A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Josef Onoh has berated the incumbent Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, for saying it is his turn to become the next Senate President of Nigeria.
Naija News recalls that Kalu, in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday, said it is his turn to be the Senate President and hopes Nigerians would support him.
The former Abia governor boasted that he has not changed his known mobile phone number for about 24 years and would still be picking up the call of the people if he becomes the next Senate President.
But in a statement on Thursday, Onoh said the Senate Presidency position was nobody’s turn but the turn of one with an untainted and meritorious track record.
Onoh argued that the South East had held the position of the Senate President in the past but gained nothing other than acrimony and bad politics.
He said the South East will prefer the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to the position of the President of the Senate.
Onoh said: “Even though I’m not in support and will never support Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s method of operation and the pain the actions of IPOB have caused Nigerians which warranted the federal government to take proactive measures on him and his organization, I’m urging the President-elect that the release of Nnamdi Kanu is more important to us than Senate Presidency.
“What the South East needs are economic growth, security, and development and since Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest and detention a sit-at-home was declared which has crippled the economic stability and growth in the southeast. Criminal elements are now hiding under the guise of IPOB to create security instability in the southeast which currently has overwhelmed the entire south east governors and residents alike.
“So it does not arise for persons from the south east to be clamouring for the position of Senate President, let alone saying ‘it’s my turn’. While his zone is under heavy security threat and economic suffocation.
“We’ve held the position for eight years and it benefited us nothing. What we need is economic prosperity and growth as the President-elect promised us. I plead and urge for the release of Nnamdi Kanu while he attends his trial from home and it will help to end the sit-at-home and security instability in our zone.
“Before someone would use the slogan Emilokan, he should ask himself, how many people he has made, developed, and grown in politics outside his immediate family.”
The APC stalwart suggested that the exalted position should be zoned to the South-south region which has not held it since 1999, saying that former Edo governor, Comrade Adams Oshomohle, has the capacity to lead the Senate.
Onoh, therefore, pleaded with the Clerk of the Senate to ignore its standing rule to make it possible for first-time Senators to contest for the position.
He added: “I’m asking that the Senate standing rules that say only the ranking members are qualified for Senate presidency should be changed or discarded since it’s not constitutional. What we need is proactive leadership, particularly now that we have more new legislators in the Senate, particularly now there is a new hope in Nigeria and in the National Assembly.
“The Senate Presidency should also be moved to the South-south and I believe that Adams Oshomohle is more qualified to be the Senate President because he showed more tenacity and support in the pursuit of this renewed hope, more so, when he is a man that stands by his words and bold enough.
“The southeast at this time is not asking for a Senate President, but for a peaceful release on bail of Nnamdi Kanu while he attends the trial. If possible we can release Kanu to the British High Commissioner on bail from where he can attend the trial. The government should shun all the selfish individuals from the southeast using the request for the release of Kanu to their political advantage.”