ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- A group under the name, Igbo Mandate Movement Group, (IMMG) has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC), to zone the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives under the 10th Assembly to the South-East.
Igboeli Arinzechukwu, who is the coordinator of the group, made the call in Enugu on Tuesday while addressing a press conference.
Arinzechukwu stated that the Igbo Mandate Movement Group, IMMG had resolved to endorse the ambition of Honorable Benjamin Kalu to become Speaker, basing its choice for Kalu on his unwavering commitment to the ideals of Igbo and Nigerian progress.
“His impeccable records as a Rep member for the past four years and lastly his unalloyed commitment to the presidential aspiration of the President Elect, Bola Tinubu, informed our decision to support him,” Arinzechukwu said.
Kalu is a member of the House of Representatives in the 9th Nigeria National Assembly, representing Bende federal constituency, Abia State. He is currently the spokesperson of the House of Representatives and the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
Arinzechukwu said: “As the race for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly gets closer, we are canvassing support for Hon. Benjamin Kalu from Bende Federal Constituency as the best man for the job.”
“Giving reasons why the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ought to zone the seat to the South-East region, Arinzechukwu said it was incumbent on NdiIgbo as one of the nation’s major ethnic groups to begin its own search for its path to the center, following the election of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima as President and Vice President Elects.
Mr. Arinzechukwu said that only four zones could equitably lobby for positions within the National Assembly and it would be common sense politics to zone these positions to these regions to ensure regional balancing as well as fairness and equity.
He noted that the decision to canvass for the Office of the Speaker to the South-East was based on a number of sacrosanct facts.
He said: “The first of such is based on the historical fact that since the emergence of Rt. Hon Ume Ezeoke, as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic under the auspices of the Accord Concordiale between the NPN and the NPP, no Igbo man has occupied the position of speaker.
“The second is that under the 4th Republic, NdiIgbo again are the only major ethnic group that is yet to produce one of.their.own as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“So you can imagine that in 24 years of our democratic experimenting, three zones being the NorthWest, NorthEast and South West and two major ethnic groups in the Hausa Fulani and the Yoruba have occupied the positions of Speaker save for NdiIgbo.
“The Third fact is that true Nigerians must be desirous of seeking to reintegrate NdiIgbo into the mainstream politics of the nation, there is need for NdiIgbo to be strategic in its interactions with other regions that make up the Nigerian nation, thus we must present only our best not only for purposes of acceptability but also for strategic reasons.
“The APC as a party must move towards the reunification of Nigeria by seeking to reintegrate the SouthEast region, but to do so, it must deploy it’s best hands; people who will not only seek power for themselves but will seek to serve the people and then present the APC as the beautiful bride to NdiIgbo.
“The fourth and the most important is that NdiIgbo must move with the times and trends of today’s politics by entrenching new faces, faces devoid of the many baggages, blemishes and scars of our past politics in which everything and anything did go? We can thus be afforded such by queuing up behind such a new face from where we can begin to chart a new course for NdiIgbo’s politics.” Arinzechukwu said.