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Kalu Goes for Senate Presidency, Says Another Muslim Won’t Fly

Kalu Goes for Senate Presidency, Says Another Muslim Won’t Fly

•N’Delta youths beg Tinubu to pick north central ranking senator

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, has declared his intention to contest for Senate presidency in the 10th National Assembly, saying the thought of another Muslim heading the senate after the president and vice-president are Muslims would not fly.

Kalu, who won re-election to represent Abia North, was the first aspirant to declare his interest in the number three position, aside speculations.

He made the declaration while briefing journalists at the National Assembly complex yesterday.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) maintains majority in the Senate, having secured 57 seats.

APC senators eyeing Senate presidency have been lobbying their colleagues for support.

Other ranking senators believed to be eying the position are Sani Musa (Niger), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Barau Jibrin (Kano) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi).

The party is expected to announce its position any moment from now, even though the APC leadership has said it has not zoned the Senate presidency yet, and that it was not a right of any of the zones.

However, Kalu told reporters that it was his turn to become Senate President being a ranking lawmaker from the South East.

“If I’m elected Senate President, I will be team Nigeria. I’m going to work for every corner of Nigeria. I schooled in Maiduguri, Borno State. I started my business in Lagos and spread it across all state capitals. My first name will be team Nigeria, my last name will be team Nigeria.

“Remember, I’m the only former governor, who has never changed phone line more than 20 years ago. I’m still willing to maintain that telephone number to answer all my calls. I’m not going to switch off my phones because I’m Senate President.

“I’m hoping that Nigerians will pray for me to become Senate President because it’s my turn,” Kalu said, adding that, he would not  be comfortable having a Muslim as a Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.

According to him, “I will not be comfortable with a Muslim Senate President, because this is a secular state. In a secular state, we need to accommodate interests, nations and spread to be able to maintain the secularity of our country.

“To me, like I told you people the truth here before, that I believe in Muslim-Muslim ticket. I would not believe in another Senate President being a Muslim. It will not augur well for the country.”

Meanwhile, a group of young Nigerians from the various oil producing communities in the country have urged the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, to consider a ranking senator from the North Central geopolitical zone as the next Senate President.

The Niger Delta Progressive Youths Frontiers made the appeal in an open letter to Tinubu, signed by its Secretary General, Oyinemi Nicholas Endeley, and made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday.

The group explained that aspirants from other parts of Nigeria apart from the North Central, selfishly worked for themselves in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, because they got higher votes for themselves compared to what the president got in their senatorial districts.

“As laid out above, it is no gainsaying that one region exceptionally stood out and that is the North Central. A region that has been marginalised for decades and crying for a President of North Central extraction, yet standing very strong in solidarity with you when the need arose,” the group said.

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