The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, last week, harped on the need for the political class, including all Nigerians, to eschew all forms of hate speech, and inflammatory utterances in order to strengthen national unity.
Two other top stories we tracked from the lawmakers’ zone will also give you something to chew.
1. Kalu’s sermon
On December 31, 2021, Kalu, while speaking at his Igbere country home during the distribution of end of year gifts to his constituents, among others, said: “No country can thrive in an atmosphere of disharmony…We must not allow political or religious sentiments to take Nigeria backward. Let us engage people in government in constructive criticisms as against hate speech and campaign of calumny.”
The Chief Whip’s sermon, no doubt, is needed to correct the brazen show of bitterness among Nigeria’s political class who only see issuing hate speeches as a veritable means of amassing political capital.
Kalu’s preachment, therefore, is unarguably one essential virtue that Nigerian politicians need to embrace, not just for today, but always. It becomes even more pertinent as the race for 2023 general elections hits top gear.
But much more, the recommendations from Kalu should be seen as a classic case of ‘physician heal thyself’ as the preacher himself may not have been entirely innocent of the message he sought to out across.
All said, Kalu and his co-travellers in the nation’s political space must resolve to elevate the quality of exchanges, be decent, civil and responsible if the country is to witness good governance.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more, if Nigeria divides. Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos…I can call names like former President Obasanjo, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Abaribe’s Abia dream
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on December 28, 2021, declared his intention to contest the Abia 2023 governorship election.
Speaking at a civic reception organised in his honour by Nzuko Ahiaba La Abayi, a socio-cultural organisation in Ahiaba in Obingwa Local Government Area of the State, he said: “I have let him (Governor Okezie Ikpeazu) know and by extension, the people of Abia to look forward to seeing me in charge in Abia State come 2023.”
Just like every other Abia citizen, the former Abia Deputy Governor has the right to contest for the number one office in the State. What, however, happens to be a clog on the wheel of his ambition is the Abia Charter of Equity which sees to the rotation of the governorship seat among the three geo-political zones in the State. This is as he is from the same Senatorial District as the current Governor of the State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
It would certainly be interesting to see what becomes of the outspoken Senator’s ambition.
3. Against insecurity, disunity
On December 31, 2021, Southern Senators’ Forum appealed to Nigerians to unite against insecurity, and divisiveness in order to ensure the progress of the country.
The Chairman of the forum, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, said: “As we enter into the New Year, let us do this with renewed commitment to tackle two prominent challenges facing us, which are these rampaging disunity and insecurity. With unity of purpose amongst us and reliable security, we can usher in economic progress, tackle unemployment, poverty and overcome every noticeable political crisis and bounce back to continental and global reckoning.”
The submission of the Senators is worthwhile. Indeed, insecurity, and disunity have been two prominent issues dragging the country to the realm of a failed state.
However, it is disturbing that the conduct of Nigerian lawmakers has shown them more as pursuing narrow political interests that tend to deepen the fault lines in the country.
Therefore, the challenge of leadership before the Senators is to rise above petty politics and pursue long term sustainable interests that would guarantee a stable, united and progressive country.
Answer: Senator Rochas Okorocha
Okorocha made the statement, on June 20, 2021, while addressing some women groups that paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja. He represents Imo West Senatorial District at the NASS.
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