By Gbenga Abulude (Politics ans General desk)
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday lauded the peace moves of the interim leadership of the party led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
Kalu who led members of the National Assembly Southeast caucus elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to visit Buni, extolled his leadership qualities and urged Buni to ensure transparency in the party’s activities.
“The caucus of the Southeast APC want to congratulate you. We want to reassure you that we are going to work with you.
“You are a very experienced party administrator and Governor of the state and you are also very experienced in handling party matters. It is easier to win election with popular candidates. It is difficult to win elections when people are imposed. We should avoid imposition of candidates.
“We need more openness in the party, inorder to promote transparency within the party because once the party has transparency in operating in all their activities, things would be easier,” he said.
Kalu further assured Buni that the Southeast APC would improve its performance in subsequent elections in the zone.
He added that with his support, APC will have a big footing in the Southeast zone.
The Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who was also at the meeting, advocated for the encouragement and inclusion of women in the party’s activities and elective positions.
She noted that with the constitution review being worked on, there will be more women representation in party politics and this would augur well with the women as they are carried along.
Nkeiruka said, “We are going to embark on constitutional review and I want you to use your office to ensure that you carry everyone along because there is no way we can continue living the way we are living.
“Women are helpmates to the men and in politics if we don’t have enough women coming up on board, that means we are not doing what God says. From my experience women don’t have the strength that the men have , so if we continue to leave the constitution the way it is there would be discrimination so we appeal that you give the women more number of slots.
The spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu applauded the formation of the special tripartite committee which consists of the members of the party drawn from all the arms of Government.
Kalu emphasized that the committee would serve as mechanism to resolve issues internally in the party.
He noted there was absolute peace in the house because of the great leadership of Hon Femi Gbajabiamila who carries them along.
Kalu said, “With this tripartite committee we can resolve issues internally before any matter that can dent the image of the goes out to the public I very much commend commend the role you have played. I also commend your reconciliation efforts. I also love the fact that you talked about reconciliation in Imo state, though senator Orji Kalu has been championing it. For the party to expand and grow in the Southeast we need the reconciliation in Imo state. So please extend your reconciliation efforts to the Southeast this will help us win more states”.
Responding, Buni thanked Senator Kalu for the visit and restated the committee’s willingness to work with the South East caucus.
He also extolled Kalu’s efforts and contributions to the party’s growth and urged him to continue his good work for the party.
Buni charged the women to take up the responsibility of contesting in elections rather than waiting to be given such positions.
He said, “I disagree because most times our sisters will come from the position of weakness. In APC there was a time we decided to give free nomination forms to women but there was a very superior argument that came up which said that the women should come from the position of strength, because you can pay for the forms just the way a man can also pay.
“When we are talking about democracy, democracy is about contest. You have to contest. There are more women that I know that perform more than men . Even in the National Assembly, you can attest to that.
“There are capable hands, even in my state. There have never been a time that we didn’t have a woman at the house of Representatives and they are performing and most times even better than men.
“You can see as none of them ever came from the position of weakness, they contest, win elections and even have more followers than men , women are naturally compassionate.
“Sometimes what they go out to do for the vulnerables out there men don’t even care to do that. So when we are talking about gender issue we have to be more pragmatic we have to come from the position of looking for ways to encourage women to participate in politics
“But when it comes to appointment I agree with you . Appointment is something that either the President, Governor or a local government chairman can do, but its not about election. When it comes to election, I know you won your election. I have been following you up and I see you travelling all over canvassing for votes. You didn’t sit in the comfort of your bedroom claiming you are a woman.
“Unfortunately that is how some women think. They should be given leadership slots on the basis of just because they are women but it is not the way it should be. We have to encourage them to participate and to give them a level playing ground and as a party that is what we are expected to do.
”I also align with your quest to push for the inclusion of more women in party committees and certain processes.”