The Director General of Arewa Summit International, Dr. Bashir Lamido has commended Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s support for the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
According to Lamido, Senator Kalu has proven that he is a detribalised Nigerian who is always ready to defend the oppressed.
“Kalu’s commitment to peace, unity, progress and stability should be emulated by well meaning Nigerians. His sense of patriotism, courage, sagacity and National appeal is a testament to the fact that he is an elder statesman.”
Lamido stated this in a statement he signed on Wednesday , urging the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and leaders of the North East geo-political zone to continue appreciating Kalu’s support for the zone to clinch the 2023 presidency.
“Leaders of the North East geo-political zone including the Senate President should appreciate Kalu for being bold enough to champion the course of the zone. Kalu is truly a detribalised Nigerian and a powerful political leader with high leadership qualities. Lawan is now discussed in international fora courtesy of Kalu . Despite the fact that Lawan was the last aspirant to pick nomination form , Kalu was able to energize his campaign and bring him to the front row and that is very commendable.
“Lawan’s family should know they have a family in Kalu. It is not easy for a man of his status to drop his presidential ambition for another . His action has taught Nigerians a lot . I have personal love for Kalu because he has swag . He stands on his convinction . The Igbo People will get what they are looking for easily if the Igbo people follow him
“He has proven to be there for the Senate President at a time he needed him most.
He should be commended by every well meaning Nigerian for standing firm on the principles of equity,justice and fairness; for pushing for the support of the North East after the South East couldn’t clinch it . The entire North and North East in particularly will never forget the high wired support gotten from the South East through Kalu .”
Recall that Orji Kalu, Chief Whip of the Senate, withdrew from the 2023 presidential race.
Kalu, who has been advocating for a south-easterner to become the next president, had in January announced he would contest the 2023 election if the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is zoned to the South East
However, in a statement, the Senator said he decided to withdraw from the race since there is “no zoning” in the APC and the contest has been thrown open to all aspirants.
The APC is, however, yet to officially announce if the presidential ticket would be zoned.
Kalu added that he will contest the Abia North Senatorial election.
“I have always maintained an unambiguous stand that for justice, equity and fairness in our country, the next president of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari should come from the South East or the North East,” he said.
“I have also told Nigerians that I would only run for president if the two major political parties (APC and PDP) zone their tickets to the South East. That is why I was disappointed with our southern brothers who are talking about fairness and equity but have zero tolerance for the same fairness and equity in the South .
“In the absence of a South Easterner being president of Nigeria in 2023, I have my full support for a North Easterner. This is because it would be the closest to the equity, fairness and justice everyone is talking about. It further means that the justice is on its way to the South East .
“I thank those who said they have picked presidential form for me because they meant well for Nigerians .
“However, since there is no zoning and the contest is open to all Nigerians, I officially withdraw from presidential contest in 2023.
“I have also picked ticket to run for Abia North Senatorial zone and to complete the good work I started in Abia North.”
Kalu later congratulated Senate President Ahmad Lawan for picking the nomination form of the APC, and urged all his allies to support the presidential bid of Lawan.
“I congratulate my friend, former roommate and boss, Senator Ahmad Lawan as he picks form to run for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under our great party , All Progressives Congress (APC),” the statement reads.
“I am most glad because he is from the North East, the only zone alongside South East that is yet to produce President of Nigeria.
“I urge all my friends, allies and supporters in the APC to toe the line of justice by supporting Senator Ahmad Lawan, a North Easterner for the presidential ticket of the APC.”