ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Ben Kalu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) choice for the position of Deputy Speaker in the yet-to-be-inaugurated 10th National Assembly, has condemned the party’s zoning arrangement as it does not favour the South-East.
According to him, nation-building does not involve sentiments and emotions but what can make a diversity-sensitive leadership that will incorporate all.
Kalu, the lawmaker representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, opined that the APC should include South-East in the scheme of things so as not to get another poor turnout of votes from the zone in 2027.
He said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme: “When you talk about nation-building, you forget about sentiments, you forget about emotions and look at the strongest argument and the strongest argument here is how do we make a diversity sensitive leadership, nation-building effort that will incorporate all the beautiful efforts of all the diverse part of the country coming together to work for what we peach? It’s by unity, peace and progress.
“You may recall that in the last four years, the South-East was not holding any of the presiding officers’ positions, and it has impacted this election, among other things. I can assure you if you neglect South-East again, a whole zone in such a sensitive position, then you will battle again in 2027; that is a big risk for any great planner to take.
“If you start now to plan and adopt this spirit of inclusion, South-East is going to yield a better harvest than what was yielded before.”
In the recent zoning arrangement announced by the ruling APC for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, Godswill Akpabio from the South-South was picked for Senate President and Barau Jibrin from the North-West was picked for the Deputy Senate President.
For the House of Representatives, the party picked Tajudeen Abbas from the North-West for the Speakership position to be deputized by Kalu from the South-East.
The zoning arrangement, however, has not gone down well with many lawmakers, especially those from the North-Central, who feel the zone has been ignored in the whole arrangement.