The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has said peace is necessary for progress, growth and development of the South East region of the country.
Kalu stated this yesterday when he received in his office, a delegation from the National Burial Committee of late Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, CON, a former Governor of Anambra State, who died on December 14, 2023 at the age of 85.
He lamented the rising insecurity in the southeast, stressing that peace is the only way to make progress and industrialise the region.
Recalling the impressive life and times of the late Okwadike, the Deputy Speaker stated that the indigenes must be interested in the peace of the region because it’s the only way to sustain Ezeife’s legacies.
Reeling out plans to achieve the much needed peace and progress, Kalu recalled the flag off of the Peace in South East Project, an initiative and a non-political movement that employs the non-kinetic approach to resolve the problems in a South East.
Expressing optimism that his Bill, seeking establishment of Southeast Development Commission which recently passed through first, second and third reading at the House of Representatives will also pass in the Senate for onward transmission to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his assent, Kalu also called for support from Nigerians.
He noted that when the Bill becomes law, reconstruction will commence in Southeast and funds from the Federal Government allocated to the commission will be well utilised for the purposes of rebuilding post war reconstruction that has not been attended to over fifty years.
Kalu expressed sadness on the demise of the late Okwadike while assuring the delegation of his support and that of his colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure that he’s honoured and given a befitting burial.
He said: “In recent time the South East has come into the public domain for the wrong reasons. I say wrong reason because Igbo people have what they are known for, anything outside that is a wrong reason, identity.
We are proud, courageous people not confused about our identity we know who we are.
We build, we don’t destroy, give birth, we don’t slaughter children, we don’t kill our mothers, we don’t kill our brothers, we don’t sacrifice our fathers that was not what our forefathers bequeathed to us. Peace is the only way to make progress and industrialise.
“You may recall 29th of December we flagged off Peace in South East Project, a non-political movement using non-kinetic approach to the resolution of our problems in a southeast because we are tired of using the sounds of guns and barrels to slaughter South Eastern sons, which has not giving us a lasting solution.
“The southeast development commission passed the first reading second reading and third reading. A great feat, that didn’t survive the 7th assembly, 8th assembly and ninth assembly. It’s a thing of hope that through that particular platform reconstruction will commence in Southeast.”
Earlier, the delegation led by its Chairman, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo congratulated Kalu on his emergence as Deputy Speaker, saying he is a sagacious and intelligent leader who has discharged his responsibility creditably.
Soliciting his support for the upcoming burial of the Elder Statesman, Nwodo said, “We felt that the first duty of this National Burial Committee will be to pay a courtesy visit. Not only because you deserve it as our political leader, but because you’re leading us well.
“We wish to brief you about the plans we are making to honor our late colleague and friend, Elder statesman, Okwadike Igboukwu, His excellency Chukwuemeka Ezeife. We are celebrating his life, we are looking forward to you and members of the House of Representatives and senate to honour him that day.”