Senate Presidency: HURIWA roots for Kalu
As the jostle for the seat of Senate President has taken centre stage and the South-East is on top of the contest, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); a civil rights advocacy group totally indifferent to politics but not to matters that have to do with good governance in Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the current Senate Chief Whip, and Senator-Elect for Abia North Constituency; Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, in his quest to become the president of the 10th Senate, saying he possesses the aptitude to lead the Senate.
HURIWA in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the group’s endorsement was anchored on the reason that good governance is premised on having institutions that function optimally and benefit the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Orji Uzor Kalu possesses such distinctive leadership qualities and he is charismatic and so is qualified and suited for the office of Senate President come June 2023.
Describing the former Abia State Governor as a sensible and reasonable politician, who has the capacity to mobilize the 10th Senate to pursue a common course for the good of the country, HURIWA reechoed the strong belief that if Senator Uzor Kalu emerges as the Senate President, he has the capacity to mobilize the South East behind the APC and also douse the tension in the sub-region.
Beyond this, Onwubiko also highlighted Senator Kalu’s thorough and clear thinking about Nigeria and his practical solutions which are available in his books, writings and interviews over the years.
“It is gratifying for us to read in the media that His Excellency, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has thrown his hat into the ring to contest for the Senate Presidency. It would be recalled that HURIWA had earlier issued a statement advocating for the Senate President to be zoned to the South East in the interest of equity and fairness and the current Chief Whip of the Senate is the most qualified Senator for the position based on the Senate rules as well as his pedigree.
“The Senate has rules, and to be honest, if true democracy should be in play, Orji Uzor Kalu should not be in contest with anybody. This is because apart from being the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, and the Senate Leader, he is the next ranking member in the Senate going by the position he occupies today in the 9th Senate.
“Besides, the Senate is an established institution that needs somebody with experience, someone with the skills and will be able to relate. Senator Kalu is a result-orientated leader, patriot, thinker, businessman, and investor, whose deepest desire is to bring Nigeria into line with modern development thinking and growth.”
Adding: “At home in Nigeria, North, South, East, West and abroad, Kalu demonstrates his understanding of the challenge of advancing Nigeria through fearless legislative thinking, robust political re-engineering, and strong administrative structures. We wholeheartedly endorse him for the presidency of the 10th Senate”, the group said.
The statement further noted that, though Senator Uzor Kalu hails from the South East, his tentacles have spread across the country in his pursuit of education, business and politics. Given his high profile status in the National Ruling Party- APC, HURIWA maintained that he has remained a political pillar of hope in Nigeria despite various obstacles mounted against him.
“The calibre of stakeholders, even from the opposition Party that trooped to his house in Abuja for consultations in the build-up to the 2023 elections shows that he is a person of significant political force and by the Will of God, he possesses the aptitude to lead the 10th Senate.
“The Northerners are comfortable with him because he is a patriotic statesman. The Yorubas love him because he has always run successful businesses employing thousands of Yorubas. The Igbos love him because he excelled in governance.
“More so, he is being adjudged one of the fiercest party loyalists from the South East. In 2016 Senator Kalu formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), he contested and won the 2019 Senatorial elections and led the APC to landslide victories for other legislative positions in Abia North. The former Governor also led a strong campaign in his Abia North to become the only zone in the South East to have given Buhari 68% votes during the 2019 general elections”, HURIWA added.
Also, HURIWA, which described Kalu as a patriot said that his commitment to Nigeria is overwhelming as demonstrated by his capacity to implement his pledge of advancing the desire of the people for quality legislation and representation in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the people.
“Since his inauguration into the 9th National Assembly in June 2019, Senator Kalu has been visible on the floor of the Senate through his legislative engagements and oversight functions, perhaps due to his wealth of experiences as a successful entrepreneur, an astute politician, administrator of repute, with a proven record of success in administrative governance and business management.
“He is first among equals, and since he has personally made the commitment to venture into the race, we have no other option than to rally behind him”, HURIWA explained
HURIWA therefore enjoined Nigerians, the Senators-elect to close ranks and place national interest above personal and political inclinations and support Senator Uzor Kalu, describing him as a trained and experienced leader with a global view.
Made up of philosophers, researchers writers and journalists from different backgrounds, ethnicity, language and training, HURIWA explained that its decision is built on the yearning for Nigeria to fulfil her vast potential and take her place among the advanced democracies and economies.
“It is glaring that he is a ranking Senator and a Principal Officer of the current Senate. What’s more? He has been a pan-Nigerian and has the interest of the South-East at heart. He is better experienced when compared with other members from the South East geopolitical zone and has built bridges across the country. His position as Senate President would also go a long way to douse the pockets of misgivings over the emergence of the South West and the North East as President and Vice President of the country.
“Other members who may be called ranking senators are not members of APC and their parties do not command a majority in the Senate, while those in the APC are not Principal Officers of the Red Chambers. The leadership of the party which includes the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, they are better disposed to have him as the head of the National Assembly. He has been a loyal party man.
“When it comes to the internal politics of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu understands the chemistry of the Red Chambers and would ensure that projects meant for the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones are protected and well captured in the appropriation bill of the executive arm of government”, the Group concluded.