The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has formally endorsed Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the Senator-elect for Abia North Senatorial district, for the position of Deputy Senate President of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
Akelicious reports that the endorsement took place at Camp Neya, the country home of Kalu in Igbere, Bende Local Government Area of the state.
Akelicious correspondent at the venue reports that the party also endorsed Nkiruka Onyejeocha, member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, to contest the position of speaker.
The endorsement followed a motion moved at the meeting by Senator Chris Adighije, the Abia APC caucus leader.
He described the candidacy of Kalu and Onyejeocha as a collective project for all the party faithful, saying that everybody had a role to play toward its realisation.
Adighije, who represented Abia Central from 2003-2007, promised to reach out to his friends in the Senate and House of Representatives to solicit their votes for the candidates.
He described the meeting, the first of its kind after the general elections, as imperative to enable the party to do a postmortem of the party’s performance at the polls in Abia.
“There is need for a postmortem to enable us to examine the reasons why we lost the governorship election after putting all our efforts,” he said.
Adighije admonished the State Chairman of the party, Chief Donatus Nwankpa to stand more firmly and resolute in his actions.
He said that as the Chairman of the party, his position at any point in time also represented the position of the party.
On his part, the party’s Chairman in the state, Chief Donatus Nwankpa said the move was necessary to give the South-East geopolitical zone a sense of belonging in the National Assembly.
“Our party worked so hard during the last election to get votes for our candidates to win the election.
“Now that we have ranking members in the Senate and House of Representatives, we are asking the party’s national leadership to consider our representatives for leadership positions in the National Assembly in the interest of equity and justice.”
Akelicious correspondent reports that other dignitaries at the meeting include the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate, Chief Martins Azubuike, House of Rep candidate for Aba North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Mascot Uzor Kalu and Rep member elect, Barr. Benjamin Kalu.
While Benjamin Kalu spoke on the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure that Orji Kalu and Onyejeocha got elected as principal officers of NASS, Azubuike specifically charged party chieftains to begin to project the two candidates in good light through the media and avoid the “pull-him-down” syndrome.
Speaking in an interview with journalists at the end of the meeting, the former governor said that his greatest challenge in realising his ambition was the zoning of the principal offices by the APC national leadership.
“My major challenge is zoning of the offices by the party leadership.
“This is why we are appealing to the leadership to have a rethink and consider the interest of Ndigbo for equity and fairness to prevail,” he said.
Dr. Kalu further said that conceding some positions to Ndigbo would give the people a big sense of belonging and obliterate the feeling of marginalisation.
On her part, Onyejeocha admonished party members to join the struggle for Ndigbo to produce the next Nigeria’s president in 2023.
“We need to produce the next president of Nigeria so that our fortunes will change,” she said.
Our correspondent reports that Onyejeocha, who would be making her fourth term in NASS, seized the opportunity to formally announce her ambition to run for the Speakership of the House.
“I am still in the race and hope to finish well,” she added.