Kalu distances self from campaign of calumny against Onyejiocha

Elizabeth AtimeOctober 31, 20236 min

Kalu urged Onyejiocha to busy herself and contribute to finding solutions to the myriad of challenges currently facing the country.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, has denied any involvement in the slander of the Minister of State for Labour & Productivity, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha.

This is even as he insisted that he enjoys a robust and healthy relationship with the Honorable Minister.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, on Tuesday, Kalu, who stated that Onyejiocha does not in any way share a direct political affinity with him, described the campaign of calumny as a deliberate plot to cause disaffection between himself and the Minister.

The statement reads “The attention of the office of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives has been drawn to a press conference wherein one Usman Shuaibu who claimed to be the national coordinator of Progressive Progressive League of APC Youth Voters spewed allegations of a campaign of calumny against the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkiriuka Onyejiocha by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu.

READ ALSO: Abia Reps; Kalu, Abonta, Onyejeocha, sponsored 35 bills or more | National Assembly Scorecard

“Were it not for purposes of protecting the unsuspecting members of the public who may inadvertently be hoodwinked by a tirade of spurious narratives, the office of the deputy speaker would never be bothered about making a rebuttal.

“What rather comes to mind is that the press conference was misdirected or at best, done without the consent of the minister who obviously would be embarrassed by it because it has the imprints of a people on a mission to infamy and perfidy.

“While one is seriously affronted by the launch of insolence and impudence against the person and the Office of the Deputy Speaker by this group, it is also very pertinent to state that it may be lost on them that Kalu shares a healthy and robust relationship with Onyejiocha both as a sister and worthy partner in the government of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“But the fact that Onyejiocha has not yet disassociated herself from the press conference leaves a huge worry and casts aspersions on her person as to what manner of a minister would be creating an impression of someone deliberately courting trouble where none exists.

“Though she was a fellow congress member in the 9th National Assembly with Kalu, for starters, except on issues of collective patrimony in Abia State or of national significance in APC or the National Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu does not share a direct political affinity with Onyejiocha to be engaged in a feudal struggle.

“Both officials hail from different political constituencies and so, there is no basis for a political war at all. Kalu’s passion is to engender a new paradigm shift in political leadership especially as it affects the youth of this country.

“Besides, at the moment, Onyejiocha as a minister functions under the executive arm of government while Kalu is preoccupied with legislative duties at the National Assembly.

“With these obvious distinctions, it then beats an imagination that Kalu from Bende Federal Constituency, unusually preoccupied with a plethora of national engagements would effortlessly pick up a quarrel with his sister from Isukwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency.

“It will suffice to say that the office of the Deputy Speaker sees this as a false alarm and deliberate plot to cause a disaffection between a brother and his lovely sister.”

“Recall that Kalu has used every opportunity to seek support for Onyejiocha. It is on record that Kalu asked the leaders of Abia APC who paid him a courtesy call in August to rally around Onyejiocha even when she was yet to be made a minister. Kalu also attended her reception on the night of her inauguration. So, one is mouth agape as to what Onyejiocha is fishing for with the outlandish and ignoble press conference.

“On this, it may be pertinent to question this false alarm, coming barely one week after Kalu secured victory at the Court of Appeal to affirm his electoral mandate after the Labour Party (LP) and the Action Alliance (AA) fought tirelessly to upturn the mandate of the people. Is there something Onyejiocha is not telling the public about the legal battle even when it was obvious that the AA candidate, Ifeanyi Igbokwe cried impersonation in the matter? Did the judgment which has put an end to the legal voyage and ultimately upheld the election of the deputy speaker upset her? Was she up to something clandestine? We need answers.

“Anyway, the office of the deputy is busy, so busy in helping the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and the APC government to realize the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and would not want to be joined on a wild goose chase.

“Similarly, the office of the Minister is supposedly established to help the government to create jobs for our teeming unemployed youths. Rather than creating jobs through some political subterfuge and encouraging them to occupy the national assembly because Kalu was not sacked by the Court, a new paradigm shift should be born to make the youths succeed in matters of decency. Leaders are a shining example for the youths and therefore must not be seen to be fighting themselves when they should be partners in the task of building the nation. Besides, the future of this great nation which is the youths must not be dragged into a useless, egocentric battle.

“While it’s not in the totems of the Deputy Speaker to engage or respond to useless vituperations and invectives even when such are poured on him, the Office of the Deputy Speaker urges the office of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment to get busy too and contribute in finding solutions to the myriad of challenges facing our dear country at this time. The Deputy Speaker who will also not succumb to any form of subjugation or cowardice will also not accept to be covertly or overtly distracted from the tasks he’s been entrusted by his constituents and Nigerians, in general, to do. He’s too busy to give attention to speculations and unfounded narratives of campaign of calumny and therefore, it will be foolhardy to call for his sanction in whatever guise. Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu is very busy with national assignments and would not be distracted or go on a journey of infamy with anyone.”





Elizabeth Atime

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