Senator-elect for Abia North and former state governor, Chief Orji Kalu, said yesterday that he had put his political enmity with his successor, Theodore Orji, behind him.
“I have forgiven him (Orji) for the benefit of Abia people and we are going to work as one family in the Senate in the interest of Abia and Nigeria.
“We are going to have a robust relationship in the Senate because the interest of Abia and Abians is uppermost to me,” he said in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia, shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Election Commission in Abuja.
NAN reports that Kalu and Orji, who succeeded him in 2007 as Abia governor, had been arch-enemies for almost a decade due to political differences.
Kalu, who won the March 9 National Assembly polls, after two consecutive attempts, said he would work assiduously to re-write the history of representation in his senatorial district.
“There is a lot of work to do for my constituency and we shall work to support the programmes of the Federal Government to ensure they succeed,” the former governor of Abia State, who was the first senator-elect to receive his Certificate of Return and got rousing ovation and cheers from the crowd, said.
Kalu, who was a member of the House of Representatives in the aborted Third Republic, promised that the ninth Senate would reverse the unnecessary delay in the passage of the annual budget.
He said the Senate would ensure that the Appropriation Bills received expeditious considerations, once they were presented by the president.
“The consideration and passage of budget estimates would not exceed three months. Once the president presents the bill in September, by December we would have concluded the consideration.
“By so doing, the budget would be ready by January for the president’s assent,” Kalu said.
He said that during the consideration of the budget, the ministers would be restrained from embarking on overseas trips.
“They must be available during the budget defence. They would not be allowed to travel overseas until the budget is ready,” Kalu said.
He said his membership of the Senate would be remarkable, saying that he would strive to build harmonious relationship among all the ethnic nationalities in the National Assembly.