The Igbo Youth Intelligential (IYI), the umbrella group of enterprising youths of Igbo extraction at home and in the Diaspora, has endorsed the candidature of Senator Ahmad Lawan and Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President, in the Ninth National Assembly, respectively.
The group disclosed this in a statement signed by the National President, Mr. Chinedu Onyeizu, yesterday.
‘’We support of Senator Ahmad Lawan and Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s candidacy in the upcoming senate leadership election, on account of their numerous contributions in the development of the youth of this country.
“They are a strong voice in the advocacy of youth empowerment and leadership and we believe that they will use their positions as president and deputy senate president, respectively, to advance a review of policies stifling youth participation in politics in Nigeria,” the group said.
The group further noted that both senators had a lot in common that stood them out as the best candidates to occupy the two exalted positions in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to the group, senator Lawan has the requisite experience in parliamentary procedures, since 1999, when he was first elected into House of Representatives.
“Dr. Kalu, on his part, is also an experienced legislator and administrator of repute and we believe that combination of the two statesmen will guarantee a better parliamentary support to the development of the youth of this country,” the statement quoted Onyeizu as saying.
The group further noted that both candidates took the issue of education of the youths seriously because of their firm belief that empowerment of youths must necessarily take its root in developing their minds.
Lawan, the group said, is committed to infrastructural development as bedrock for emergence of economic development of the country and has won the best Senator for Effective Oversight Award, conferred on him by the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
“Dr. Kalu, popularly known among the youths as OUK, has spent his time and resources in mentoring youths on how to be agents of positive change in the country, through sponsorship of annual national youth forum.
“We see in him a bridge builder, a leader with Pan-Nigerian sentiment, and the best replacement for the outgoing Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu,” Onyeizu added.
The group reiterated that Nigeria needs leaders in the mould of Kalu, at the National Assembly, to facilitate positive engagement of youths, in the decision-making process of the country, through quality contributions on the floor of the Senate.
They noted that, as Abia governor, Kalu demonstrated that education was the bedrock of moulding great minds in the society when he declared free primary and secondary education in the state while paying bursary to indigenes of the state, at tertiary education level.
The group further added that Kalu reinvigorated the enterprising spirit of Abia youths and that he also challenged and harnessed the abundance of talents of the youth in the area; through football.
“We need an action, passionate, and committed leader like OUK in our key positions in government, to break away quickly from pre-historic sentiments that have chained the country from attaining greatness.”