• Vows not to step down


From Fred Itua, Abuja

Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, confirmed that he was in talks with the camp of  former governor of Zamfara State and aspirants for the office of senate president, Abdulaziz Yari.

He lso said he had no plans to step down for anybody, ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13.

The former Abia State governor is one of the front runners for the position of the President of the 10th Senate. Other aspirants for the position are Godswill Akpabio and Osita Izunaso.

Addressing newsmen at the National Assembly, Kalu said: “Well, I cannot step down for anybody. Yes you are right. We are talking with Yari, our group and his people are talking, we are in intimate partnership and talk to make sure that no one zone can produce a senate president.

“Like I use to tell you, no one zone can produce a president for Nigeria. It’s the same thing. What we are trying to play with Sen. Yari is a united partnership that works for Nigeria. So in the coming days and weeks, those partnership will be unveiled. You will see what the partnership looks like. We are in serious talks. Yes I cannot deny it. Yari is a friend of mine and I’m his friend and we decided to talk together, we have been talking for the past four weeks and that talks will be unveiled by our sponsors.

“He has his sponsors and I have my sponsors, so the sponsors will come together to decide what direction this partnership will be. I will be very happy to follow what the sponsors will say and Yari also will be happy to follow what the sponsors want us to do.

“We are two gentlemen, two of us not hitting the nail, we are only thinking of the integrity of the Senate and to support President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima who are our colleagues.

“If you press people are thinking that what happened during Saraki, it will never happen again in Nigerian political life, remember we cited a section of the law that there must be two third of the senators before you are sworn in.

“With one section few people going to sit somewhere and make a senate president is no longer functionable. What is functionable is all of us will sit together, we will vote for those people. It’s a game, it’s a contest, we will be able to congratulate whoever wins, if we win, let people be able to congratulate us, if other people win we will be able to congratulate them, they are our colleagues, we will be stocked in together in the next four years in the chamber. We are not enemies, it’s a contest.

“We have very strong sponsors and we will unveil it on June 13. We are not going to disappoint Nigerians, we are capable of representing ourselves, Yari-Kalu, Kalu-Yari, we will not disappoint Nigerians, we will give Nigerians what they want. And we will support the Federal Government and Nigerian people will not be disappointed.

“Who is going to be the Senate President and who is going to be the deputy senate president. It’s what we don’t know now this is why it is coming out in the coming days.

“We are not greedy about it. We are going to face reality, we are going to get a support base. It is not going to be problem. The most important thing is to have an independent legislature that will represent the interest of Nigerians, and represent also, the interest of our colleagues.”