Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
The people of Abia North Senatorial District have begun to express worry over the extra-legislative activities of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, saying he was losing focus, as his voice was no longer being heard in the Red Chamber.
This concern was expressed by a group under the aegis of Abia North Restoration Movement (ANRM) in a statement made available to journalists in Umuahia, lamenting that Abia North has been programmed into silent mode in the ninth Senate.
The group blamed the Senate chief whip
For the receding voice of Abia North in the Senate unlike what was obtained in the previous sessions of the Senate, noting that Kalu has not been vocal enough on issues that affect the zone he represents.
In the statement signed by the duo of Chief Don Ikwuagwu and Maduka Okorie, president and secretary of ANRM respectively, they regretted that the senator has saddled himself with a lot of distractions, especially his rumoured 2023 presidential ambition as well as amassing chieftaincy titles.
According to the group, the distractions that Kalu has been attracting to himself have impacted negatively on his legislative duties as he was no longer concentrating on fulfilling his mandate of giving Abia North quality representation.To buttress its claims, the group gave instances of issues and events in Abia North that required Kalu’s intervention in the Senate, but he was found wanting, citing the rising insecurity in the zone occasioned by the activities of Fulani bandits particularly around Isuikwuato area.
The group further pointed to the “recent abduction of lecturers and students of Abia State University, Uturu, as well as other commuters on the Okigwe-Uturu, and Uturu/Isuikwuato roads; the killing of a final year student of Marist Comprehensive Academy enroute Uturu road by Fulani bandits as well as other menacing activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the zone.
“The senator has not courageously moved a motion on the floor of the Senate for intervention,” ANRM lamented, adding that the muted reaction of Senator Kalu on the floor of the Senate “confirms our fear that Abia North has lost its voice.”
It stated that Abia North people feel disappointed that their senator was not drawing the attention of the federal government to the issues of insecurity, erosion menace and various other challenges bedevilling the zone.
“Instead, he has busied himself in proving how electronic transmission of election results was not possible in Abia North, yet money can be transferred and received electronically in every community in Abia North,” it stated.
The group recalled with nostalgia how Abia North had been represented by very vocal senators like Ike Nwachukwu, late Uche Chukwumerije and Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, “whose voices reverberated at the Senate,” hence, it remains “our puzzle why the zone would suddenly take the back seat.
“How can the zone that produced the likes of Senators Nwachukwu; late Chukwumerije and Ohuabunwa, suddenly go on silent mode?”
The group vowed to collaborate with other stakeholders to rescue the zone from political merchants and restore the zone’s prestige in 2023.
According to the group, “In 2023 we want the return of people like Senator Ohuabunwa at the Senate, who was the first to move a motion for the state of emergency on erosion in Abia North. Even if he doesn’t want to run again because of how he was betrayed in 2019, we will force him to reconsider in the interest of Abia North.
“We have never had it this bad. Abia North is currently on a mute mode at the Senate.”