OrderPaperToday – Former Governor of Abia state and senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu, has indicated interest in the position of deputy president of the senate in 9th national assembly.
Kalu who will be representing Abia north senatorial district on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) demanded that the seat be zoned to south-east “in the interest of equity and justice.”
According to him the APC has already zoned the senate president position to the north-east and the deputy-senate president to the north-west.
He made this known on Wednesday while speaking with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos state.
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.”
Kali equally stated that “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.”
He added: “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.
“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.”
He explained why he should be be the preferred candidate.
“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.
“All my investments are in the north, in the west and the south and we must protect these things and live in peace.”
He added that he would be forced to contest for the position of the senate president if the APC failed to do the needful.
“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,” he said.
Mr. Kalu would be challenging Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos), wife of the national leader of the party, who has declared interest for the position of deputy speaker.
He was a member of the House of Representatives in the botched third republic, a fact which qualifies him as a ranking member of the senate upon inauguration in June this year.