Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has called on President Bola Tinubu and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to consider increasing the ministerial slots for the South-East for the sake of equity and federal character.
Kalu made the appeal when he paid a visit to the National Chairman of the APC, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, at the party secretariat on Thursday.
In Tinubu’s ministerial nominees’ list with 48 names, the North-West got 10 slots; the North-East got eight; the North-Central got eight; the South-West got nine; the South-South got nine; and the South-East got five.
Addressing journalists after his meeting with Ganduje, Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives, argued that the South-East deserved more ministerial slots.
He said, “We are raising the lobbying for more (ministerial slots) for the South-East. You know, we are like Oliver Twist. While thanking Mr President for remembering us – despite all odds and despite our contributions to the last election, he remembered us by ensuring that I also emerged as the Deputy Speaker of the House, for which the region is very grateful to Mr president. “But we are also asking him, because he is a man that we know is magnanimous, to look into increasing the member of ministerial positions for the region.”
Kalu said he also discussed with Ganduje “other pertinent issues that will affect the growth of the party, the nation and as well as my region and we had a good time discussing those issues.”
“The issue of national balancing, of loyalty and cohesion in the country in the spirit of the Constitution with regards to federal character, the way and manner appointments and projects are done,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Thursday, described as ‘unjust’ and ‘unfair’ the appointment of only five ministers-designates from the South-East.
“We believe in one united Nigeria, and this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of fairness, justice, and equity. We therefore demand justice, fairness, and equity for every ethnic group in Nigeria, including the Igbo.
“Our political power has been reduced as we have a few senators and also in the House of Representatives, governors, the House of Assembly, and local governments. In federal revenue allocation, the South-East is denied the revenue that comes on the basis of states,” Iwuanyanwu said in a statement.