Igbo group defends choice of Kalu for Deputy Speaker, slams critics’ lack of common sense
The Igbo Mandate Movement Group (IMMG) has hit out at groups it largely described as faceless with no known presence within the shores of Nigeria which it said has being collaborating with enemies of Ndìgbò to frustrate the choice of Rep. Benjamin Kalu as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th Assembly.
Speaking to journalists in a press chat on Wednesday, the IMMG, via its national coordinator, Igboeli Arinze, described the onslaught against Kalu’s ambition as dead on arrival.
While reacting to a statement by a group, under the auspices of the Amalgamated Igbo Youth Progressive Forum, which condemned the decision of the leadership of the APC over its choice of Kalu for the soon-to-be-vacant role, IMMG described the statement as lacking in common sense and the sum total of hapless idiocy.
Arinze wondered on what basis the Amalgamated Igbo Youth Progressive Forum faulted the choice of Kalu for the role of Deputy Speaker.
“Following the choice of Honourable Benjamin Kalu for the position of Deputy Speaker, we are aware that certain forces that have never put the progress of the Igbo nation as their priority have begun sponsoring attacks against the person of Kalu and his candidacy. This concerted media onslaughts were designed to dent the credibility of Kalu and force the leadership of the APC to rescind its decision. This, however, is dead on arrival,” he said.
“Let us ask, on what basis are they faulting Kalu’s nomination for Deputy Speaker? They claim that Kalu is not a known politician. This is indeed laughable as Kalu in the 9th Assembly had served as Spokesperson for the House of Representatives, a task in which he not only did prove himself well but also took the relationship between the House and the ordinary Nigerian to enviable heights.
“How, then, can someone who to an extent was the face of the House be described as unknown beats one.
“Again, Kalu’s imprints on the floor of the green chamber via his motions and bills are indeed quite impressive with over 40 motions and 20 bills with two receiving assent from the president.
“It is also important to note that on capacity, Benjamin Kalu’s constituency projects are indeed top notch and we challenge these detractors to take a trip to Bende and verify his impact. How can anyone in his right senses describe Kalu as unknown?
“Likewise, they claim that Kalu was never loyal to the APC and that the party bypassed those the faceless group deemed as loyal for Kalu. It is sad that these people do not know that Kalu was the only rep without the influence of a sitting governor who made it back to the House despite his unflinching support for the nation’s President Elect and Vice President Elect which to many was akin to political suicide. Kalu was the only SouthEast Representative who’s campaign office was burnt while his convoy was also attacked and shot at for daring to support the APC while others made alliances with the opposition parties. This is the same man they describe as disloyal.
“Lastly, these persons have also brandished their ignorance for all to see when they also fail to note that of the three ranking rep members, only Kalu did meet the requirements such as that of full tenure, since a number of these rep members came through court litigations way much into the life the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly, these persons and their sponsors could not see that any attempt to hand over such a slot to these persons would earn an outright disqualification based on the House rules.
“We urge these faceless groups and their sponsors to have a rethink and perhaps rally round Kalu for that position, rather than lose all round whilst trying to play God.”