The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and a well-known traditional ruler, Eze Chukwuemeka Sylvernus Onuoha, Ezeagunaechemba 1 of Igboelerin Kingdom have thrown their weight behind Honourable Benjamin Kalu who is vying to become the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th assembly.

The new support increases the ranks of individuals and groups backing Honourable Benjamin Kalu to become the deputy speaker of the House Representatives when the 10th assembly is inaugurated. Hon. Benjamin Kalu represents Bende Constituency in Abia State.

ANLCA, through a statement by the SSA Media and Public Affairs to the National President, Barr Val Iwuchukwu, described Hon Kalu as the best choice for the position due to his love for the citizens and his determination to tackle poverty menace in the country.

The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), has already picked Hon Kalu in its zoning formula, as its choice candidate for the position.

Supporting the position of the ruling party, the customs licensed group said the experience acquired over time by the parliamentarian as ranking member, will serve as an advantage for him, adding that his communication skills within the public and private sectors acquired through years of experience in both sectors are an advantage to the value he will add as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

Buttressing the support for Hon. Kalu who was first elected by the good people of Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State in the 2019 and was re-elected to the same office in 2023, ANLCA stated, “He is currently the spokesperson of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly, serving as the House Committee Chairman Media and Public Affairs.

“His wealth of experience has been useful to the major committees of the House where he serves as a member: Defence, Airforce, Navy, National Security and Intelligence, Agricultural Services, Health Institutions and Health Services, Basic Education, Federal Judiciary, Petroleum Upstream, Climate Change, Federal Charater, Pensions and other ad hoc committees like the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) etc.

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“He attended meeting where strategic decisions were taken, why such decisions were taken and their impact in the overall interest of the nation sank well with him and it has become unforgettable experience. It is trite to say that in the 9th Assembly, he acquired cognate experience which makes him the best man (from the South East) for the job.

“He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who has been involved in series of complex international business structuring from start-up, negotiation, pre and post incorporation stages.

He has been engaged in international trade, import and export financing. He has handled series of financing deals for marine vessels purchases and documentation which involved syndication with multilateral finance institutions and local banks. Before settling down for the practice of law, Benjamin has built international businesses from start-up to international recognition,” the body stated.

Similarly, a well-known monarch, Eze Chukwuemeka Sylvernus Onuoha, Ezeagunaechemba 1 of Igboelerin Kingdom has also supported the candidature of Kalu, saying, “He is the best man for the position”.

While addressing newsmen shortly after monthly meeting of Igbolerin Council of Chiefs, Eze Agunaechemba in his palace said, “Hon Kalu is a gentleman politician who has clear vision of what he intends to do on becoming the Deputy Speaker. He was a former Chairman of Bende Local Government Area and has served as Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia State in various capacities of which Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is one of them. That was after he has cut his teeth as a business man and trade facilitator of international repute.”

“Hon Kalu is a detribalised bridge builder, a hardworking and faithful team player, who will join hands with the speaker to make the 10th National Assembly, best of its kind,” the monarch added.