A South East youth-based group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has rejected the micro-zoning of the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to the South East.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recently announced that the position had been micro-zoned to the zone and that Hon Benjamin Kalu, an Abia member-elect, has been pencilled down for the position.
But reacting to the development, COSEYL, in a press release signed by its President-General and Publicity Secretary, Hon. Goodluck Ibem and Comrade Okey Nwaoru, respectively, said it was insulting to zone such a position to the South East.
The group also added that Kalu, who was pencilled down for the office, still has his victory being contested and cannot represent the Igbo nation.
The group said: “While the political goal and aspiration of Ndigbo are beyond the post of the Senate President, we cannot identify with a character like Benjamin Kalu, not to talk of endorsing him to represent the political interest of the entire South East as a federal parliamentarian holding the post of the Deputy Speaker.
“For emphasis, the Igbo are a major ethnic group in Nigeria, also one of the tripodal arrangements upon which the nation itself stands. We cannot be reduced to the background by the APC-led Federal Government, no matter the scheming or agenda.
“How can a region like the South East, with its homogeneous makeup, be relegated when it comes to sharing the spoils if not for the phobia APC has about the Igbo nation, which the party has continued to uphold?
“The post of a Deputy Speaker is beneath the political aspiration of Ndigbo and we reject and shall continue to resist it. We call on well-meaning sons and daughters of Igboland to disregard the endorsement of Benjamin Kalu.”
The group further condemned the APC zoning arrangement, saying, “This charade by the APC is an insult to the political sensibility of Ndigbo, and we reject it in its entirety, no matter those behind it, and will continue to reject it.”
It added that if Hon Kalu was given the deputy speakership position, he would still lose it because the circumstances of his emergence are now being contested after he garnered more votes from his federal constituency than what the presidential candidate of APC got in the entire South East region.