Okey Sampson, Aba
Barely 24 hours after the South East caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsed former governor of Abia State and senator-elect for Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for the position of Deputy Senate President, Abia state enlarged state executive of the party on Sunday backed Kalu for the same position.
The South East leadership of the party, while endorsing Kalu in Enugu, on Sunday, called on the national leadership of the party to review the current sharing formula which does not favour the zone.
Abia APC caucus equally endorsed Hon. Nkiru Onyejiocha, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia state, for the position of speaker of the House of Representatives.
Moving the motion for the endorsement of Kalu, Chairman of Abia APC caucus, Senator Chris Adighije, said the adoption of Kalu and Onyejeocha 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.
His motion was unanimously adopted by those who attended the meeting.
In his reaction to the endorsement, Kalu said it would be against the doctrine of equity and fairness to deny South East a principal position in the Ninth National Assembly.
Hammering on the need to carry every zone along, the former governor said: “I think the party itself should zone the position of the deputy senate president to the South East, because, in the next four years, the only man who brought over 12 million votes, alone, which is President Muhammadu Buhari would not be there as candidate.
“Therefore, every contribution of all segments of this country is very vital to what we are going to do next.
“So, leaving the South East behind would not be good. It will be good to make everyone have sense of belonging.”
Kalu went further to say that the position the South East is asking for is legitimate, and stressed that if the people from the zone sit on the floor and nobody is at the table, nobody will invite people from the area to come and eat from the table as the food will be very far from them.
He added: “But, if some Igbo are sitting at the table and our people know that we are already sitting at the table, they will come.
“It is a moral thing and centres on fairness, equity and justice.
“So, if fairness, equity and justice are to be followed, then, what we are asking for is not far from the truth.”
The senator-elect urged the leadership of the party in the state to fish out those who were alleged to have sabaataged the party in the last election and sanction them appropriately.
On her part, Onyejeocha thanked the party caucus and all members for their support and went ahead to call for a more united Abia APC that will become a formidable force.
She charged the party leader, Kalu, and all other stakeholders to help and ensure that every executive position in the party; from ward, local government areas to state level would be occupied by committed members who would stand with the party at all times.
The state APC chairman, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa, said the endorsement of Kalu and Onyejiocha was the collective demand of all APC members in the South East and Abia State.