It Is Time To Bring Southeast Into Mainstream Politics- Kalu
By Bukar Bolori
Hon. Benjamin Kalu, who has been endorsed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as next Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has said it is time to bring the South East geopolitical zone back into the mainstream politics.
He assured that he would work along with his colleagues and stakeholders to ensure that the geopolitical zone is brought back to the centre of activities in the country.
Kalu made this assertion while reacting to allegations that the APC government has polarising Nigeria.
The lawmaker assured Nigerians that he was ready for the task ahead and would work assiduously along with others to build a robust, sensitive 9th National Assembly.
Kalu, who was reminded that on his election to the office of Deputy Speaker he would be the most senior elected politician at the federal level, said he was ready for the task of the office and also willing to work assiduously with stakeholders from the zone to bring back the Southeast geopolitical zone into the frame of things.
He said: “I can assure you that we are bringing South East to the centre. We are going to use it and bring our brothers who are agitating to the centre.
“The youths on the street who are agitating will see a fellow youth who is piloting the affairs of the nation in this capacity. They will see us display spirit of efficiency and excellence and that will encourage them to believe more in Nigeria. This is what these young ones are looking for.”
Kalu, who had earlier addressed top editors and publishers where he unveiled the driving force behind the vision of the incoming leadership, called it a joint task which “is a coloration of various political parties coming together to approach issues affecting Nigeria from their different political ideology,” insisting that to provide solution to the hydra headed needs of Nigerians at all times, “you need to have periscopic view on issues, policy direction, legislative policy, to have a coloration that is not just tied down to one political ideology.”
He noted that: “The solution might come from a minority party that has a better approach, better strategy, better policy architecture that will deliver the expected outcome for our country.
“So we came with this idea and said it is a joint task for nation building. And if you are going to build a nation, all hands must be on deck. Bring your brick, I bring my brick. The colour of your brick might be yellow like of the political parties. It might be green. It might be red, it might be blue, but that is also reflecting the beauty of our diversity, a diversity sensitive organisation.
”That is not ignoring the principles of checks and balances as well as the expectation of separation of powers”, he, however, noted.
He said: “The relationship with executive should be a joint task. We should not isolate the legislature from the executive and the judiciary in the effort to build a nation. But we should go with the understanding that it is a joint task between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary in building a beautiful nation. So the national objectives set by the executive should be the national objective.
Asked whether he is prepared for the burden of cementing the nation after polarising years, he replied: “Yes, I studied politics and I can confidently inform you that Iam above 50 years. My mates are presidents of countries around the world. Give me the office of the president today, I will run it and I will bring cohesion in this country. Give me the office of the president, highest office of the land, I will bring the diversity, sensitivity in leadership that will make you forget that you are an Igbo man and that you are Hausa and you are Yoruba man but you are a Nigerian. And that is what Nigeria needs now.”
He said: “We are tired of all this coloration that separates us from the whole. My brother in the south east is my brother, my brother in the north is my brother. My brother in the west is my brother. My brother in the east is my brother. That is the mentality of my generation.
“I am more than ready to hold my region. But beyond my region, being the deputy speaker is not for south east alone.”