Listen to article
Rt. Hon. Stanley Ugochukwu Ohajuruka, the former acting governor of Abia State, urged Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejocha, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, not to detract Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, from his duties to the Nigerian people.
While addressing journalists in Abuja, he remarked that the conflict between them was needless, as it brought no benefit and only resulted in harm for all parties involved.
Ohajuruka, who served as Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly twice and was a former member of the House of Representatives representing the Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, emphasized that Kalu is supported by the people of Abia, the Igbo community, and indeed, individuals from all corners of Nigerian society.
The former parliamentarian, expressing gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for giving Ndi Igbo an opportunity to participate in the political structure of the country, guaranteed him that Kalu would not disappoint the Nigerian people.
He condemned the organizers of the Tuesday press conference that charged Kalu with leading the smear campaign against Onyejocha, cautioning them against instigating turmoil in Abia State.
He said: ‘It has come to our attention the public display of arrogance of some very disgruntled persons who in recent times tried to bring the name of our deputy speaker and the leader of APC in Abia State to public disrepute and dishonor. And I as a former speaker, former parliamentarian, former Acting governor and former member of the Federal House of Representatives and the leader of APC who believes in the peace and sanctity of progress in Abia, some of us cannot stand by and watch some of these very disgruntled non Abians bring our deputy speaker who has been found very, very competent to lead in the second position in the National Assembly, Federal House of Representatives.’
‘He has never been found wanting. And before I proceed, like we keep saying, we thank Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubi and we’ll continue to be loyal to him for finding this young man very worthy.’
‘For the avoidance of doubt, the deputy speaker is the only the only member of the House of Representatives who won election on the platform of APC in Abia State. And he didn’t win that election for nothing and his constituency gave this President the highest number of votes. With all the displeasure of Ndi Igbo, this young stood by Mr. President.’
‘He was a laughing stock but he stood by him and him alone and now he’s been rewarded based on sterling qualities and some faceless individuals. And now, some persons are trying to cause a crisis where there is none. I consider these persons as faceless because they are non Abians.’
‘For the avoidance of doubt, there is no crisis here. There is no dispute between the deputy speaker and the Minister of State for labour and employment, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejocha.’
‘At every forum, the Deputy Speaker tells everyone to respect her, work with her and not to do anything that will show displeasure.’
‘During her inauguration, this deputy speaker was there with all of us. He attended her inauguration and in all his public speakings, he encourages everyone to respect the person of the Minister of State for labour.’
‘So, he has at no time asked anyone to work against the Minister of Labour. So, for people to go around and try to create unnecessary tension where there is none; on behalf of this very modest young man, this very innocent young man, they should allow him do his job. Let them allow him do his job. He’s very amiable. Nigerians are very happy with him. Abians are very happy with him. We will we will hold him in very high honour. They should allow him to work.’
‘People should not all stop all these shenanigans and stop gathering people trying to create tension. Which president? The president is alive. Anybody who claims he told the President anything, should be man enough to go and ask Mr. President if this innocent young men ever went to him and told him anything.’
‘This deputy speaker does not even remember and does not bear any grudge against anybody. He doesn’t think about evil about anyone, doesn’t know if any of them exists, doesn’t think about anybody.’
‘All he thinks about is how do we help the President? Hia thinking is that everybody, all of us, all hands must be on deck.’
‘Recently, the Deputy speaker asked all of us to go home and begin to work and mobilize people to begin to change their their perception about the presidency. And that’s what we are doing right now, talking to our people.’
‘They should allow this man to achieve the purpose he was chosen to serve in that honor. Mr. President and his colleagues know why they chose him. And he will not fail and we will not allow him to fail and nobody is going to make him fail. We will keep working.’
‘Members of APC in Abia will work with him to ensure that the next election, APC will win Abia. That’s what we are assuring everybody.’
‘So, nobody should go about trying to create a semblance of crisis where there is none.’
‘While we appreciate Mr. President for making our sister minister, I advice to focus on her job of assisting the government to create job for Nigerians instead of fighting a lost battle.’
‘My word of admonition is that we now have a President. This president gave us a Deputy Speaker even when we did not vote for him. It shows that he loves Ndi Igbo and within the Igbo, he gave us the finest and the most competent to serve as deputy speaker because he knows he will not fail.’
‘So, my admonition to Ndi Igbo is to support this young man to succeed for all of us to join hands to work for the unity and progress of Nigeria, for the sustenance of our democracy for peace, progress and tranquility in our state and to support the government of the day. That’s my admonition to them’.
The Abia Youths Coalition Movement has requested President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to swiftly relieve Onyejocha of her duties for exhibiting ingratitude.
Through a statement signed by the President of the Movement, Mr. Chibuzor Agbara, and disseminated to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the Youths characterized the minister as a source of confusion, opposing various aspects within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State.
The youths called on Onyejeocha to halt her aggression against the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, stating that if not stopped, the minister would dismantle the APC in Abia.