Senate Presidency: “Why we’re backing Orji Kalu ” – Arewa Youth Forum
The leader of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima has given reasons the Northern Youth Forum implored the former Governor of Zamfara State and frontline Senate Presidential aspirant, Senator Abdulaziz Yari to concede the Senate President to the former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Speaking on a short live interview during Arise TV’s news belt on Saturday, Shettima stated that the emanation of the next Senate President from the Southeast will entrench peace , unity and stability in the country.
The Youth Leader stressed that a Senate President of Southeast extraction will dispel the insinuations that the North were against the political emancipation of the Southeasterners. According to him the country is currently enmeshed with divisions than it was in 2014, furthermore the 2023 general elections was characterised by Religious disparities between the Muslims and the Christians and the emergence of Christian from the Southeast can put an end to these divisions.
On the choice of the Former Abia Governor, Shettima explained that Kalu was acceptable to the North and entire Nigerians judging by his antecedents as a two time Governor and current status as the Senate Chief Whip. Shettima described Kalu as one of the few experienced politicians from the Southeast who understands the game of Politics.
When asked if Yari was disposed to the call to shelve his ambition to support Orji Kalu, Shettima expressed optimism that the former Zamfara Governor would heed to their call on the basis of National interest. Shetimma called on both Senators elect to rub minds together and agree on position.
Shettima said ” “I have a lot of respect for Former Governor Yari and he is also eminently qualified to be the Senate President, but in this case we are looking at the overall best interest of the Nation.
“There’s no way the new Government can cope with the level of agitations in the country, not that there’s any threat but it’s in the spirit of oneness and unity of our country”.
“My antecedents have always been in principle and we felt that at this critical period , this is a country where every citizen has equal rights and for me I felt strongly we should have a more united country than one with divisions.
“And don’t forget before 2014 we were more united and compared to where we ate today in which we are more divided and I as a person have pondered about the country and felt strongly that there’s no way we would have a country where a lot of Nigerians are suspicious of one another.
“There can only be good governance in a peaceful environment where there’s love for one another and that’s only where the Government can thrive. Don’t forget the 2023 general elections was characterised with dichotomy between Muslims and Christianity and various divisions amongst ethnic Nationalities.
“At this critical period all hands must be on deck to ensure that we unite this country at this critical period, so at the end of the day we can have a common united country called Nigeria and that will inform our decision and thinking.
“To have a Muslim as President and Vice President it will be out of place to consider that we shall have another Muslim as a Senate President as the No 3 citizen of the country.
“So for me in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice we have to look inward and look at other parts of the country . For over time there has been this perception that the North are ganging up against the Southeast. Though the South East are not playing the game of Politics in the way that it should be , only few of them are playing it the right way. Having said that they remain our brothers and Nigerians. And at this point I felt strongly that if we can also, give them the chance and all the necessary support to come up and occupy the No3 seat.
“After our findings, we just realised that the only face we have there (Southeast) is Orji Uzor, and Orji Kalu looking at his antecedents as the two time Governor of Abia and the Senate Chief Whip Today, he is one of the ranking Senators. Not because Yari is not qualified, he too is an experienced Governor and at the same time a very good person who is straightforward and reliable and someone we always admire whom I have a lot of respect for.
“But we think that in the spirit of unity we can have a country where we can all have peace and move forward, because there’s no way this Government can perform where there’s much agitation.
“At this time we cannot afford to have other agitations against what we have to ground, look at the security situation and other agitations this country cannot stand. So in the spirit of oneness and the Love of the country, this is how we arrived at the conclusion. Yari and Kalu can sit and iron things out of course they are both Senators, they can agree and disagree but at the end of the day let them have a common ground in the best interest of the country so that we can forge ahead.
“I only spoke out only 24 hours ago when I arrived at our conclusion after due consultations, I have nor heard from Senator Yari or from any of his family or associates but I strongly believe that the message has gotten across to him and we shall continue to appeal to him. I am not in anyway saying that he is not qualified but I’m saying that we must have a country and I believe that we too is a patriotic Nigerian who believes so much in the country and I know that he will do everything possible and he will realise that if this all he can give out for the country to he at peace . Not because there’s any fear from any angle , but because we need a country where all citizens will be treated equally in the spirit of oneness and love for on another. I think we should think in that direction so that in this situation we can all carry everybody along in the spirit of oneness. I think that is the best thing and it’s not too much to make that sacrifice, if they come together and agree then he (Yari) becomes the Deputy Senate President it’s better than the choice of their party. We should look at the Southeast and give them the Position for now.