The newly sworn-in member, Bende Federal Constituency, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has expressed dissatisfaction with the inability of the Igbo to clinch a principal position in the 9th National Assembly especially the senate, revealing that the South East caucus made efforts to have their own elected in the top echelon of the legislature.
The legal practitioner however attributed this to the inability of the Igbo to take active part in what is happening in Nigerian politics, urging them not to alienate themselves from the mainstream politics.
Speaking with ABN TV shortly before receiving friends and associates who have gathered to identify with him on his inauguration as a federal legislator in Abuja on Tuesday, he expressed hope that the region will clinch other positions coming up in days ahead.
He said, “We are not happy but we made efforts for us to occupy key positions but there are other positions coming. We are lobbying to make sure we are integrated into the mainstream of politics in Nigeria.
“But it’s a call on the Igbos to participate in what is happening in Nigerian politics and not to alienate themselves from mainstream politics. It’s not every time you go anti and go against the flow.
“If you’re not well equipped to sustain the tempo, why going against the flow, why attempt? Because it needs a lot of force to go against the flow.
“Igbos don’t have it at the moment. Until we’re together and with one voice, pursuing one particular dream, understanding that our strength lies in all of us”.
The lawmaker appealed to the people of South East region to come together in unison and shun what he called the pull-him-down syndrome in order to move forward.
“When a man is aspiring for a high position, and because you don’t just like his face, you want to pull him down, it will not take the community forward but if we encourage one another, definitely, the strength of one another will be showcased, we will overcome weaknesses.
“What the Igbos have thrived on over the years is to capitalise and showcasing the weaknesses of their brothers.
“Let us encourage one another in every effort that they make. Be it in business, be it in politics, be it in career development, let us encourage one another to push us from one level to the next” he appealed.
He also expressed optimism that there is hope, urging everyone to keep that hope alive, saying the region will get to the place of her dream.
Hon. Benjamin Kalu described his journey to the green chamber as a wonderful experience, saying that his people are hungry and waiting for effective service delivery which according to him, he is prepared to give.
He stated that he is passionate about the service he is going to render, insisting that it is for the people and not for self.
Hon. Benjamin Kalu called for the efforts of all the stakeholders to make this dream a reality, adding that the join contribution of the traditional institution, religious institution, the labour force, the women and men in the community will be needed to take Bende to greater heights.
He assured that he will be available to network with his constituents to represent them.
He highlighted representative, legislative and oversight functions as the core duties of a lawmaker.
He expressed readiness to carry all his functions as an honourable member of the House of Representatives with utmost interest and zeal.
He insisted that the one function that is dear to his heart is the job of representing his constituency, saying the people’s element is so well expressed in it.
Hon. Benjamin said it gives him the opportunity to understand very well the challenges of his people, bring it down to the floor of the House and fight for solutions to be proffered.
“I’m also concerned about the ecological needs of my people. The erosion is ravaging our place. The roads are being cut into two and all the rest of them.
“We can’t approach our farms again. Post-harvest destruction is high because there is no road to come back home with the crops.
“We are pushing. Very soon you will start hearing my voice before the National Assembly. We’ve been preparing. We have also prepared couple of bills we want to propose.
“We have prepared number of motions we are going to announce. We’re not going there to sleep. We’re going there to showcase the strength of Bende and the weakness of Bende” he said.
The federal lawmaker also expressed gratitude to the newly sworn-in Senator for Abia North senatorial District, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu whom he described as a father, brother and friend for taking him through the journey he said commenced 17 years ago.
He also thanked his party, the APC for giving him the platform to express his political interest.
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