10th NASS: Micro zone deputy speaker position to Ebonyi, Kalu not qualified – Coalition tells APC 

A Network of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria has called on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to reverse its recent decision which led to the choice of Hon. Benjamin Kalu as the consensus House of  Representatives deputy speaker aspirant for the 10th National Assembly.

The Coalition in a unanimous presentation during a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday also called on the APC National Working Committee to allow members-elect from Southeast, particularly Ebonyi state to choose who will emerge as deputy speaker since the position has been zoned.

While reeling out their resolutions, the National Coordinator of the CSOs, Comrade Victor Kalu, said allowing the incumbent House of Representatives spokesman to emerge will negate the principle of justice, balancing and Federal Character in line with the party’s constitution.

He said, “While, we equally commend the party for zoning the Deputy Speaker position to the South East, it should be micro zoned to Ebonyi State based on their immense contribution to the development of All Progressives Congress, APC in the South East

“We call on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC to  allow the leaders, stakeholders of the party as well as the members elect to decide who is best qualified to represent the zone in that capacity. If they must be fair, they should consider Ebonyi State members’ elect, for the position as a reward for hard work and party loyalty.

“Currently, Abia state which did not deliver 25 percent to the APC in the presidential election occupies the position of Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives in the person of Hon Nkiruka Onyejipcha, Hon Ben Kalu as Spokesperson and Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu as the Chief Whip in the Senate all from Abia, and now you zoned the Deputy Speaker position to Abia State, haba mallam, where is justice, principle of balancing and Federal Character in line with the Party Constitution.

“Investigation indicates that Hon Benjamin Kalu played anti party during the Presidential election culminating to the woeful outing of the party, while he delivered himself at the said election conducted the same day, where is his loyalty?”

The coalition also alleged that Hon Kalu has continued to neglect the state party executive as recognised by the party leadership.

“Despite his position as the House Spokesperson, he has no cordial relationship with his colleagues, the media as well as civil society organisations as his public acceptance dwindles every day,” he alleged.

The coalition equally alleged that the House spokesman was not qualified to run in the first place due to discrepancies in his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and O’ level certificates

“Kalu has been allegedly petitioned by CSO group Alpha Omega world Peace Community Development Foundation over falsification of names, criminal deceit and diversion of public funds.

“Hon Kalu should first of all go and clear his name at the ICPC, and the National Leadership of the party before attempting to vie for such a higher position in the National Assembly. We urge the APC leadership to look into such huge allegations.

“He is arrogant, high-handed, morally bankrupt and not accessible by his constituents and his colleagues, no wonder he was rejected as exemplified by the crisis that trailed his nomination. We believed that Hon Benjamin Kalu has a moral burden and should clear the foul air on allegations against him.

“We appeal to the APC leadership , particularly the President-Elect to retract their position in this regard as we have very reputable, competent, experienced members elect from Ebonyi State whose sterling profile, leadership and legislative experience(s) is qualified enough to occupy the Deputy Speakership position of the 10th National Assembly. They have the right credentials with their bipartisan approach to deputise the Speaker,” Comrade Kalu who is also the leader of Grassroots Development and Peace Initiative said.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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