Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The lawmaker Representing Abia North in the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has hailed the peaceful nature of yesterday’s election of the new leadership of the Red Chamber.
Congratulating the new leadership, Kalu said Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, will follow procedural positions in the discharge of their duties.
The former governor of Abia State disclosed that he had to step down in his bid for the position of deputy senate president, in deference to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmaker stressed that party supremacy is non-negotiable.
“It was a very smooth day. APC had their way because what we planned worked for APC by voting in a bipartisan manner; which is the essence of constitutional democracy. In any parliament with majority members, the ruling party must elect the officers; not the minority party. It is becoming abnormal in the Nigerian political system where, in any House there is majority, minority also wants to get involved.
“In the real sense, there is no room for minority in going for anything,” Kalu said.
He added that it was not normal practice of sincere democracy to see the minority making moves to control the parliament, noting that it was a cunning democracy in practise.
Kalu faulted Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s participation in the deputy senate president contest.
He reiterated that it is only the APC, as the ruling party, that should produce the key presiding officers.
He, however, proffered solution that the rules of the Senate should be amended in such a way that anytime there is a party with majority members, they should form government.
Kalu also said the actions of Ekweremadu and Senator Ali Ndume were not in anyway taken for the sake of safeguarding the independence of the legislature.
“The APC caucus, not in the senate, have already made a decision. And, if they have made a decision, we should all abide by the decision because party is supreme. It is only these days that I am not seeing the supremacy of the party.
“In all my life, from the National Party of Nigeria, to all the parties I have been, the party is supreme. That was why I stepped down because, once the party says it is over, it is over because the party is us and we are the party.
“So, if our party says this is the position, we have zoned this here, we must respect the will of the party,” Kalu maintained.
Meanwhile, the president has congratulated Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, on their victories.
The president, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja, saluted all the national legislators and their political parties for their display of patriotism and non-partisanship before and during the election and described the emergence of the new leaders as “a new dawn, different from duplicity and perfidy of the immediate past. The Executive does not desire a rubber stamp Legislature. While separation of powers is essential, collaboration among all Arms of Government should be the name of the game. Opposition need not be virulent.
”Stepping into the Next Level, the legislature has a big role to play for the goals of the administration to be achieved.This is for the ultimate good of the nation.”