- Former Abia state governor and Senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu said President Buhari endorsed Lawan and Gbajabiamila for Senate presidency and speakership positions
- The APC senator-elect said the president told him he was interested in the two candidates because they stood solidly defending the party
- Kalu also said it is a mistake to say Gbajabiamila is Tinubu's candidate because he is from Lagso state
Former Abia state governor and senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu said any member of the APC opposed to the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives are fighting the wish of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to The Nation, Kalu said on Sunday, June 3, that 58 Senators elect who are members of the All Progressives Congress, a member from the Young Progressive Party (YPP) have signed up in support of Senator Ahmed Lawan an emerging as the Senate president.
Legit.ng gathers that Kalu said this when he received the speakership candidate at his residence in Abuja.
He said the two positions were the only ones the president has shown interest in, adding that it was wrong to assert that because Hon. Gbajabiamila hails from Lagos state, he was a candidate of nation leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said President Buhari was interested in the two candidates because they stood solidly defending the party.
Kalu said even though the ruling party has the required number to produce the Senate president, they are still working on a bipartisan approach so as not to have a divided Senate on day of inauguration.
He expressed the hope that in the coming days, the leadership of the party will also conclude arrangement for a smooth process in the emergence of the speaker through a bipartisan arrangement.
He said “58 Senators have signed for Ahmed Lawan and when you add YPP, you have 59. But we still need other parties to join us for bipartisanship so that there will be no division in the Senate."
He further addressed Gbajabiamila: “There is no doubt that people have been blackmailing you. The president has told all of us collectively and individually that you are not Tinubu’s candidate. It is a mistake. You are endorsed by the Commander in Chief and President of Nigeria. He told us that in an open place and he told all members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate.
“Apart from that, just on Monday, I had a private session with the president and asked him what we are going to do. He said, the only two people he wanted is Lawan and Gbajabiamila. You people can take every other thing. This is the truth, I am quoting him correctly. He said I only asked them to give me Lawan and Femi because I see them defending the interest of the party.
“So, if Mr President said so, it means you are not a candidate of Bola Tinubu. You are a candidate of the APC and a bipartisan candidate. You are a candidate of every party that is represented in the National Assembly.
“I am not going to speak too much because action speaks louder. On the voting day, we will be there and I am assuring you that I have spoken bipartisantly to almost every member of the House from my zone and beyond and I can assure you that they will vote for you because this is a serious business.
“As legislators, we cannot continue to quarrel every time. Constitutional democracy require the majority to produce the Speaker and deputy. We are not going to do the reverse. People who are thinking that precedent will continue should know that it is not possible because we are in a constitutional democracy."
Kalu added that Gbajabiamila also has the blessing of the APC's National Working Committee and the APC governors.
“You have been endorsed by the President and the National Working Committee as well as the Progressive Governors and I have no regret in endorsing you. What we have done in the Senate will happen in the House of representatives. We have concluded the issue of the Senate and within the next four days, we will conclude the issue of the House of Representatives.
“We have no alternative as legislators. We need to cooperate and be one big family and support the president with his new agenda of next level and in rebuilding the economy. We need to concentrate in giving our people economic prosperity. We will fight for you because the disgrace will not be your alone. The order is from the President and any APC man or woman going against the order is going against the order of our party. I am not threatening them, but we are party people and so, they should come in as a family.
“What happened in 2015 cannot happen again. In a normal democracy, you don’t need to contest with anybody because you are already aajority leader,” he said.
In his remark, Gbajabiamila said they were going round the country to seek the support of well meaning Nigerians for the speaker ship position, stressing that they were determined to build an assembly that will work for the overall interest of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that an APC House of Representatives member-elect Omar Tata, representing Zaki Federal Constituency in Bauchi state, had been sacked by an FCT high court.
The election of Tata was declared null and void by the court on the grounds that he and his party APC could not be provide evidence that he emerged as candidate through primaries.
The court subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certificate of return to second-placed Jatau Muhammad Auwal, the candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 National Assembly elections.
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