The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has come under fire from the Ndigbo United Front (NUF) for endorsing Hon Benjamin Kalu as Deputy Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
In a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, the South East group called on the NWC to reward loyalty, commitment, fairness and justice to all deserving members.
NUF argued that Kalu had not done anything to build the APC in his local government, which was why he lost the local government to Labour Party during the just concluded general elections.
The group contended that the party should be a merit-based organization, that rewards hard work and loyalty, rather than just picking someone who almost lost his re-election.
“It is on record that Labour Party won Hon. Benjamin Kalu’s local government during the general elections. He struggled all through the election before he narrowly won. He has not contributed to the growth of APC in his constituency,” the statement reads.
NUF noted that there were other lawmakers in the South East who had been building the party for the last eight years, and APC had been winning their constituencies through their efforts.
“Even this last general elections, APC won their areas through their efforts and there is no other way to reward their efforts than allowing them to take positions of authority like the Deputy Speakership and other positions,” the group said.
NUF questioned why the APC would endorse someone from Abia for a leadership position in the 10th Assembly when the state had produced three principal officers in the present 9th Assembly.
“Abia state doesn’t deserve the office of the Deputy Speaker. Ebonyi state has continued to raise high flags in her support for the APC likewise Imo, Enugu and Anambra deserve this office also after all, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander,” the group argued.
The group also raised concerns about the danger facing the APC during the election of principal officers of the 10th Assembly if the party refused to do the right thing by rewarding hard work and loyalty or allowing lawmakers to contest positions they want to contest in the National Assembly.
“Other parties are watching APC and the party should know this. The party should be very careful so as not to lose principal positions to opposition parties,” the group warned.
According to NUF, the office of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should not be ceded to someone that does not base in Nigeria and can’t galvanize the grassroots.
“It requires someone in touch with the people that can help to stabilize the house and help to bring to halt agitation from southeast and other parts of the country,” the group stated.
In conclusion, the NUF called on the APC to consider merit and performance for the position of Deputy Speakership, instead of just endorsing someone based on compensation or other reasons.
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