Hon Benjamin Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has asked gunmen operating in the South East to come out of the woodwork, lay down their weapons, and talk with the federal government for better jobs and a brighter future.
This is despite the fact that he has created a Food-For-Peace Program to combat hunger in the South East.
Kalu told journalists during an All Progressives Congress, APC, stakeholders’ meeting and empowerment event for his constituents in Bende that President Bola Tinubu has been fair to the South East in appointments and other developmental activities.
He regretted that the South East region’s economy had been decimated by the consequences of sit-at-home in portions of the zone, which had caused many investors of South East background to depart the area.
The Deputy Speaker called the conduct of unknown shooters an embarrassment to the Federal Government, claiming that resorting to violence was detrimental to the South East’s economy and overall growth.
Kalu, on the other hand, recommended all South East agitators still operating from the bush to lay down their weapons and embrace the Federal Government’s appeals for peace, utilizing the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) as a vehicle.
He stated that Tinubu has given Igbos significant posts such as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minister of Works, Chief of Naval Staff, and others, and that he deserves the Igbo nation’s full support now and in the future.
Kalu stated that he is interested in the release of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention, but that the process can be accelerated if enforcers of the sit-at-home protest and perpetrators of other violent crimes in the South East lay down their weapons and embrace peace.
“The biggest error is to stay at home. You cannot equal or outrun the Federal Government’s firepower. The most effective strategy is to minimize the amount of violence in the South East.
“Tinubu did not contribute to Nnamdi Kanu’s incarceration.” Why should we penalize him for something he did not do? “Calm down, return the guns to security agencies because PISE-P is designed to create jobs for you,” he encouraged the unidentified gunmen.
He remembered how the Tinubu/Shettima campaign headquarters he established in Abia State was damaged by attackers with over 200 bullets fired before the 2023 general election.
The Deputy Speaker, on the other hand, expressed delight that PISE-P has borne fruit, with the South East experiencing relative peace throughout the Yuletide.
He also mentioned the importance of social cohesion among Ndigbo and other tribes for the development of the South East.
Approximately 25 members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the constituency switched to the APC during the stakeholders’ meeting.