Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
A group, Concerned Abia Leaders and Human Rights Lawyers, has asked a former governor of the state, Chief Orji Kalu, to forget his ambition to become the Deputy President of the Senate in the Ninth National Assembly, describing it (the ambition) as “dead on arrival.”
The group’s coordinator, Uche Okoroafor, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.
Okoroafor said the people of the state and the South-East were more favourably disposed to the zone producing the Speaker of the House of Representatives than the former governor becoming the Deputy President of the Senate.
He therefore called on senators-elect to reject Kalu at the poll.
“Between Speaker and Deputy President of the Senate, which one will do the Igbos more favour?
“Why would a self-acclaimed leader trade off the Speakership with Deputy President of the Senate?” Okoroafor asked.
He warned senators-elect that the office of the Deputy President of the Senate should not go to the highest bidder as people are being made to believe.
He claimed that those who have endorsed the former governor for the position so far are “rented crowd.”
He added, “We ask our distinguished senators-elect to shine their eyes.
“We cannot afford to make another mistake that will drag the name of the Senate in the mud.
“We want to also use this medium to advise the people of Abia North, Abia State and indeed the National Assembly to be wise.”
He argued that it was a slap on the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari for Kalu who has a pending corruption case in court to even contest the National Assembly election at the first instance.
Okoroafor, therefore, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the court to expedite action of the pending court case and ensure speedy trial.
He said it was only when that is done that Buhari’s anti-corruption war can get more bite.
“The people of Abia State demand justice here. We do not want further delay in the trial of the former governor. Our patience is running out here,” he added.