That Emilokan bug has really bitten into the Nigerian political fabric is no longer in doubt going by the latest declaration of interest by the former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to be the President of the Senate, saying that it is his turn.
Recall that the President-elect, Senator Bola Tinubu, popularised the Yoruba word ‘emilokan’ (meaning: it is my turn) in the build-up to the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary in 2022 when he declared in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, that it was his turn to be President of Nigeria after helping President Muhammadu Buhari secure the seat.
Kalu, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists, said he was willing to continue engaging Nigerians directly even as a presiding officer of the upper legislative chamber, adding that citizens should pray for him to get the position because “it is my turn”.
The 10th National Assembly will be inaugurated in June after the president issues a proclamation. The APC has recorded a majority in the February 25 senatorial election.
Kalu, who is the current Chief Whip of the Senate and winner of the Abia North Senatorial district election, while signifying his interest in becoming senate president should the position be zoned to the South-east, said: “Remember I am the only governor, who has never changed my phone number since I became governor 24 years ago.
The same MTN I have is what I’m having and I will be willing to still maintain that phone number to answer my calls. I’m not going to switch off my phones, because I’m Senate President but I’m hoping that the Nigerian people will pray for me to be Senate President because it’s my turn.”
In an apparent move to knock out formidable competitors from the North-west, Kalu, who had supported the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, however said he does not envisage that a Muslim should emerge as the Senate President, given the country’s secular nature.
Having come from the South-east, which is highly favoured for the position and also being a Christian, Kalu stands a good chance.
But while many see his “it is my turn” claim from the realm of how the country has degenerated, Kalu did not tell Nigerians the leadership qualities that give him an edge and his capacity to run an independent senate as against the rubber-stamp people are currently witnessing. Perhaps he may have thought that many Nigerians have forgotten his abysmal performance as governor of Abia State for eight years.