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Monday, May 27

9TH NASS: KALU ENDORSES LAWAN FOR SENATE PRESIDENT

Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has thrown his weight behind the aspiration of Senator Ahmad Lawan, who has been adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate for the Senate President of the Ninth National Assembly.

Kalu, who is also a Senator-elect on the APC platform, formally endorsed Lawan on Sunday night at his (Kalu) Abuja residence.

The Forbes-rated billionaire, who addressed journalists in Abuja said he is fully behind the aspiration of Lawan.

Minister of Labour, Sen. Chris Ngige, Sen. Barau Jibrin, Prof Benard Okor and Prof A. U Akpan, were in attendance and witnessed the event. 

Kalu, who had earlier indicated interest in the Senate Presidency post, said he was withdrawing to contest Deputy Senate President position.

"I am going to be withdrawing from the (Senate Presidency) race to run for Deputy Senate President because party is supreme," he said.

The Senator-elect, while making case for the South-East, argued that the Federal Government cannot afford to edge out the region out of distribution of positions in the new dispensation.

He said it was only fair that the position was retained in the South-East, stressing that it would be against the doctrine of equity and fairness to deny the zone a principal position in the Ninth National Assembly.

He further maintained that he was qualified for the position having being a former member of the Federal House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993 and also a two-time governor.

Recall that the South-East caucus of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had demanded a review of the zoning arrangement ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.

The South-East APC, while endorsing Kalu for Deputy Senate President at its zonal meeting held in Enugu, called on the national leadership of the party to review the current sharing formula which does not favour the zone.

The meeting presided over by the National Vice Chairman of the party, South-East, Chief Emma Eneukwu, had in attendance Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, his Labour counterpart, Dr. Chris Ngige, former Gov. and Senator-elect, Dr. Orji-Uzor Kalu, former minister, Chief Emeka Worgu, serving and incoming members of the National Assembly, among others.

Similarly, the Abia State APC has endorsed the former governor for the position of Deputy Senate President.

The endorsement came at an enlarged meeting of the Abia State APC executive barely 24 hours after the South-East caucus meeting held in Enugu.

Moving the motion for the endorsement of Kalu, Chairman of Abia APC caucus, Senator Chris Adighije, said the adoption of Kalu was not only popular, but was in tandem with the yearnings of people of the South-East.

Adighije advised the APC national leadership not to forget that Nigeria stands on a tripod, and stressed that for this to be acknowledged and respected, the South East should be given what was due it.

On his part, the state APC chairman, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa, said the endorsement of Kalu was the collective demand of all APC members in the South-East and Abia State.

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