2023 SENATE PRESIDENCY, A CLARION CALL FOR NATIONAL COHESION AND EQUITY
By Hon(Dr) Ahmed Adamu
Let me open the discussion with the phrase When you start to question, you are part of the problem
We are not formidable enough to survive without the tactics, rules, values and strategies that allow people to work together. In the process of working, it’s part of human to disagree and later agree. Our greatest glory as the most populous black nation on earth is that, we accommodate & respect one another irrespective of religion or tribe. This has greatly help in keeping this country as one indivisible entity.
With the just concluded Presidential elections, there is need to shift the goalpost to the leadership of NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. It importance in administrative and governance cannot be underestimated, owing to the fact that, the executive arm need some policies and programs to get legislative consent.
In getting this done in a peaceful atmosphere therefore, we are calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the shift of SENATE PRESIDENT to the South Eastern part of the country.
In light of the foregoing, it is our duly diligent suggestion that upon interrogation of all salient points of the presidential election, among others, there is cogent need for the “ruling” party, the APC, to offer or zone the position of President of the Senate to the re-elected Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, of Abia State, representing Abia North Senatorial District.
His Excellency, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, erstwhile Governor of Abia State evokes different sides to different people. He is a man of many accomplishments – from a humble beginning in Aba, Umuahia, Zaria and Maiduguri, to trading and later establishment of Slok holdings and also becoming a media owner. Just like His Excellency, Asiwaju Tinubu, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has remained an enigma in the Nigerian political rendezvous. He has remained faithful and committed to a united, prosperous and enviable Nigeria and that explains how over the years he has remained relevant within political spheres and has equally extended his hands of fellowship to different ethnic and religious affiliations across the Niger.
Right from his university days at the University of Maiduguri, he sacrificed his studentship for the well-being of his fellow student unionists and that explains why he has remained consistence in pursuing what he strongly believes, even if his allies have reservations. As a thorough student of political science, Orji Kalu pursued his political ambition with strategy and hard work. Since the return of democracy in 1999, he is one south-easterner that has remained relevant in the political trajectory of the 4th republic. As a Governor of Abia state from 1999-2007, he delivered so well on the mandate upon which he was elected. Being the progressive that he was, despite in the then PDP, Orji Kalu always aligned himself with progressive ideals, not minding political correctness.
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There were many instances that he was on the same page with the then ANPP and AD Governors on many national issues. In fact, there were times he had to take the bull by the horn against the dictatorial tendencies of then President Obasanjo and the infamous Third Term bid of Obasanjo, was one such moment that Orji disagreed with him for constitutionalism to have its rightful place in Nigeria. That might have explained why he founded Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and became its presidential candidate in 2007 general elections and later became its BoT Chair. As providential as it were, Orji’s progressive mindset made him join the APC and contested and won election as Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria in 2019 and went on to become the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate. Ever since then, he has demonstrated his maverick personae against non-democratic tenets in Nigeria. He has also well-guided the 9th Senate in its deliberations.
Orji is the legislative man of the moment and undoubtedly the man for the Senate Presidency job come the commencement of the 10th Assembly. We earnestly need Orji Uzor Kalu to steer the 10th Senate for stability, maturity, grasp, and smooth working relationship between the legislative and executive arms of government, for he understands the distinct difference and workings of the two arms. He also understands very well when political momentum gathers and the power of unity in diversity and how to get things done smoothly. Likewise, he knows very well the mechanism for effective political sagacity and stamina of the Nigerian polity. He also undertakes risky activities that promote useful and healthier political stability against all odds, which might have explained why he has remained within the fold of the APC, even at a very serious risk and as a high ranking member of the 9th Senate and returning member of the 10th Senate, his loyalty needs to be paid-off.
He rightly decided to pitch his tent with Tinubu having both served as Governors in the same era. While many were sitting on the fence, waiting for the feast, Orji Kalu knows what he wanted and went for it. He has displayed enthusiasm, love, admiration and unalloyed support to the Tinubu presidency. Thus, such spirit needs to be consolidated by making him the Senate President of the 10th Senate and perhaps that might douse tension of the fears, grievances and agitations of the south-easterners. For the records, political neophytes should know that Orji Kalu built bridges and had a remarkable political structures and made friends in all the geopolitical zones of the federation, and has remained a dependable sanctuary of victims of political stalks just like Tinubu. Thus, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu should be our next Senate President for equity, fairness, fair play and stability of the polity.