A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to contemplate zoning the position of Deputy Senate President to any other zone rather than South East.
Kalu, who is going to the Senate as a first-time lawmaker, said he was going to contest for the position and was not going to obey APC or anybody in doing so.
The senator-elect from Abia North stated this when he spoke with newsmen on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. He said:
“I am a very loyal party man. The party has zoned the Senate presidency position to the North-East and I want to respect the party’s will. But the second position is what we are not going to allow to leave the South-East.
“So, as far as I am concerned, in the South-East, I am going to run openly on the floor of the House for the position of Deputy Senate President.
“I am not going to listen to the party neither will I listen to anybody. Nobody that wants to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party.
“I have suffered for the party and have been called by Nigerians to come out. I want the party to respect the will of every other person and I am committed to democracy and contesting on the floor of the House.”
Nothing that President Muhammadu Buhari and APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, were aware of the position that South East should retain the Deputy Senate seat he said: “If justice must prevail, you have to bring the Senate President from the North-East and you bring the Deputy Senate President to the South-East.
“The chairman of the party is from South-South. The President is from North-West. The Vice-President is from South-West and also the Senate President will come from North-East.
“Whether it is Senators Ahmed Lawal or Ali Ndume, this will be decided on the floor of the House.
“So, for me, the tripod in Nigeria is Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa and we are going to get the deputy senate president and I will fight on the floor of the House like no other person has fought.
“That is not challenging the party but this is about looking for justice. Buhari said recently after the elections that he will be addressing issues of injustice and this is part of the issue.”
Apparently recognizing that as a first-time senator he might not be favored for the seat, Kalu said that having served as a former member of the Federal House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993 and also a two-time governor that he was qualified for the position.
“I know the nook and crannies of how legislators operate. I have dealt with them and I am not a newcomer. So, it is going to be impossible to edge me out or edge a whole zone out by claiming we are newcomers.
“What I am fighting for is justice, fair play and for Nigeria to continue to be one. I have suffered in fighting for the unity of the country. They cannot use National Assembly or petty House officers to divide the country.
“I have sweated. All my investments are in the North, in the West and the South and we must protect these things and live in peace,” said.
In a situation APC fails to do what is expected of it by zoning the position to South East, Kalu said, “I have the capacity for lobbying. I am well-known in East, West, and North. If the party continues this way, I will run for the Senate President if justice is not done to say South-East bring the Deputy Senate President.
“I can assure you that there are over 56 Senators in my kitty now for either the Senate President or the Deputy Senate President that have already signed to what I believe in.
“It is only just to unveil it on the floor of the House.”