FORMER Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Kalu has explained why the office of the Deputy Senate President must be retained by the South-East geopolitical zone in the National Assembly.
The office has been occupied by Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP), Enugu West senatorial district) since 2007.
In a statement, Thursday, by a media officer in the Orji Kalu Media Office, Mr Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu noted how unfair it will be to leave out the South-East in the distribution of key elective political positions under the All Progressive Congress (APC) government.
Kalu, a senator-elect (Abia North Senatorial District), who had earlier indicated interest in position of Deputy Senate President, said that the APC also has a strong presence in the South East.
Making his case for an equitable political representation, he said: “As currently constituted, there are six major elective positions in the country, the President, the Vice President, the Senate President, the Speaker, and the Deputy Senate president.
“Key positions had already been zoned to other geopolitical zones, including the South-South, which has the position of the National Chairman of APC.
“The remaining positions must be distributed to reflect the political dynamics of the country.
“The South-East caucus of the Senate will not be asking for too much if it asks for the position of Deputy Senate President.”
According to him, allowing the South East retain the seat of the DSP would help to strengthen the views of the region in national politics while sidelining the region would be against the principle of fairness and Federal Character.
Making a personal pitch in his campaign for the office, he claimed, “I think I am best suited to occupy the position of the DSP because I was in the National Assembly in 1991 and I have the requisite experience to perform well.
“I am a former governor and these things should matter. In terms of competence, I have all. I am not running for this office because of myself but for the betterment of the zone and Nigeria.”
On the seeming disaffection among some members of the party, Kalu disclosed that he plans to “meet with APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and his predecessor, Chief John Oyegun. I will bring in Chief Bola Tinubu and talk to the president to intervene in the crisis.”
Worried about the effects of the crisis in the party, Kalu said, “we have already lost seven states to the opposition. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won those states because of the crisis. We need to resolve these issues and save the party from further crisis.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN), the National Assembly held its valedictory session on Thursday to mark the end of official plenary by the 8th assembly giving way for the emergence of new principal officers of both the Senate and House of Representatives on June 11.