NASS: Orji Kalu writes APC NWC and incoming senators

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Orji Uzor Kalu, the Chief Whip, has informed the NWC and 108 senators-elect of his desire to lead the Senate.

This was stated in a statement released yesterday in Abuja by the Chief Whip of the Senate’s Media Office.

He, however, denied the rumor that he has received the support of incoming South East senators. He claimed that the South East senators-elect had not endorsed any candidates and had only come together to make a demand of the party and the President-elect.

In the letters he personally signed and sent to each NWC member and senator-elect, Kalu stated that he was applying for the position with honesty, humility, and sincerity.

He explained that the one month he spent mourning his late wife, Ifeoma, was the reason for his seeming inactivity in the race for the senate presidency.

The legislative agenda for Kalu, which has six priorities including economic growth and reform, constitutional and electoral reform, national security, improved social conditions and welfare, an effective and efficient National Assembly, and international influence, is attached to the letters of intent. The former governor of Abia vowed to support and uphold the constitution as well as promote friendly and cordial ties between the executive and judicial branches.

“Warm greetings and those of the Abia North Senatorial zone,” the letter began, “I bring you with a deep sense of joy and humility. My election as the senator representing Abia North at this pivotal juncture in our beloved country’s history entails a plethora of duties, chief among them the creation of quality legislation for the benefit of our citizens’ well-being. We need capable leaders to steer the 10th Senate’s affairs if we are to succeed in achieving these admirable objectives. The 10th Session of the Senate will need men and women in leadership positions who have a wealth of shared vision, the ability to build consensus, charisma, credibility, and pragmatism. For this reason, I humbly write to officially express my interest in being chosen as the next Senate President. With sincerity, humility, and candor, I offer to help you and the Nigerian people.

“Wisdom and experience gained over the years in the management of human and material resources are the biggest assets I bring to the table. I commit to serving you, advancing and defending the party’s principles and the constitution, and fostering friendly relations between the party, the executive branch, and the judiciary. One thing is for certain, and that is that if we work together in harmony, love, and respect, we can truly move Nigeria to the next level of peace, development, and progress.

Micro-zoning by APC encounters obstacles

The Parliamentary Advocacy Network (PAN Nigeria) has, in the meantime, denounced what it called executive irresponsibility and misadventures, as well as political shenanigans, in the selection of the National Assembly’s presiding officers.

The group, which is biased in favor of the independence of the national and state Houses of Assembly, observed with dismay how what should have been a straightforward, smooth, and harmless parliamentary process is being permitted to inflame the country’s political system in a way that is reminiscent of the days and weeks leading up to the February 25 and March 18 general elections.

This was said at an urgent meeting in Abuja to discuss matters of national concern, particularly the choice of presiding officers for the National Assembly by the incoming Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration.

The Network stated in a statement signed by its national coordinator Sunny Anderson Osiebe, national secretary Fred Itua, and national publicity secretary Nkem Anyata-Lafia that it had “noted the widening and dangerous predilection to what appears to be a budding and rising incidence in executive interference and rascality in the activities of the National Assembly, which we perceive deeply as a misconception of what in political parlance is, usually, termed as lobbying.”

We want to let Nigerians know that the legislature is one of the three branches of government, whose independence is protected by our Constitution and the fundamentals of democratic governance. We condemn this oppressive attempt to steer the incoming 10th National Assembly in the direction of a particular mindset.

“The above fact, therefore, compels the need for Nigerians of all tongues and creeds to rise in unison and condemn the aforementioned activities in order to nip in the bud the general tendency by members of the executive and their powerful individual agents of coerciveness to take over the legislative activities in the emerging 10th National Assembly,” the statement reads.

•Ex-senators support aspirant 72 retired senators have endorsed Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, for the position of Senate President.

Basheer Lado, a former senator from Kano Central, spoke at a press conference in Abuja yesterday on behalf of the ex-senators. He said that in the interest of fairness and equity, Akpabio should be zoned to the South South and given the number three position.

Lado, the group’s convener, suggested that Barau Jibrin, a senator for Kano North and a potential candidate for senate president, be given the position of deputy senate president.

•Yari’s backers downplay support

The 72 senators from the Second to Fourth Republics who are not currently in office have come under fire from the Good Governance Initiative (GGI), a group supporting Senator Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, for supporting Senator Akpabio and calling for the resignation of other presidential candidates. Since many of the group’s members had previously fought for the independence of the legislature when it suited their interests, the pro-Yari group claimed that the call amounted to double standards.

In response to Akpabio’s endorsement, its president, Kunle Sanusi, stated that Yari would continue to run in order to fend off the conspiracy against him.

“Senator Godswill Akpabio was a member of the PDP Senators who voted for a Senate president in 2015 to uphold the legislative branch’s independence. Now that he has changed, he prefers to be hand-selected rather than winning a democratic election. That indicates the type of Senate President they intend to appoint to the 10th National Assembly, according to Sanusi.

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