Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Chief Charles Ogbonnaya (Evulogu Ibeku), a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abia State, has commended the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, for their heroic role in the passage of the South East Development Commission Bill.
The former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor who spoke in Umuahia, Abia State capital, said that the bill when signed into law, would not only help douse tension but fast track development in the South-East geo-political zone.
He particularly commended the Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu for his contributions in the passage of the bill which he described as a milestone towards repositioning South-East.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain who was also a former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, said that Kalu, had demonstrated exceptional leadership at the Green chambers.
According to Ogbonnaya, the passage of the bill was made possible through the inspirational leadership of the Deputy Speaker and support of his colleagues from the South-East.
He therefore, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign the Bill into law to give the South-East a sense of belonging.
The PDP chieftain who spoke at his Ibeku Umuahia country home, expressed joy that 53 years after the civil war, “there is now a window for the real reconstruction of the region worst affected by the war.”
“I believe this is the first time a concrete step is being taken to address the human catastrophe and degradation suffered by the South-East during the war. And the credit goes to Chief Ben Kalu and his courageous colleagues,” he submitted.
He noted that the 3R policy of General Yakubu Gowon was a stillbirth, hence the continued deplorable state of infrastructure in Igboland.
According to him, the Federal Government of Nigeria has another opportunity to right the wrongs of the past through the South-East Development Commission Bill.
The former Commissioner said that apart from the commission undertaking the rebuilding of collapsed infrastructure in the South-East, it would engender a sense of belonging by the people of the region.
He further called for the express assent of the bill by the President so as to accelerate the process of healing and true reintegration.
Ogbonnaya tasked the Deputy Speaker and all members of House of Representatives from the South-East, irrespective of political affiliation, to work in concert to ensure that the bill is assented to expeditiously.
“They should be working together for the interests of Ndigbo. Hon Kalu has provided the needed leadership. They should take it up from there .”
He called on various stakeholders in the South-East to set aside their political differences and unite for the good of the zone.