated on their labels.
In addition, the bromate levels in some of the breads were higher than the 60 μg/g stipulated by the WHO. Results of trace metals analysis showed that bread samples contained Co, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn at levels that were at wide variance with those specified by such bodies as NAFDAC or WHO. Particularly, the Pb content of the bread was greater than the 0.025 mg/kg body weight set as the Provisionally Tolerable Weekly Intake for humans.
Maintaining that there is the need to place a close surveillance on bakers of bread in order to ensure better compliance with health regulations.
A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like good sentence, or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognized it. They say,’ Huh . It works. It makes sense’. Barack Obama.
I think in my respective view, this motion on illicit bread production and sales within Akwa Ibom State,should find its way back into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly after more work as been done to cover all areas of interest, for the members to take a second look at the motion, which seeks to usher in a bill , that if pass into law, will be for the interest of the generality of the people of this state, both rich and poor.
I end this piece with a quote from Mahatma Grandi ” Democracy demands patient instruction on it before legislation”
WRITTEN BY GLORIA EKONG .
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