Kalu: Quest for Peace, Security, Devt in South East Transcends Political Affiliation

Kalu: Quest for Peace, Security, Devt in South East Transcends Political Affiliation

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has said that his initiative to bring lasting peace to the South East zone was devoid of political colouration.

He made this known in a chat with journalists at his Bende country home, Sunday, saying that the restoration of peace and development of the zone should be the concern of every political leader irrespective of party affiliation.

Kalu’s Peace in the South East Project (PISE-P) was formally inaugurated on December 28, 2023, with the full backing of the federal government.

The peace project also got the endorsement of the governors of the South East States, traditional rulers of Nigeria’s three major ethnic groups as well as religious leaders.

“It has nothing to do with politics,” he said, adding that the search for solutions to the insecurity in the Southeast has to do with community and patriotic leadership.

“My passion and patriotism to find solution to insecurity is beyond political leadership (tussle),” he said, adding anybody could be a leader without finding solution to the problem.

Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber, explained that as a political leader he was having sleepless night over the devastating effects of insecurity in the Southeast.

According to him, “I’ll be a bad leader if I go home and sleep,” when the infrastructural facilities that our fathers toiled to rebuild after the civil war are being destroyed.

He said that the result of his unbiased analysis of the insecurity issue in the Southeast has convinced him that “the old ways” of using kinetic method has not brought the needed result.

The Deputy Speaker said that he was in political leadership with anybody but only “want to be in the forefront” in the search for an end to the insecurity issue in the Southeast.

He noted that the insecurity in the Southeast has ripple effects on the national economy and would impact negatively on the overall achievements of the present central government.

Kalu pointed out that it was for his interest in the affairs of Ndigbo that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has committed his administration to the restoration of peace in the Southeast zone.

He said that President Tinubu showed his concern, commitment and interest for peace in the Southeast by sending the Vice-president, Kashim Shettima to come to Bende and give the federal government’s commitment.

But the Deputy Speaker urged the Southeast to play its own part in the peace efforts, saying that the federal government has already met the zone halfway by pledging its commitment.

He said that the clamour for the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) would be made easier if the agitators end the sit-at-home protest with its attendant violence.

Kalu argued that the sit-at-home exercise is being viewed as an affront on the federal government and no government likes to be compelled to do the bidding of its opponent.

“The ball is now in our court” he said, adding that once the Biafra agitators end the sit-at-home in the Southeast and create the needed peace in the zone, the ongoing engagements to free Kanu would be achieved.

The two term federal lawmaker from Abia said that his emergence as the Deputy Speaker was an opportunity for him “to galvanise my people to the centre and then bring development to the Southeast”.

He therefore urged Ndigbo to give maximum support to President Tinubu having demonstrated that he “means well for Ndigbo” and is ready “to work with us” to bring peace and develop to the Southeast zone.

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