By Henry Ojelu
Prominent socio-cultural organization, Igbo Kwenu has cautioned the All Progressives Congress, APC against marginalizing the South-East region in the zoning of principal offices in the National Assembly.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos, leader of the organization, Dr. Chigbo Okoli stated that any attempt to make the Igbos to accept Deputy Senate President again in the 9th Assembly will be vehemently resisted.
Chigbo argued that by virtue of the federal character provision in the constitution, since President Muhammadu Buhari is from the North, Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo from West, it is only equitable and fair that the Office of the Senate President should be zoned to the Eastern part of the country.
He said: “In democratic governance of Nigeria, federal character law demands equitable distribution of offices among the regions. The former three regions have now been changed to six regions, in which former Northern region alone have three regions while former western and eastern region have three.
“This notwithstanding, you still expect the tripod to produce the first, second and third citizens respectively at all times. In which case, having elected Hausa Fulani President and a Yoruba Vice President, it should be straight forward that the third citizen -Senate President must be Igbo. Anything less should be a recipe for disorder and chaos.”
Chigbo called for the support of Dr. Orji Kalu candidacy for the Senate Presidency saying that he is imminently qualified to head the upper chambers of the National Assembly.
He said: “Whereas quota system or zoning is very useful in achieving fair and equitable representation in governance, it often has the tendency to encourage mediocrity. Hence, in any situation where zoning is complemented by merit, nothing can be more desirable.
“That is exactly the situation with the Senate Presidency of the 9th Assembly rightly falling to South East by quota and coinciding with excellent candidacy in Dr Orji Kolu.
“Demoting Orji Kalu to Deputy Senate President will dilute this national enthusiasm and its spill over effect. Any thought of having the President, Senate President and Chief Justice of Nigeria, that is the headship of the three arms of government from the North is psychological terrorism.
“A time comes in the life of a society when new realities call for new responses. The multifaceted challenges that Nigeria faces at the moment calls for suspension of primordial sentiments and pecuniary patronages in pursuit of genuine solutions. This is the time to enthrone merit, equity, justice and fairness- for one whose house is on fire, does not pursue rat.
“We cannot continue to recycle our old mistakes and be expecting a different outcome. Our economy requires miracle workers, and they don’t come much better than OUK.
“Our policy requires cooperation, dexterity and a calming influence; not many Nigerians can offer those. Though born on Igbo, Kalu’s destiny was shaped in for North and his business headquartered in Southwest. His successes in business, politics and interpersonal relationships across ages, party, ethnic and religious lines are legendary.
“Dr Kalu’s candidacy comes from our ‘1st eleven’ and must be supported by all well meaning Nigerians as history shall not be kind with anyone who may wish our dear country anything less.”