Given the ongoing intense lobbying for the topmost position of the leadership of the 10th National Assembly among critical contenders, a periscopic incursion into the inner mind of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) – at this time – will provide ample insights into whoever clinches/emerges the President of Senate between the duo of Senators Orji Uzor Kalu and Godswill Obot Akpabio. This is essentially so because the leadership quotient of the Senate (cum the National Assembly) is intricately tied to the overall performance (or otherwise) of the executive arm of government.
Put in plain language: the Senate President must share/ imbibe the mind, aspirations, vision, intents, goals, struggles, hope, aspirations, and desires of the country’s president, and invariably, the such aspirant must possess distinct qualities that resonate with that of the executive president himself.
Recall that in our earlier piece, we had narrowed the race for the Senate presidency between Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from the South Eastern (SE) zone, and Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio from the South-South zone based on the rotational guiding principles of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Our prognoses had affirmed Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as the most favoured of the duo premised on several predetermined considerations and centrally considered variables. But are the stated leadership propositions in tandem with those of the president-elect? In other words, can we infer that the quality highlights of the prospective candidate (Senator Orji Uzor Kalu) tally with the inner recess of BAT to see through his projected ‘2023 Renewed Hope Agenda’?
For one, Asiwaju Tinubu is a great mind, an exemplary visionary leader, one with a deep-rooted passion for a progressive, prosperous and united country, and it follows that whoever must drive the leadership of the National Assembly should key into such belief. From all intents and purposes, the visionary’s quest readily throws up Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK), representing the Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State under the platform of APC, as the most qualified, among other prospective contenders for the coveted seat.
Remember that both aspirants are astute and consummate democrats of high capacities among their exceptionalities. Nonetheless, viewed from the prisms of the need to maintain the balance of political power, and ensure a sense of inclusion among the ethnic groups in the country, the choice of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu would seem a perfect fit for many reasons.
Oozing from the political barometer of Nigeria’s temperature, the stakeholders from the five (5) states of the South East zone have been obviously in a state of flux, anxiety, and despondency sharing in the country, and their concerns need to be addressed with a view to enhancing further democratic deepen of Nigeria’s growth and development. The incoming administration of Asiwaju BAT, against the need to correct the perceived anomalies in the marginalisation of ethnic entities in the polity, it’s apt to streamline the power-zoning of the critical positions of the ruling party to address injustice, unfairness and inequality. And in consideration of this proposition, the South East zone, like the other afflicted ones, deserves the slot of the Senate President as a compensation balancing trophy. Ensuring my hand on my heart, visionary leadership will naturally resolve the nagging issue of national balancing before advancing into other critical areas of governance to fulfil the balancing stand of progressive governance body of knowledge for robust service delivery and delivery of dividends of democracy to all Nigerians. It’s reasoned that once the Eastern-necessity propositions are imbibed by the cross sections of political players (North and South), the search for the most qualified, experienced, resourceful, devoted and committed team player from the zone becomes easier to accomplish, and it’s within this context that the candidature of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for the Senate Presidency is x-rayed and positioned.
Two, the president-elect is known for assembling a quality team, and weighting the variable in support of the most qualified and best possible choice for the coveted position of Senate President of the coming dispensation, distinguished Senator Kalu stands taller above others as the most qualified of his peers. His progression from current Senate Chief Whip makes it logical as the 4th highest ranking Senator from the South East, and has served as a two-term tenure Executive Governor of Abia State from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007 (the same period that the president-elect served at the State level) gives him added advantage to appreciate the dynamism involved in leading a vibrant and complimentary National Assembly.
A seasoned private sector guru, it is equally important to take into account his successful first term as the Senate Chief Whip of the 9th National Assembly, which earned him the respect of his peers, most notably the Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, who considered him “the most influential Chief Whip in the history of the Nigerian Senate”. Hence, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is definitely the most qualified and best possible choice.
––Prof. Ademola is a distinguished and foremost strategic political analyst and a global Cyber Security technocrat