Orji Kalu says Deputy Senate President for South-East not negotiable

Dr Orji Kalu, former governor of Abia, has reinforced his earlier stance that the office of the Deputy Senate President must be reserved for the South-East caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the National Assembly.

Orji’s position was contained in statement issued on Thursday by Mr Kunle Oyewumi, of  Orji Kalu Media Office, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN).

NAN reports that Kalu, now a senator-elect for Abia North Senatorial District has earlier expressed interest to occupy the coveted position.

The assembly held its valedictory session on Thursday to mark the end of official plenary by the eight assembly giving way for the emergence of new principal officers of both the Senate and House of Representatives on June 11.

Kalu explained that it would be unfair to leave out the South-East in the distribution of key elective political positions under the APC government, adding that the party had robust support in the zone.

“As currently constituted, there are six major elective positions up for grabs in the country, which include the President, the Vice President, the Senate President, the Speaker, and the Deputy Senate president.

“Key positions had already been zoned to other geopolitical zones, including the South- South which currently has the position of the National Chairman of APC.

“The remaining positions must be distributed to reflect the political dynamics of the country. The South-East caucus of the Senate may not be asking for too much if it asks for the Deputy Senate President position,’’ he said.

Kalu said occupying the seat of the deputy senate president would help to embolden the views of the region better in national politics.

“I think I am best suit to occupy the position of the deputy senate president because I was in the National Assembly in 1991 and I have the requisite experience to perform well.

“I am a former governor and these things should matter. So, in terms of competence, I have all. I am not running for this office because of myself but for the betterment of the zone and Nigeria.

“People have asked me what the position will do for my people. I can assure you that once I am elected as deputy president of the senate, I will also lead the drive to ensure that APC makes more inroads into the region.

Kalu further said that sidelining the region would be against the principle of fairness and Federal Character.

On the seeming disaffection among some members of the party, Kalu, said plans were under way to bring feuding leaders of the ruling party together to find a lasting solution.

Kalu said the party must be re-positioned for greatness, adding that the leadership must ensure all lost states were captured again.

“We have already lost seven states to the opposition. PDP won those states because of the crisis. We need to resolve these issues and save the party from further crisis.

“As soon as I return to Abuja, I will meet with Adams Oshiomhole and Chief John Oyegun. They are my leaders. I will bring in Chief Bola Tinubu and talk to the president to intervene in the crisis. This is what I plan to do.

“In the next two weeks, we should come up with a solution and these things would become history,’’ Kalu said. (NAN)

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