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June 2, 2023
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Senate president: Groups intensify campaign for Kalu, South East

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja and Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Civil right groups, United Nigeria Movement for Equity, Fairness and Justice, Arewa Youths Movement and Southwest Youths Assembly, have intensified their campaign and lobby for the emergence of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as Senate President.

The groups under the umbrella of All Progressives Congress Youths Stakeholders, in a communique at the end of their meeting in Abuja, said Kalu’s candidature  would foster national cohesion, unity, justice and security.

Part of the communique which was jointly signed by Ezenwa Ezerimbe and Aliu Abdulmuluku, convener and secretary of the coalition, respectively, said horse-trading and campaigns for other nationally strategic offices of government have commenced in earnest, hence the South East and Senator  Kalu should be considered for Senate presidency post.

It said: “We appreciate our president-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who has made the case early on for ‘competence’ above all other primordial sentiments. He also made a promise to give every component parts of Nigeria a sense of belonging. His legacies and track records speak volumes to his nationalistic outlook in public service.

“It is on the strength of these two premises we humbly seek the support of our president-elect, vice president-elect, party chairman/NWC, senators-elect and all key party critical stakeholders for Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to emerge as the Senate President of the 10th senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Senator Kalu, a successful business mogul and renowned philanthropist, an astute politician and charismatic leader with an unassailable track record of business, political and administrative leadership sagacity, has demonstrated competence in the Nigerian public space to merit the confidence and trust of our president-elect, vice president-elect, fellow senators and Nigerians to be elected as the senate president of the 10th Senate.

“As a businessman, two-term governor of Abia State, current senator representing Abia North and the current Chief Whip of the 9th Senate has demonstrated faith in Nigeria as a detribalized Nigerian with whom we all can collectively attest and connect to his legacies and track records of handshakes of building bridges across the Niger, and with Nigerians of all shades and creeds. His history of starting out life from northern Nigeria, with special respect to Borno State has endeared him to many hearts across our land.

“Senator Orji Uzor Kalu succinctly fits this national role by virtue of his critical business, political and administrative prowess, coupled with his refined and advanced interpersonal relationship with our Distinguished Senators, especially as the current Chief Whip of the 9th Senate. For a robust, harmonious and productive executive-legislative relationship, we seek no other better choice than Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

In a related development, the Niger Delta Peace and Development Advocates (NPDA) reiterated the call for the position of the senate presidency to be zoned to the South East.

President of the NPDA, Mr Kelvin Ebi-Thomas in a statement said the call has become imperative to promote justice, fairness and equity.   

The statement endorsed Senator Kalu for the position, saying by his current position as Chief Whip of the Senate; he is the highest ranking senator from the South East and therefore deserves the position.

Ebi-Thomas said having had part of his education in the north and spread his business concerns across Nigeria, Senator  Kalu is a detribalised Nigerian who will put the interest of Nigeria ahead of any other consideration.

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