The Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders has commended Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide as led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu for rejecting the position of the deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives which was purportedly micro-zoned to the South-East.
According to a statement on Friday by the coalition’s President-General, Goodluck Ibem, and the Publicity Secretary, Okey Nwaoru; the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the popular will and wish of the South-East people.
The coalition said the decision reflected and resonated with the Igbo quest for political survival as one of the major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
The apex group berated the member representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, Benjamin Kalu, for accepting the deputy speaker position.
“We deem it very insulting, contemptuous, demeaning and most undignifying for the member, representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, Benjamin Kalu, for betraying the collective interest of Ndigbo at a time like this by accepting the position of the deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, which, by our ranking, is the seventh position in the hierarchy of office and position of power in the nation.
“Nigeria, from its get-go, was established on a tripodal structure by the founding fathers, an arrangement which straddles the North, dominated by Hausa/Fulani; the East, dominated by the Igbo; and the West, dominated by the Yoruba.
“The Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba nations have up until now continued to retain their positions of power, each having had a shot at the Presidency – producing both the president and vice since the return to democracy in 1999, whereas, the South-East, which is a successor region of the Old Eastern Region with an Igbo majority lags, is forgotten and treated as a minority,” the coalition’s statement read in part.