Hon. Benjamin Kalu, member representing Bende Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and the spokesperson for the house of Reps, on Monday in an interview on Flo Fm 94.9, Umuahia,  reacted to the pace of development in Abia state and other issues which he said his party will from now on be watching and criticizing.

During the interview, Hon. Kalu accepted that the Abia state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC)  is not speaking up as opposition to replicate how the  Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) does at the federal level.

His words: “It borders me; it’s their job to do. At the federal level, PDP is speaking up, they are attacking the government, they are not doing so because they hate the government but they do so because they want the government to sit up, and that is how democracy should work. Anything short of that is not true democracy.

“In fact opposition is expected to help the ruling party to sit up to hit their target and take the credit. I expect my party in the state to sit up.”

Hon. Kalu however, did not subscribe using foul languages against leaders in disguise of opposition.

Speaking on how the party at the state level will act as watchdog for the ruling PDP in the state, he said:

“Luckily Enough, I have been made leader of APC caucus, the public image maker, the spokesperson of Abia state APC and I am going to speak, and when I speak, it should be helping the advancement of democracy and anybody that knows me can tell that I don’t speak pity, I speak with facts, I speaks to issues, I don’t speak against persons.”

When asked about the backlog of salaries owed civil servants of some parastatals in Abia  state, Hon Benjamin said:  “If they are owed salaries, they  should be paid! That is what governance is all about. Unless they are having difficulty and if so, they have to strategize and prioritize.

“The provision of the constitution is that if you are in power, you take care of the security and welfare of citizens. Welfare includes having food on their table and that is the primary purpose of government. The most important thing for this government is to make sure that every labour is entitled to his wages and those wages must be paid.” Hon. Kalu said.

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Hon. Kalu also advised Abia state government to prioritize, and that if there is limited resources, just as it is in other states of the country, “the formula to be used in achieving that is the constitutional provision” that is the security and welfare of the citizens is paramount.

 “There is no task achieved by my friend, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration that is far better than putting bread for the people who have worked for the state, there is nothing more important than paying of salaries. So, they should cut out other projects and ensure that salaries are paid.” Kalu advised.

Speaking as a former chairman of Bende local government area of Abia state, he frowned at the laxity and truancy of civil servant. He task civil servants to justify what they are been paid for.

“I have been in government, in the local and state level, most of the people demanding these salaries don’t go to work. What kill administration is the civil servants, both at the state and federal levels, those who are working for government should justify their pay”, Hon. Kalu said.

He also spoke about the need for a shake up in the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.

When asked about the state of Abia infrastructural development, he said: “ A lot needs to be done, the excuses are no longer cogent.

“ I think the commissioner for works is not helping the administration of  Dr. Okezie Ikeazu, I said so because the governor is not supposed to be conducting the responsibilities in that ministry.

“There is no innovation; they are still doing things in the traditional way. Innovation will always replace tradition that is not productive. The only way to drive innovation is through technology and that is the responsibility of the works department. They should be creative and innovative enough. Our roads are terrible. I think the time has come for the governor to overhaul the system.”

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“We can shout on radio station that all is well, but all is not well. Am going to watch my friend as the governor, see how he goes about his activities and if things are not going the way it should go, am going to be on radio stations and am going to scream on the roof top because I want by the time he is done, that his name, will be written in gold, he is a good man as a person”. Hon Kalu added.

He however said the commissioner for finance should sit up and block all avenues where money is been taken out from the state.

He also revealed that despite been in the APC, he is struggling to attract projects to Abia state.

When asked of the possibility of south-east governor joining APC, he said: “There is a new wave, the south-east governors are becoming wiser because you cannot be in opposition party and develop the region. If you don’t have a romance with the federal government, you are denying the people in your state a whole lot.”

Hon, Kalu also responded to the upcoming local government election in Abia state.

He said, “anybody who happens to do anything outside allowing our strength to prevail where we are strong, and our weakness to drawn us where we are weak, is not been fair and international community have been invited for the local government election, they are going to watch, including professor Mkpa that is from Abia north and I am sure he will not mess up his career. If he goes against the dictates of his mandate of free and fair election, the international community will be watching him and he will not be able to leave this country.

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