Last week, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, stated that his support for the presidential ambition of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was because the South-West, and South-South regions refused to leave the presidential contest for their South-East neighbours who are yet to have a taste of the presidency since the return of democracy in 1999.
We selected two other stories from the National Assembly (NASS), for your reading delight.
1. Kalu’s romance with Lawan
Senator Kalu, on May 16, explained that the stand of the Igbos is to vote for Lawan, who is from the North-East region, as this would be an easier route to have a President of South-Eastern extraction.
“Since our Southern brothers refused to leave it to the South-East, if it is not South-East then, it should be North-East. The South-West and South-South are not fair. If we have to do anything rational, Ahmed Lawan will have my vote because he is from the North-East. Anything except South-East, it should go back to the North. We are wiser now. This is the position of the Igbos,” Kalu said while featuring on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.
His assertion that Igbos support power going back to the North, if it cannot come to them, is arguable. Kalu’s claim is akin to hiding behind a finger. Politics, it is said, is an interest-driven game. It is not impossible that he is pursuing a personal agenda cloaked as a regional pursuit.
For sure, there is no record of a public gathering, across different political divides, where a collective decision was reached for the South-East region to back power shift to the North-East in general, and Senator Ahmad Lawan, in particular.
Kalu’s sense of political entitlement runs counter to the argument that power is not given but taken. Indeed, his position may do more to damage the chances of the South-East producing a President anytime soon.
If anything, Kalu’s move can best be regarded as an individual pursuit at the moment.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“I revamped the real estate in Imo State during my tenure so it would be wrong to say the unemployment rate was high, considering I created 305 entrepreneurs in order for it to cascade into the various communities. This is part of the testament that insecurity was very low during my eight-year tenure. There is no structure in the State that was not built during my tenure and I left over N40bn in the State coffers without any debt.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Probing spend on insecurity
On May 20, Senator Lawan vowed to ensure that the nation’s security agencies account for the resources injected in the fight against insecurity across the country.
“We have done a lot in terms of providing resources for our security agencies to fight banditry and other security issues, but we have not achieved the kind of result that we want to achieve. We will continue to provide more resources and continue to hold our security agencies responsible for the resources we give them for as long as the insecurity persists,” he stated while addressing delegates and leaders of the APC in Katsina ahead of the party’s presidential primary.
Lawan’s talk is not new. Other public office holders and critics have been very vocal on the need for a forensic query of the billions of Naira earmarked for the fight against terrorism and banditry.
The Senate President should know that most Nigerians have grown weary of talks of this nature. Constituting a formal probe panel that will investigate a supposed heist is all that they look forward to.
Will the Senate President dump rhetorics for action? Only time will tell.
3. Pushing Buhari to sign Electoral Act
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives, on May 19, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, sign the one item amendment to Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act, 2022, sent to him by the NASS for his assent.
The Caucus made the call in a statement issued by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
The Caucus called on “President Buhari to note that any further delay in signing the amendment to the Electoral Act to give political parties a sense of direction in the conduct of primaries for the election of candidates for the 2023 general elections has the capacity to derail our entire democratic process and destabilise our dear nation.”
A reading of the situation clearly shows that the President may have gone for the broke. This is as he continues to sit on the document with critics alleging that he is on a vengeance mission to retaliate the wedge thrown at him in the form of lawmakers rejecting the original version of the amended Electoral Act.
While the President may have his reasons for sitting on the Act, the blame for whatever negative effect it would have on the 2023 general elections would solely be his.
Answer: Senator Rochas Okorocha
Okorocha made the statement, on May 2, 2022, while arguing that he left Imo State, as Governor, in 2019, in good financial condition. He represents Imo West Senatorial District at the NASS.
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