We are all equal as members of parliament, no discriminations-Kalu



Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has declared that all members of the parliament are colleagues and equal irrespective of their political affiliations, economic or social backgrounds. 


He said that being a presiding officer, principal officer or chairman of a committee is a privilege granted by both the leave of the House and the mandate of the members, emphasizing that the position does not presuppose superiority. 


He therefore stated that there is no discrimination of any member whether old or new, ranking or no ranking. 


This clarification becomes necessary in the light of the development that occurred during the plenary on Wednesday where the member representing Bonny/Degema federal constituency of Rivers State, Hon. Cyril Hart alleged that preferential treatment is accorded to the ranking members over the first timers. 


Kalu who swiftly responded that there was “no discrimination in parliament” further clarified that the row where the member was sitting had earlier been given an opportunity to speak, stressing that other rows also needed to be accommodated. 


The Deputy Speaker added that members are however recognized to make their valuable contributions to debates based on their sitting arrangement and not by their age, tribe, geopolitical zones, political or legislative experience. 


In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Kalu said that the presiding officers are not bosses to the members but only servant-leaders committed to upholding democratic ethos and tenets by providing the needed direction to help realize the mandate of the House in the overall interest of the country. 

 

He emphasized that the 10th House under the able leadership Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas will continue to be fair, just and open to every member and ensure that all voices are heard.


He stressed that their privileged positions as first among equals do not elevate them higher and above their colleagues, assuring that the members will always be accorded the needed respect and recognition in the spirit of equality and brotherhood. 

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