Senator Osita Izunaso, a candidate for Senate President, said yesterday that it is his turn to be President of the Senate, adding that he has paid his dues for the growth of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He went on to say that it would be grossly unfair and unjust for the APC leadership to deny him the Senate presidency because he is the best candidate.
According to a statement from his media office, Izunaso stated this while speaking with journalists shortly after an Interdenominational service held at the Ecumenical Centre in Abuja ahead of the presidential transition programme.
The senator-elect stated that when deciding who to support for the position of Senate President, the new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the APC leadership should consider service and sacrifice to the party.
The Senator from the South-East stated that he was more qualified and suitable for the position than all other candidates in terms of competence, experience, education, knowledge, integrity, loyalty, and commitment to the party and that the APC should compensate his sacrifice, dedication, and loyalty to the party by supporting him for the position.
Izunaso explained that he gave his time and energy alongside elder statesman, Chief Bisi Akande, and the current Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, to help build APC from the ground up, adding that he later served as the national organizing secretary for five years without incident.
Osita Izunaso revealed that he campaigned for Tinubu during the presidential election, despite the fact that key figures in his local government and senatorial district were killed for supporting and urging people to vote for the new president.
“I am a founding member of the APC, we travelled to Lagos every weekend for a good six months during the formation stages, to coin the name and get it right, we designed the logo, bringing together components of other parties making up the proposed APC then before going for registration in the Corporate Affairs Commission,” he says. Governor Fashola is still alive today, and he understands everything I’m saying because he was there from the beginning.
“We held 36 governorship primaries and there was not a single lawsuit because we did the right thing.” You will agree with me that this is what it means to demonstrate capability. You know, we were up against a sitting President, so we had to do everything right to take power away from them; so, if I could keep the Party at that level from the beginning when we didn’t even know we were going to win, why shouldn’t I be able to lead the Red Chambers effectively as Senate President?
“So, for me, having sacrificed my time, energy, scarce resources, and services for the APC, it should be payback time.” I believe it is only fair and just for the party to consider compensating me, and I believe the time has come.
“Having served selflessly without blemish through rain and shine, during turbulent times when the Party had no ray of hope, I believe I deserve to be compensated, and having contested election and fortunately returned to the Senate, I believe I am well qualified to vie for the position of Senate President, and why won’t I seek it and why wouldn’t APC in their wisdom not consider and compensate me?” I’ve paid my party dues and made significant sacrifices to earn adequate compensation from the APC; if I’m not qualified, that’s a different story.
“The people dragging the Senate President position with me today were in the PDP, not the APC; they castigated the party then as “dead on arrival” during the formation stage, and recall, the PDP did everything in their power then to thwart the party’s registration at the corporate affairs commission because they were in power.”
“We founded and funded the Party, nurtured and ran it from its inception to the present day; some of them only joined the Party about 4-5 years ago.” Yes, it is said that the more the merrier, so we heartily welcome them to APC, but they may not have joined if we had not sustained the Party and won.
“Speaking on the claim that the South-East did not vote enough for the party to earn the nation’s third position, Senator Izunaso stated that every APC candidate who won in the 2023 elections from the Southeast geopolitical zone deserves commendation.” Our victory is analogous to a camel passing through the eye of a needle. It was not amusing at all, because the Southeast this time had a major frontline Presidential candidate who received massive support and sympathy from voters in the region. I’ve said it a million times: this was not an easy election.
“I was elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and to the Senate in 2007, but before that, I had worked in the House of Representatives as a staff, also worked in the Senate as staff, and I’m not sure any of my contemporaries have that pedigree.”