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Senate Elections and the Calmness of Orji Uzor Kalu



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” Ambition should be made of stener stuff” when William Shakespeare made this assertion he was referring to the likes of former governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the 9th Senate Orji Uzor Kalu.

13th of June 2023 was a typical day in the annals of Nigerian Parliament, a day that was to produce a  Pandorax box from the Senate, the Dooms day, expectation of a turbulent voyage that turned a smooth Sail after all.

Nigerians expected a tug of War and clash of heavy weights, yours sincerely did too, being aware of the Three major Candidates vying for the Position of the number Three position in the hierarchy of Nigeria’s Presidential Ascension.
One a returnee Senator, Senator with overall best Constituency projects in the 9th Senate, biggest employer of Labour among the three, a Political titan that ward off  the ” Obi tsunami” in South East, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

Until the eve of that election date many industry watchers heard waited with berthed breath to see the one time Governor of Abia State to pull the strings on the floor that faithful day hence the process will be Secrete ballot and no doubt the Chief Whip has got enormous goodwill and confidence from his returning colleagues and the new ones.

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Inside the Senate Chamber, seated at the right hand side of the Make shift chamber was his Excellency, the best Chief whip in Senate history as Ahmad Lawan would always put it, a Man Orji Kalu gave overwhelming support during his tenure as President of the 9th Senate, infact some analysts have aduced that Orji’s undiluted support for Ahmad Lawan during the APC Primaries is the reason he lost the favour of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the Position of the President of the 10th Senate, debatable though, but Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has remained an unrepentant  supporter of Senator Ahmad Lawan and from his body language he never regretted it.

Now back to the crux of this piece, the election in the Senate that 13th June 2023 and the Calmness of the number 5 man in the 9th Senate, it was not open ballot like its Sister Chamber, the house of Representatives, therefore, a tactical
network could have caused a distortion which was what Orji’s supporters wanted, after all, as they say Conspiracy gives way to security, these are tools the former Chief Whip had on his palms to perforate the choice of his Party to either clinch the coveted position or give it away, even during the voting for the Position of President of the Senate many now thought Orji would have resolved to now go for deputy President’s position, but instead,  Oriji choosed to give way for Party loyalty over personal ambition, albeit an ambition that some of his colleagues perceived as going to evolve into a National interest, having known him, Orji as a detribalized Nigerian.

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That election was peaceful and rancour free and assuaged the yearnings of the rulling All Progressives Congress because Orji eventually submitted to Party interest, a difficult decision he took days before the election, inspite of the deluge of calls from colleagues and supporters not to yield to the micro zoning of his Party.

Students of Orji know his unbending disposition towards his convictions, but one finest feature that seperates him and the 21st Century Nigerian Politicians is his penchant for Party Loyalty, Party  Supremacy is boldly engraved in his Political Chess board.
The Calmness of Orji is reflective of the Calmness of the Tiger that does not make it a weak animal.
The Political and emotional maturity of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu especially all through the contest for Senate President of the 10th Senate is a topic for a social research, a calmness that even his colleagues and supporters are yet to fanthom.
Dr Sanusi Lamido

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Senate Hails Labour Unions for Accepting N70,000 Minimum Wage



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By Iyojo Ameh

Diket Plang, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity, has lauded the labour unions for their acceptance of the federal government’s proposed minimum wage of N70,000.

In a statement issued to journalists in Jos on Sunday, Plang expressed appreciation for the unions’ patriotism and their constructive role during the negotiation process. He commended their collaborative approach, which he believes will foster positive economic outcomes for the country.
He noted the unions’ commitment to a peaceful resolution during discussions and the eventual agreement.

Plang also highlighted his personal involvement in extensive discussions with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). He facilitated multiple meetings between the legislative branch and the trade unions to achieve a consensus on the matter.

“I must thank them because they have a very patriotic approach to this issue. They were never violent at all.

“Our relationship is like a family, where dependents and children ask the father for more resources.

“The father, who loves the children, will look at them compassionately and explain his limitations.

“The ability to agree on a particular amount was commendable and shows understanding within the family.

“We must be careful to ensure that the federal, state, and local governments all pay the new minimum,” he said.

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Plang urged organised labour to meet the minimum wage requirements.

“May we also bring policies that favour the private sector so they can thrive, be productive, and be in a position to meet the minimum wage for our workers,” he said. 

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Shitile Integrity Group Condemns Attacks on Harga, urges Improve security in Sankara



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Shitile Integrity Group (SIG),a social -cultural group of Shitile sons in diaspora have condemned in strongest term, the incessant attacks on Harga, a community in Katsina -Ala Local Government Area of Benue State where several innocent residents have been killed, including the recent attack which about 18 defenceless citizens were gruesomely murdered in cold blood ,at the early hours of Saturday, 20th July 2024.

