By Kingsley Okoye
A Coalition of Civil Society Groups has dismissed reports that Rep. Benjamin Kalu betrayed the APC chapter in Abia State during the last general elections.
The groups, comprising the Northern Patriotic Front, South -West Professionals, and Coalition of Arewa Youths Development, made the refutal at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr Ali Abacha, Chairman, NPF, dismissed the alleged betrayal as false and misleading.
He said the smear campaign against Kalu was designed to give a false impression of him to the leadership of APC, given his chances in the upcoming race for the Office of the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
“If Benjamin Kalu truly sold the party in the South-east, 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 the party in his state and region.
“If Benjamin Kalu truly sold the party out in the south-east, as being 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, Bola 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.
“This remains an unfounded allegation against the aspiration of Benjamin Kalu by desperate politicians who lack any moral standing to occupy any leadership position in our nation. ”
He said Kalu, from records, stood high amongst all his detractors as he was already in the House, when most candidates from the south-east rejoined the assembly after their victory in court.
According to him, Kalu has sponsored the highest number of bills among the new members of the House with about 43 bills.
He said some of the bills had received presidential assent while others had progressed from one level of legislative attention.
Outside the parliament, the public sector experience, he said, Kalu had been resourceful, having been a Local Government Chairman and a two-time member of the State Executive Council in Abia State.
He said the leadership of the House could attest to the dependability of Kalu in teamwork, in making sure that the house was stabilised and members managed, without betrayals.
According to him , the lies are cooked up, spread around to make sure that the spotless image of Kalu is dented with scandals in view of the speakership race.
He said the decision of who would become the next speaker should not be based on sentiment, pointing out that Kalu had always presented himself to Nigerians as a man, who had extended his handshake across the Niger.
“It is not about ethnicity, it’s about capacity, It’s about preparation for this job, ” he said.
According to him, Kalu has in no small measure, defended and managed the image of the party, within and outside the shores of the country.
“There are well-known facts and information to the effect that he invested heavily in the party during and before the general elections,” he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman