Coalition of Northern Patriotic Front, South West Professionals, Coalition of Arewa Youth Groups have turned around to fault their earlier press briefing which asked the current spokesman of the House of Representative Benjamin Kalu to shelve his ambition to contest for speaker of the House of Representatives
In a twist of event the group said they were misled with false information to justify the plot against Benjamin Kalu.
Addressing a Press Conference in Abuja on Friday the group said,
“Some of the issues raised by this Coalition yesterday were obvious attack on the personality of the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives and member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, who expressed his interest to run for the position of the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives
In a bid to misinform the general public and cast aspersions on the Integrity of the Honourable member who has so far remained an impeccable image maker of the 9th Assembly the coalition said they were misled to ask him to step down from the race for Speakership of the House of Representatives for allegely lacking in requisite qualities to lead the green chambers.
At a press conference earlier in Abuja on Thursday the President of Arewa Youths Tijjani Abdulmumuni who spoke on behalf of the Coalition demanded from the lawmaker to tell Nigerians his role in the presidential election that took place in the South -east to warrant his party’s leadership to entrust such sensitive position to him.
The group said, the candidate that will possibly emerge speaker from the South East region is as much an issue of interest to the country and the APC as it is to the South-east.
“Therefore, the likes of Benjamin Kalu who obviously do not possess the prerequisite qualities to man the House should burry their ambitions of becoming speaker and be patient to learn the ropes and allow themselves to be groomed.
“He must learn from the process that brought Hon Gbajabiamila in.
“This press conference is called to raise concern on certain issues concerning the leadership of this country, perhaps where we might find ourselves again if we failed to speak up when it’s necessary. It’s not about who gets what or takes what; it’s about the interest of the country.
“We have heard recently how some groups have also lended their voices and even advised the President-elect, on how the leadership of the National Assembly should be constituted.
“We have observed that the contest for the Leadership of the 10th National Assembly, of which the APC is in firm control, has become, for some a theatre to display their naivety.
“As experienced political players and stakeholders, we are all aware that the National Assembly is the ‘engine room’ of the success of any government, not that alone, we must be reminded that the growth of our democracy owned much to the quality of leadership we produce in our parliament, especially at National Assembly.
“A party that fails to get the leadership of the National Assembly right, may not witness major development.
“The 8th Assembly is a classical example, where President Muhammadu Buhari-led government could not do much because of the emergence of rebellious group within the APC who worked at cross purpose against the policies of the ruling party throughout their stint. This alone cost the government and indeed the country a huge setback.
“The elections have come and gone and we observed that those who sold the party to the opposition, especially in the South East where it’s now rumoured that the next Speaker may emerge from, are the same people whose voices have been so loud in the race to take over the leadership in House.
But in a twist the chairman of the coalition, Ali Abacha while addressing the media on Friday said,
“Gentlemen of the Press, recall that we addressed you here yesterday, the same venue on the leadership challenge preparatory to the election of the National Assembly leadership.
“We are here this morning again to set the record straight and also to correct some of the statements we issued. As a Civil Society Organization, we remain non-partisan and we should be seen to be so, not to allow ourselves to be dragged into politics of sentiments
“Our attention has been drawn to the press briefing by those that should know better, that forces from Abia state working with highly placed politicians in the State are back in the trenches to paint Hon. Benjamin Kalu, a member representing Bende Federal Constituency, black ahead of the contest.
“If Hon. Benjamin Kalu truly sold the party in the Southeast, he would probably not be the only surviving House of Reps member from APC in the entire Abia State with eight Federal Constituencies.
“His victory is a testament of his hard work to project his party in his State and Region. If Hon. Benjamin Kalu truly sold the party out in the Southeast, as been alleged how come he was the only one whose office was attacked with over 100 bullets destroying properties with so many lives put at risk in the incident?
“How come he was the only member whose life was threatened by hired assassins who were sent to silence him for projecting the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“If these allegations by his traducers are to be taken seriously, how come he was the only one who campaigned publicly for his party APC in Abia State, also being one of the leaders to join in receiving the Presidential Candidate of the Party during his visit to his State?
“Our findings have also revealed that the Leader who joined the Abia APC Gubernatorial Candidate in his Campaign rallies while some of the Leaders who want to lead the 10th National Assembly publicly supported other political parties.
“This remains an unfounded allegation against the aspiration of Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu by desperate politicians who lack any moral standing to occupy any leadership position in our nation. “On the issue of expirience that we raised earlier, circumstantial evidence before us after the briefing shows that We were grossly misled.
Hon. Kalu from records, stands tops amongst them all as he was already in the House when most candidates from the Southeast rejoined the Assembly after their victory in court.
“He was already holding the Chairmanship position of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs and the Spokesperson of the House before they came on board.
Hon. Kalu has sponsored one of the highest number of bills among the new members of the House with about 43 bills amongst which 2 or 3 have gotten the Presidential assent while others have progressed from one level of legislative attention to other.
“Outside the parliament, the public sector experience of Hon. Benjamin Kalu becomes resourceful having been a Local Government Chairman and a two-time member of the State Executive Council in Abia State. “His knowledge of the law and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a practicing Lawyer as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria should also be recognized, a qualification that has played a role in molding conversations around law making in the House.