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NASS Leadership: APC Leadership Should Also Think Beyond 2023 – Senator Orji Kalu

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NASS Leadership: APC Leadership Should Also Think Beyond 2023 – Senator Orji KaluSenator Orji Kalu

Abuja: Senator Orji Kalu, Senator elect and former Governor of Abia state has said that, the ruling party (APC) should think beyond 2023 for the issue of the 9th National Assembly Leadership (NAL)

According to Senator Kalu one of the things used to taunt the ruling party after the outcome of these elections is that the ruling party at best is just a multi regional party and not a national party and the reason for this is it’s failure to gain a foothold in the Southeast and majority of the South South States after the 2019 general elections.

For a ruling party it is painfully unusual ! When it happened to the PDP party during Baba Obasanjo”s first term with the west He came back in his second term and archived the desired national spread by making sure PDP won the western part of Nigeria save Lagos where Ashiwaju then was governor.
I believe this spread also help keep them in power for 16 years.
It is my belief that APC ruling party does not plan to relinquish power just after 8 years. So it f they fail to plan properly then the are unwittingly planning to fail !
Although it has been proven that a whole region may not be won and still win the elections a second term, in terms of years in office the grip of the ruling party may be loose.

The Eastern part of the country ideally should be penetrated one way or the others and as I walked behind my younger brother proudly, with the president then in front, we stepped majestically into Eko holiday hotel in the Victoria island Lagos! Baba Obasanjo had just won the 1999 elections. He had been mocked that he did not win majority of the states in the Southwest the PDP had been wiped out in the race for the Senate seats in the Southwest all the Senate seats had gone to the ACN save just one seat ! The Ekiti South Senatorial district which was won by my brother Senator Gbenga Aluko. Effectively he was the only PDP senator from the Southwest!

His campaign had been intense as the ACN then did everything to make sure he did not win! And he in turn did everything to make sure he won! A young man and then the youngest senator in the country together with his colleague and friend senator Udo Udoma it was indeed a proud moment for him and the Aluko family.
An array of PDP dignitaries were seated when the president mounted the podium. He took one look at the table the young senator was seated and invited him to join him saying the push to take over the Southwest starts tonight !
It starts with the win of this young senator! I assure you that in 4 years time the PDP will have senators and governors from the Southwest all over the place! The applause was thunderous!

So fast forward to 2019 a certain senator Orji Kalu is in the exact position senator Gbenga Aluko was in then. He stands today as the only APC senator from the Eastern part of the country. An ex governor too. The APC party should capitalise on this come 2023! To attain that spread, Orji Kalu should be used as a bridge Head ! He defied all odds, Odds that even senator Akpabio in Akwa Ibom could not defy to win his senatorial district! A lion among a pack of lions he stands to defend his patch in the pride. And defend and expand on behalf of his party he must but how can this be archived?

Moving forward the APC must be very strategic ! Our president is no longer running after this term. I suspect the Igbos have more personal grievances against the president as opposed to the party ! It is the belief that the president is not too hot on the Igbos! But where the Igbos got this is still a bit of a mystery! Constitutionally I believe the president have fulfilled all righteousness as per appointments ! I also use to feel this way until I researched into this more against the backdrop that in a winner takes all situation there will obviously be a dip from the presidency towards the East because the president was not voted for ! The impressive thing about Buhari during the campaign was that he campaigned vigorously in the Eastern part of the country ,He was really determined to make inroads in to Igbo land. But the Igbos are stubborn and resolute ! The opposition party PDP just like the ACN back in 1999 has the East on lockdown for now. And it has got to be for now 2023 should be a different ball game and the push for the APC should start now from the Senate. I explain further.

“I had written in an earlier piece that ideally the Senate Presidency should go to the East! But even from my above explanation it is not an ideal situation because of the pattern of voting ! So really what is the best next option to address this question of national balance!? We must remember that beyond politics there is the unity angle and a sense of belonging by every part of the country ! What is planted now will be reaped in future. If the APC leadership like, let them plant the wind they will reap the whirlwind in front! The sensible option I see is that they consider Orji Kalu a man from the Eastern part of the country as Deputy Senate President! It is only fair! Some of the Nigerians Senators and NASS members in discussing the issue has agreed with this!

On a personal note I have never met Orji Kalu before! If he walks past me today I may not even recognize him! All the time he was governor I was not Kuku in the country at best I was in and out. But as a political observer. I analyst and somewhat of a consultant ( in addition to being a lawyer) I believe it will be a very strategic move for the ruling party if the leadership cadre have somebody in mind they must think clearly.

They must not go down that imposition route. It always invariably causes rancour usually imposition is nothing but the show of ego and power and the leadership cadre must resist this.

For example it will be foolhardy for the chairman that comes from Edo state to push for an Edo state deputy Senate president hiding under the guise that Edo state is an APC State.
That can never help national balance Lai Lai and it will definitely come back to haunt the APC in 2023 ! For it is most likely the APC will present a candidate that the igbos will be less hostile towards ! Heheherhe I don’t see a candidate the igbos can be more hostile to than our current president ! May be it is because of the civil War ! Short of APC waking up our late general Muritala Mohammed from the dead to come and run as president !!! , I suspect if one of them is made deputy Senate president it will be politically strategic for the party !
Again there is always rumours that Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu has one list or the other and that he likes to impose ! The list maybe, but personal imposition definitely not ! The man always uses the aggregate of opinion to arrive at a position ! The ultimate politician, he knows the consequences of imposing without ground support and this is why politicians that want to copy him blindly fail woefully !
Orji Kalu himself must reach out! Like Ashiwaju said power is not served alacart.

The Senate is filled with professional outflankers hehehehehehe even the great Jagaban is still licking his wounds from the battle this time 4 years ago ! He must curry the favour of these powerful party leaders and other members of the Senate ! The main thing going for him is that he is the only senator to hail from that part of the country in the ruling party and for unity balance and a sense of belonging this is a very very important aspect of nationhood !
We all know the uproar the presidents statement caused after he won the first time.
This time he has been very guarded! The party should also take a cue from this and be guarded in their choices ! They must think Nigeria first ! As long as the party member remains loyal and has performed , and aids national balance this should be the criteria !
It’s not ultimately fair to leave out a whole region from the scheme of things after all there are about 500 ,000 thousand Igbo men and women that voted for the president! ! Some of them deserve to be considered in the scheme of things to encourage more support from that region for future candidates that emerge from the ruling party in the near future ;
The future is always and will always be greater than the present!

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Comrade Kelly Gilor is a graduate of Communication Management from Delta State university (Delsu), Abraka. He believes in Justice and Equity with Good Governance. He is an activist of the Niger Delta.

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