In a statement made available to the Citypost, Hon. Ben Ukeji
Ivaan I Ayange Tsanyi,
President, SIG group says the continuous tergeted attacks on Harga ,and other places in Shitile land is an indication of a complete breakdown of law and order, and urges government at all levels to step up security around Shitile, and indeed Sankera axis to protect lives and property .

Jeremy Bentham, says the essence of government is utilitarianism .

SIG bemoans the manner where lives of their kinsmen are brazenly wasted in a horrendous manner and called on the government to ensure that perpetrators of the heinous crime are made to face the full wrath of the law.

The statement reads in parts: “We condemned in its enterity ,this act of barbarism where innocent people are slaughtered, murdered like animals within Shitile land . This shameful, inhumane , criminal behavior
have continued unabated for some years leading to herriofic deaths as well as the destruction of socioeconomic and educational activities.”

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“We also want to state emphatically that, such acts are inhumane , ungodly, and must stop now!

SIG, note with utmost dismay, the violation of all international protocols and municipal law, especially the fourth (4 ) Geneva convention of 1949 which protects Civilians and civil objects from harm even in a war situation, talkeless of peace time .

“It is therefore, surprising to us that innocent blood of peaceful citizens is being wasted without adequate machinery on ground to contend the renigants .
We use this midum to appeal to those behind this murderous activities to eschew violence and embrace peace for the growth and development of Shitile nation both in Taraba and Benue States respectively.
It’s very important for the youth to understand that, issues are resolved through dialogue”

“SIG wishes to commend His Excellency, the Governor of Benue State, Rev. fr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia, for his efforts towards ending the menace and urge him not to relent on his oars.

We are aware of the government approval for the deployment of a Police Mobile Force to Harga to quell the crises

While we acknowledge the many initiatives of the governor in this regard,we most respectfully request the government to seek for a wholeistic approach to end this wanton killings and distraction of lives and property.

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“We equally call on the” traditional institutions in Shitile and Sankera intermediate area to take necessary measures in conjunction with the political class, and other stakeholders towards bringing this sad narrative to an end.
We sincerely commiserate with the families of victims of the attacks , the Mbacher community, Shitile nation and indeed Katina-Ala LGA.
May the good lord in his infinity mercy ,restore peace to Shitile land “

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Business and Economy

Insecurity, primary healthcare, Education, rural development, others our priority — ALGON



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By David Odama

The Association of Local Government of Nigeria has insisted, boasted that it has the capacity to address insecurity, hunger health facilities, near collapse of education and other critical infrastructure in the grassroots level.

It has also vowed to collaborate with the various state governments, security agencies and other stakeholders to reinvigorate unity and peace co-esistence respect for rule of law and prudent management of resources.

ALGON in a communique issued at the end of its 48th National Executive Meeting in Lafia, Sunday said the local councils across the country would jealously tackle health care services, collaborate with security agencies and other relevant stakeholders to address insecurity, hunder restore the lost glory at the grassroots

The communique which was jointly signed by the ALGON chairmen of Gombe and Ogun States, Barr. Sani Haruna and Hon. Emiola Gazal respectively, also expressed their readiness to embark on meaningful projects in their respective LGAs that would have positive impacts on the lives of their people.

According to the communique, all the local government councils in the 774 in Nigeria would be guided jealously and judiciously in the management and use of the resources available to the local councils to provide adequate development, improve on the lives of the people at the grassroots.

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“All Local council chairmen across the country will be well-guided in the area of information to promote peace, harmonious existence between the third tiers of governments and other relevant stakeholders in line with global best practices as obtainable in other advanced countries of the world.”

The communique read in part, “It is important to state equivocally that the Local Government Councils can and will address issues of insecurity in collaboration with State Governments, address all its responsibilities in the of Primary Health Care, Basic Education, Water, Rural Development and other critical Infrastructures, as enshrined in the 4th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

“The NEC appreciates all the private concerns, institutions, and corporate bodies that made valid presentations at the Council meeting on the development of Local Governments; and pledges to collaborate in the interest of the larger populace of the grassroots.

“The communique expresses gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members of the Nigeria Governors Forum, the judiciary, the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation, critical stakeholders, the media, civil society organisations and the entire leadership of our local communities for the historic Supreme Court judgment, which granted autonomy to the local governments.”

ALGON further expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the judiciary for the respective roles they played in ensuring that Local Government Councils function properly as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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