By Akeem Abas
Some eminent journalists in the country have thrown their weight behind the aspiration of Sen. Osita Izunaso to become the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.
They declared support for Izunaso on Wednesday during a special forum organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) held at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum, tagged ‘State of the Nation’, was aimed at enriching public discourse on major national issues.
NAN reports that on the panel at the event are Mr Lanre Ogundipe, a former NUJ President, and Mrs Bose Oyewole, a former Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
Others are Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, former NUJ Chairman, Mrs Kemi Ajayi, former Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), and Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan, former Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Lam Adesina.
Olaosebikan explained that the South-West and North-Eeast have produced President and Vice President, so the South East should be the next to produce the Senate President.
He said that he had done a deep analysis of all the contenders for the National Assembly’s topmost position and found Izunaso as the most capable and suitable in all aspects.
The former president said that Izunaso towered far above all those competing with him for the position, particularly from the South-East.
Olaosebikan said that with the general call for a government of national unity, Izunaso fits the bill being the most ranking senator from the most marginalised zone of the country.
“If one considers it from the perspective of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu’s promise to give Nigeria a government of national competence, Sen. Osita Izunaso is the most suitable.
“Izunaso is highly educated with degrees up to master’s level in journalism and law. He has the experience, competence and organisation, and dexterity to perfectly preside over the National Assembly.
“And if it is to be allotted based on commitment and service to the party, Izunaso is clearly ahead, having served meritoriously as the first National Organizing Secretary of the party among other party duties,” he said.
He charged the leadership of APC to give the position to Izunaso who had distinguished himself over time as a loyal and committed party man.
Olaosebikan described Izunaso as a great administrator, an uncommon detribalised Nigerian and the best among those who have thrown their hats into the ring for the Senate Presidency.
In his remarks, Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, former NUJ Chairman, explained that the South-East should be given the opportunity so as to douse the agitation and tension in the zone.
“It will be fair for APC to pick someone from the South-East for Senate President. They have been crying over marginalisation and they should be given the opportunity.
“The best is to give them so as to douse tension there. We are not politicians but members of the fourth estate and that is why we are saying that the zone should be given the opportunity.
“And as someone who does not have any garbage, Osita Izunaso should be allowed because he is the only one with fresh air and fresh ideas,” he said.
Oyewole and Ajayi, in their contributions, insisted that the APC should allow the South-East zone to produce the next Senate President.
They said that the issue of zoning should not give the leadership of APC any serious issue, adding the most reasonable was to zone the position to the South-East in the best interest of the nation.
The panelists said that Izunaso, being the highest-ranking senator among the contestants, made him the first choice for the nation’s number three position.
They agreed that Izunaso has an edge in terms of profound understanding of the workings of the National Assembly, having served as aide to presiding officers in the two chambers.
The panelists said that Izunaso subsequently became a member of both the green and red chambers, adding it was obvious that Izunaso fits in all aspects.
Mr Adebayo Raji, the Chairman, Oyo State NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, said the chapel organised the forum to enrich public discourse on major national issues. (NAN)