Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
In recognition of his efforts at delivering the dividends of democracy to his constituents in less than a year in office and giving prominence to the South-East in the 9th National Assembly, Southwest First Alert Magazine has awarded the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a special recognition award as the Most Performing Senator in Nigeria.
Presenting the award to the senator at his office at the National Assembly complex, the publisher of the magazine, Mr Charles Oladokun Aridunnu Omo, disclosed the publishing group had carefully chronicled the impact made by Senator Kalu to his constituents since his election into office, highlighting the distribution of aid, construction of 19 roads, reconstruction and renovation of primary schools, reviving of abandoned power plants, sponsorship of notable motions and bills as some of the factors that necessitated the award.
Oladokun noted that despite his wrongful incarceration for six months at the Kuje custodial centre, Senator Kalu never deterred in discharging his legislative duties to his constituents. He emphasised that the award ceremony was organised virtually as a result of the resurgence of the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We are extremely grateful to you for putting your region and Nigeria first in your scale of leadership performance. The Board of the Southwest First Alert Magazine, after an online poll, unanimously selected you,’ Mr Omo said.
‘The magazine is appreciating your outstanding efforts and tremendous contributions at putting the South-East race on the list of distinguished personalities of the Black race, as one of the most influential Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose legacies and contributions cannot be overemphasised.
‘We recognised your achievements, indelible impacts as well as outstanding performance both at the National Assembly and your senatorial district, most especially your fantastic impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We sent some of our reporters to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the road projects and they were able to testify that they were ongoing and some were almost at their completion stages.
‘On empowerment, on two occasions you have distributed vehicles and farm inputs to farmers, generating sets, sewing machines to artisans, just to mention a few.’
Responding, Senator Kalu said his tenure as Senator and principal officer would focus on empowerment and the facilitation of infrastructural development to his constituents and the South-East at large as a means of improving in the lives of his people.
Senator Kalu, who described laws as the software of democracy, noted that asides attracting infrastructure to his constituents, he has sponsored motions to improve Nigeria’s productive output as well as a bill to strengthen the legislative arm of the country.
The Abia-North Senator said the ongoing rehabilitation of primary schools across his constituency was to provide the right environment for teaching and learning, assuring that the gesture would be extended to secondary schools and similar institutions.
The Senate Chief Whip also informed that he was working on additional bills that would have an impact on the lives of all Nigerians, urging citizens to remain united and continue to coexist peacefully with one another.
While appreciating the recognition, the senator called on the publishing company to continue to remain unbiased in its reportage, noting that the media has a huge role to play in the development of the country’s democracy, most especially in tackling fake news.