Deputy Senate President: How Far Can Orji Kalu Go?

…21 PDP lawmakers endorse Lawan

Senator-elect Abia North Senatorial zone, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has disclosed that 21 PDP lawmakers have endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan as candidate for the Senate Presidency. This is even as Kalu has continued to push for the zoning of the office of the deputy senate president to the South east region.

Speaking in an interview on Friday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), on his way to Abuja, Kalu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for prevailing on Senator Danjuma Goje to step down for Senator Ahmed Lawan as candidate for the Senate Presidency, adding that such rapprochement was critical to ensuring the party speaks with one voice on such a fundamental matter.

He said: “What they are doing is part of democracy. Democracy must not agree and that is why it is democracy. Democracy is a collection of all opinions. But we have called on Mr. President based on the way he settled the Goje matter, for us to be able to call them. If President occasionally intervenes in this kind of issue, we will not be having problems. In PDP, there are bigger problems but they intervene and settle the matter. Before President will tell you, I don’t want to play politics but he is the chief politician. I think the President has started changing his mind to be able to intervene in cases like that.”

Kalu said his endorsement of Lawan as President of the Senate was driven by deep convictions about Lawan’s capacity to push for robust leadership that will deepen the political and economic space for the prosperity of Nigeria and Nigerians.

He said:” Well for the first time, I will tell the press, I have known Lawan for over 40 years. Lawan was my roommate in the university. We lived in the same room in the University of Maiduguri. So he is qualified for the job. This is what I consistently telling people about him. Ali Ndume is my very good brother and I am not against him. But I am just saying that Lawan has been endorsed by all Senators of the party and by individuals. When I said last week that we had 58 Senators, people thought it was a joke.

“That was excluding PDP. But now, we have 21 PDP that have already signed for Lawan as at last week. Now that Goje is no longer running, I can say it out, we have 21 PDP when we had 58 APC but we kept it in the cooler; it was our last strategy to say it on Monday that we have 21 PDP.

“And we said that any PDP member that would not be willing on Monday to disclose his name should drop. So, this is the issue, we were ready. We don’t want to fight because we have fought so much. We want one Senate, one party after all, what is the difference. The difference is party. I was 8 years PDP governor, I was also 2 years NRC member of House of Representatives; So all these things are colouration of names.

He restated his clamour for the position of Deputy Senate President ceded to the South East Region, saying it was only Godly, moral and in the sense of equity, balance and justice to do that.

Kalu clarified that it was not about himself, but ensuring geopolitical balance in the distribution of political offices. Recall that the South-South region is also pushing for the office of the DSP with senator Omo Agege as the leading candidate. It is still left to be seen how far Kalu Can go in his quest to become the deputy senate president, when he is not having a rosy relationship with the other two senators from Abia, T. A Orji and Enyinnaya Abaribe.

At the home front various groups have continued to drum support for his candidature including the APC in the state and south east. Also a group, Abia state printers’ association said it has endorsed Kalu for the seat to represent the South east. Ichie Igbokwe secretary general of the printers said the decision to endorse Kalu was reached at its quarterly meeting held in Umuahia, Abia state.

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