Barely 24 hours to the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, Chief Jonathan Ogwo Okpara is canvassing support for the former governor of Abia and senator-elect for Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu for the position of deputy senate president.
Speaking in Aba, Ogwo said the position of deputy senate president would not be what the Igbo should beg for in a country where they are one of the three major ethnic groups.
Ogwo said what Kalu should have gunned for is the senate president position itself which he squarely merited, but that since the ruling APC has zoned it to the North East and President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed Ahmad Lawan, the deputy senate president position should not elude the Igbo.
The APGA chieftain said as a former member of the House of Representatives who was in the House when no member of the present crop of senators were anywhere near the NASS, and a two term governor of Abia State, that Kalu was eminently qualified for the office of the deputy senate president.
“In 1991, kalu was already a member of the House of Representatives by which time none of the present crop of senators that will be inaugurated tomorrow was in the National Assembly”.
Ogwo stated that irrespective of any present political arrangement, the political basement of the country had for ages been known to rest on a tripod stand – Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba.
He said for fairness, equity and justice which invariably is the motto of Nigeria, the position of the deputy senate president should be zoned to the Igbo nation irrespective of whether they voted for the ruling party en mass or not.
According to him, fairness and justice demand that the Igbo should be given the deputy senate president position since the North produced the president, South West, the vice president and even the South South zone produced the national chairman of the ruling party.
He said denying the Igbo the position would amount to a situation where brothers are sharing things, when others have gotten and it gets to the turn of a particular brother, others would want to deny him his share but would instead want what was remaining to be giving to those that had already received.
“It is wrong to say that Igbo would not be given its due share in a country where it is a major player in her affairs because it did not vote en mass for APC.
“It is on record that in 1979, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) gave the Igbo the slot of vice president, but the zone voted en mass for Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP). The zone was still given that slot in 1983, NPN did not say because the South East did not vote for it therefore the zone would not get what was due it, and that is how politics should be played”.
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Ogwo said as a detribalized Nigerian, Kalu would carry every zone along if he becomes the D