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10th NASS: Give S’East something reasonable – Kalu

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The Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, has appealed to the stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to give the South-East region something reasonable as the contest for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly gathers more momentum. 

Kalu made this appeal in a statement on Thursday.

The former governor of Abia state noted that the APC with 59 Senators-elect, does not have an absolute majority in the 109-member Red Chambers.

He added that the South-East deserves “something very reasonable” other than deputy speaker.

The Senate Chief Whip said, “Vote is not a measurement. We had a hurricane in our zone. We need one another and not the level of votes cast. Those who did not vote for the party today can vote for the party tomorrow if they are properly aligned. After all, we have made progress. 

“Before, we used to be one or two senators but it is no longer so. This thing did not only happen in the South-East. Many people from areas where the presidential candidate came from voted along certain lines. I appeal to you people that you must cede something very reasonable to the South-East.

“I am happy the national chairman, deputy national chairman, and national secretary are former senators. You know we are going to do a secret ballot on the floor of the Senate, we will vote according to our conscience. You people have done it before and we will do what you have done in the past. 

“So, it is better, we settle properly as 59 senators of the APC. The difference is not much. If you count three or four of us out, you are losing votes already and we have the capacity to get more from the other side and from our colleagues in the party,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the Northern senators, especially those elected on the platform of the APC, have threatened to revolt against the party if the controversial zoning template for leadership of the 10th National Assembly was not revisited.

Specifically, former Governor of Zamfara State and Senator-elect, Abdulaziz Yari, said the entire North would revolt over the issue.

He spoke when some Senate presidency aspirants, who visited the National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC, yesterday, in Abuja, adopted Senators Godswil Akpabio and Jibrin Barau.

It also zoned the Speakership and Deputy Speakership to North-West and South-East and chose Tajudeen Abass and Ben Kalu for the slots. The party said those selected were also the choices of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

In another development, the 18 senators-elect from the North-Central geo-political zone have kicked against the template and pointedly criticized the exclusion of the zone from the arrangement.

Also, seven speakership aspirants drawn from the North-West, North-East, North-Central and South-East kicked against the zoning formula and sought redress.