Zone deputy to S/E or I’ll contest for Senate President ― Kalu
As intrigues and counter-intrigues continue amongst members of the National Assembly over the sharing of positions in the coming ninth Assembly, the Senator-Elect for Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Uzor Kalu on Wednesday declared that he would vie for the Senate President should the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not zone the deputy Senate President seat to South-East zone.
Kalu said the federal government cannot afford to edge out the South Eastern part of the country out of distribution of positions in the new dispensation.
Kalu while speaking with some journalists at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport yesterday, insisted that since the position of the Senate President (SP) had been allocated to the North West that the South East cannot settle for less than the Deputy Senate President (DSP) position.
According to Kalu, as a Senator representing a zone from South East, nothing will stop him from running for the position of the deputy senate president openly on the floor of the Senate.
“I want to respect the party’s wish on the Senate Presidency and the second position is what we are not going to allow to leave the South East. So as far as am concerned, in the South East, I am going to run openly on the floor of the House as Deputy Senate President. I am not going to listen to anybody. Nobody who is going to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party.
“I learnt they ceded the DSP to the North West, but it is not right to do anything like that. We are going to contest this vehemently on the floor of the house. I have the backing of my colleagues. I am going to be withdrawing from the Senate Presidency to run for DSP because the party is supreme. Whether they gave it to an individual that is left for the party at the national assembly to decide, but for the DSP, I will contest with any candidate on the floor of the house.
“I know our Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is a listening Chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of justice. So, if justice must prevail, you bring the Senate President from the North East and DSP from the South East. The chairman is from the South-South, the President is from the North West, the Vice President is from South West, the President of Senate will come from the North East, whether it’s Lawan or Ndume, these people will decide that on the floor of the House.
“So, for me, Nigeria is tripod; Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. So, we are going to get the DSP and I will fight on the floor of the House like no other person has fought. This is not challenging the party, rather, this is looking for justice.
“Buhari said he will be addressing issues of injustice. This is part of the issues. You cannot tell us to go and be Chief Whip. I don’t have a whip to whip anybody. So, we will be very willing to add values to the nation. I am loyal to the people, I am loyal to Nigeria, which is important. I am not going to be loyal to individuals. You don’t build loyalty to a section of people or individuals.
Vowing to contest the Senate president position if the position of the deputy senate presidency is not zoned to the South East, Kalu declared: “I believe there is a co-existence between the religious people. So, I am not going to be DSP for anybody. Otherwise, if they don’t listen, I will also contest for the Senate President on the floor of the House. I will join the race because it is going to be a shopping matter. I can shop than any other person they are putting there. I have the capacity and capability to shop because the whole thing will be shopping on the floor of the House. If the party continues this way, I will run for the SP.
“Positions are part of representations. I am saying if we have DSP, it gives a sense of belonging to everybody. I am not saying I am representing a section. If they go to a meeting, you have the President, Vice President, Senate President and Deputy Senate President but you don’t have anybody to represent the South East. That is unfair and that is what I am saying.
“I am not a tribalist, but someone who is fair. I want justice. If the party doesn’t want a crack, they should zone it properly through the geopolitical zones of the country. A man who has taken the presidency is not supposed to take the Deputy Senate President.
“We are not going to quarrel, but we will sort it out. We are not going to vote PDP, you should be rest assured of that. We are going to vote for APC members for SP and DSP. I have friends everywhere. It will be a shopping matter. I have over 56 Senators on my radar who have already signed for me for either SP or DSP. They believe in equity.”