By Lawani Mikairu
The Senator-elect for Abia North senatorial district, and former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Wednesday threatened to defy his party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, if the principal positions of the 9th National Assembly are not equitably distributed among the six geo-political zones of the country.
Orji made the threat while fielding questions from journalists at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. He said it will be unfair not to give the position of Deputy Senate President to the South East zone since the party has decided to zone the Senate President position to the North East. While signifying his interest to contest for the position of Deputy Senate President, he however threatened to go for the Senate President position and defy his party that has already zoned the position to North East.
According to Kalu : “ Well, I am a very loyal party member, the party has zoned it to the North East and I am bound to respect the party’s will and the second position is what we are not going to allow for the party. As far as I am concerned, in the south east, I am going to run openly on the floor of the House for the Senate President. I am not going to listen to the party, neither will I listen to anybody. Nobody who is going to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party. I have suffered for the party, and I want the party to respect the will of every other person and I am committed to democracy”.
“We are going to be seeing votes on the floor of the house because Section 50 of the constitution made it very clear that the members of the national assembly will elect their leaderships and I am going to use that section of the constitution to vie for the position. I learnt they ceded the DSP to the North West, but it is not right to do anything like that. We are going to contest this vehemently on the floor of the house. I have the backing of my colleagues. I am going to be withdrawing from the senate presidency to run for DSP because the party is supreme”.
“ Whether they gave it to an individual that is left for the party at the national assembly to decide, but for the DSP, I will contest with any candidate on the floor of the house”.
When asked if he has made his intention known to the party, he said : “ I just told you that patty is supreme. I know our Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is a listening Chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of justice. So, if justice must prevail, you bring the senate President from the North East and DSP to the South East. The chairman is from the South south, the President is from the North West, the Vice President is from South West, the President of Senate will come from the North East, whether it’s Lawal or Ndume, these people will decided that on the floor of the House”.
“So, for me, Nigeria is tripod; Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. So, we are going to get the DSP and I will fight on the floor of the House like no other person has fought. This is not challenging the party, rather, this is looking for justice. Buhari said he will be addressing issues of injustice. This is part of the issues. You cannot tell us to go and be Chief Whip. I don’t have a whip to whip anybody”.
“So, we will be very willing to add values to the nation. I am loyal to the people, I am loyal to Nigeria, which is important. I am not going to be loyal to individuals. You don’t build loyalty to a section of people or individuals. I am a Catholic and I believe there is a co-existence between the religious people. So, I am not going to be DSP for anybody. Otherwise, if they don’t listen, I will also contest for the Senate President on the floor of the House. I will join the race because it is going to be a shopping matter. I can shop than any other person they are putting there. I have the capacity and capability to shop because the whole thing will be shopping on the floor of the House. If the party continues this way, I will run for the Senate Presidency,” he threatened.