10th N’Assembly: Ohanaeze youths ask APC to ignore Orji Kalu’s statement
• Coalition rejects Ben Kalu’s nomination as Deputy Speaker, wants position zoned to Ebonyi
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, intervened in the controversy over zoning of principal positions in the 10th National Assembly and asked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to ignore Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s statement.
Recall that APC zoned the position of Deputy Speaker to the South East, with Benjamin Kalu, from Abia State, as the preferred candidate.
But Orji Kalu, a former governor of the state, who is angling to become the next Senate President, is insisting the region deserves more than the Deputy Speaker.
Reacting to the development, OYC, in a statement by its National President, Okwu Nnabuike, urged Orji Kalu not to jeopardise the interest of the region by hiding under faceless groups to issue self-serving statements.
Nnabuike claimed that several faceless groups had been set up to destroy what is coming to the region, noting: “Their game plan is that unless it is coming to Orji Kalu, it should not come.”
While commending APC and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, for nominating Kalu for Deputy Speakership of the House of Representatives, the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation said it was a decision based on merit.
The statement reads: “The reason Ben Kalu’s nomination is justified is because of his numerous works and capabilities shown in 43 bills and 22 motions, as well as two laws signed by the president, making him the highest among his mates, especially those contesting.
Meanwhile, a network of civil society organisations has rejected the nomination of Ben Kalu.
While it hailed the consideration of the South East for this position, the coalition called on APC to micro-zone the position to Ebonyi State.
Recall that Kalu, a lawmaker representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, was nominated by the APC National Working Committee (NWC), alongside Abbas Tajudeen, who was adopted by the party as Speaker.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, yesterday, its National Coordinator, Victor Kalu, urged party leaders to consider the immense contribution of Ebonyi State to the development of APC in the South East.
The group said: “We call on the leadership of the APC to allow stakeholders of the party, as well as members-elect to decide who is best qualified to represent the zone in that capacity. If they must be fair, they should consider Ebonyi members-elect as a reward for hard work and party loyalty.