….Reveals why he emerged APC’s preferred aspirant for Deputy Speaker
….Says 10th Assembly will adopt a better way of appropriation that will stimulate economy
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal lawmaker currently representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia state in the Green Chamber who is also member-elect and leading contenter of the Deputy Speaker of the 10th National Assembly, Hon Ben Kalu has said he is more than ready to represent the South East and by extension Nigeria as a whole.
This is also as he has revealed why he emerged as the party’s preferred aspirant for the position of Deputy Speaker of the soon to be inaugurated 10th House of Representatives.
Similarly, the Abia-born politician said the 10th National Assembly will adopt a better way of appropriation that will support local content and create job. Adding that from the appropriation, the economy will be stimulated and by stimulating the employment will be generated and created and investment and investors will be attracted.
Hon Kalu who stated this at a press conference in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen said he has the competence, capacity and parliamentary where-with-all to represent the South East.
While reacting to the question posed as to whether he doesn’t see himself as too young to be the highest political office holder of south east extraction in next government, Hon Kalu said, “I cab be president of Nigeria today and unify all the citizens. I am above 50 and most of the presidents of some countries today are younger and some are of same age bracket. I am more than ready to represent the south east, we will bring south east to the centre.
Kalu, who is a returning member of the House of Representatives from the All Progressives Congress (APC), informed that he is the only returning member from the southeast who met the requirement of experience for the position of Deputy Speaker.
Sundiata Post recalls that Hon. Kalu was selected by the party based on his experience and the evidence of his participation in robust debates during plenary sessions.
According to Kalu, “Only one among the three returning members from southeast who have met the requirement of experience with regards to attendance in the House of Representatives because our rule says you must have a full tenure of attendance and experience for you to qualify.
“If you came through the court one year after we have started, you cannot equal your experiential knowledge with others.”
He further stated that evidence of his participation in robust debates during plenary sessions was a significant factor in his selection, adding that, as a bonafide party man, he was ready to serve in any capacity.
“So, the party was very deliberate in their strategy in analyzing to know who is the first among the three of us. I was ajudged based on the evidence of my participation in terms of robust debate, by Bills I initiated, I rank the number four in the whole nation among both old and new members and I rank the first in the entire Southeast both the old and the new people in Bill and motions (on the floor of the House) and I rank the first among all the new members in the House of Representatives. What more are you looking for, to say this one is the first among equals?
“So, if a position was zoned to my place (Southeast), and you’re looking for capacity and competence-oriented, and you leave Benjamin Kalu, and you choose any other person, you have not been fair to meritocracy.”
When asked about the issue of gender representation in leadership positions, Kalu explained that competence and capacity should be the criteria for selection, and not gender.
According to Kalu, gender should not be used to masquerade incompetence and lack of capacity.
He emphasized that competence and capacity should be the criteria for selection, not gender.
“Gender should not be used to blanket and masquerade incompetence and lack of capacity. It should be used to announce women who have what it takes to stand in position.”
Adding that if the likes of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mrs Oteh walk in here now you will not be talking about gender but you will be looking at competence; so gender without competence, capacity is trash.