The 10th Senate Presidency: Senator Orji Kalu’s Prognoses Stand
By Prof Ojo Emmanuel ADEMOLA
Affirmatively, we had earlier explained that every prognosis is subject to verification and validity tests, reiterating that every empirical exercises and projections are a pure study of facts, figures, concepts assumptions and propositions (CAPs). With all modesty, our incursions into the forecast and prognoses practice have been precise, accurate and of extreme benefit to clients and corporate accessors. For instance, we had ahead of the Presidential polls in February 2023 projected that all variables, facts, figures and statistical data from Nigerian geo-political zones supported the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) as the upcoming President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Today’s history has vindicated our forecast in this regard, and Asiwaju BAT is President-elect, awaiting his swearing-in as the substantive President of the Country on 29th May 2023. Also our prognoses for some selected State Governors (particularly ‘Seyi Makinde and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Oyo and Lagos States respectively) in the March Governorship Election directly hit the Bull’s eye with above 80% precision.
Thus, the act of situational projections and forecasting have become an established terrain for our Firm, and we have applied the same professional skills, as early as March 2023, to analyse the likely directions for the leadership of the 10th Senate Presidency. Our prognoses had singled out distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from Abia North Senatorial District, among the contenders, as the candidate to beat in the race. With increasing/unfolding developments on the subject, our prognoses’ position is being reinforced, and we reaffirm the stand that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu would clinch the leadership position of the 10th National Assembly. Why?
The Nigerian democratic system of Government runs on three (3) balancing arms of Executive, Legislative and Judiciary tripod, each one offering interwoven and complementary statutory duties in the diverse and pluralistic entities that Nigeria is. And lately, the presidency equation has been effectively settled with the affirmation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a South-Westerner, as the president-elect of the Country by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The APC had earlier at its party primary in Abuja zoned the presidency to the Southern protectorate of the Country, and the Vice-Presidential ticket to the North East zone following a rotational spirit of its Constitution. It’s time for the winning party to source for suitable leadership to man its Legislative arm, considering critical parameters of zonal balancing, equity, justice and fairness. Our prognoses’ application in this intellectual exercise (that is: the emergence of the candidate from the right zone of the country; prerequisite qualifications and experience of such candidate; exemplary leadership qualities of his/hers; his/her political pedigree and achievements; resourcefulness and pragmatism, etc) favours Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK), representing the Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State under the platform of APC, to emerge the Senate President.
Generally, the nucleus of the prognoses stems mostly from the viewpoint of the need to maintain the balance of political power and ensure a sense of inclusion among the ethnic groups in the Country. Oozing from the political barometer of Nigeria’s temperature, the stakeholders from the five (5) States of South East zone have been obviously in a state of flux, anxiety, despondency, annihilation, neglect and unfair treatment over equitable power sharing in the Country, and their concerns need to be addressed to enhance democratic growth. 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 deepen choice accentuating the dividend of democracy in its essential political winning formation for balancing the trophy. 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. It’s within this context that the candidature of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for the Senate Presidency is x-rayed and positioned.
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 most definitely the most qualified and best possible choice.
Achieving success of tasks before an assemblage of distinguished legislators with varied idiosyncrasies dwells more on the character of exemplary leadership which must have been acquired for service. Throughout his political career, Senator Kalu has led by example, articulated his vision (and realised it), demonstrated integrity, made hard decisions, communicated effectively with his fellow lawmakers, empowered his subordinates and constituents, and been a source of inspiration and motivation for those around him. He has also displayed tremendous leadership and has always backed up his words with action. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s achievements in public office over the years speak volumes and his unwavering commitment to good governance and a better Nigeria is irrefutable. These are attributes that would ensure his success in this role.
Political Pedigree is yet another major determinant variable for consideration in pitching a tent over a sensitive position of a would-be Senate President. The position requires a personality with demonstrable political sagacity, capable of navigating the rough waters of Nigerian sociopolitical and cultural diversities. As mentioned earlier, there aren’t many politicians and public office holders with the pedigree and vast array of accomplishments of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu in this regard. The position of the 10th Senate President requires a politician with considerable experience in governance and lawmaking. All of these qualities he possesses in spades along with the fundamental tools to thrive in the role.
Coupled with senatorial experience, distinguished Senator Kalu has made giant strides in the legislative practice to affirm his first-among-equal status for the position of Senate President. During his first Senatorial term which began on June 11, 2019, he remarkably sponsored 51 bills and 28 motions, making him The highest-rated among lawmakers from Abia state. Similarly one of the best performing and most highly regarded Senators in the country. As a further step towards crowning his senatorial gains, the foremost aspirant for the Senate president position has ensured the democratic dividends in his District by way of infrastructural development. Senator Kalu’s immense contribution to the infrastructural development of his Senatorial district, Abia North during his first four years in office, cannot be invalidated. He has undertaken several projects in that region such as the construction of roads, and the renovation of schools and hospitals. Other projects include the installation of street lights, sinking boreholes, supply of equipment to local farmers, and processing machines for local farm produce. The aspiring Senator continues to empower people in his constituency, particularly the youth and remains committed to more developmental projects in his second term.
Leadership comes with its concomitant price of being courageous, bold, and reliable at the critical time of reckoning. These qualities are most obvious through his unwavering support for Tinubu’s campaign immediately the APC declared Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu the party’s Presidential Aspirant for the 2023 Elections. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has been the most prominent and consistent voice of support for Tinubu, especially in the South East. This support has been even in the face of public scrutiny, ridicule, and backlash from the media, and opposition from rival parties as well as within his party. Rather than buckle under immense pressure, he remained brave and steadfast in backing the now President-elect. It’s pay-back time in terms of Asiwaju machinery’s support for Kalu’s ambition. And understanding the leadership personality of BAT, Senator Kali can be assured of being an ally in the president-elect for his senatorial strive.
Aside from the earlier variables of prognoses listed, a contender for the exulted position of the Senate President (like the President of the Nation) must necessarily come to the field with nationalist and detribalized credentials. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is known for his detribalized mindset. His name has a high degree of National appeal from all geopolitical zones and he has repeatedly displayed a willingness to work with all Nigerians. And being the nationalist, he would also prove most beneficial in stabilizing and unifying all Senators regardless of their respective ethnic backgrounds, states/regions of origin, and party differences.
Just like the president-elect, being resourceful and pragmatic are sine-qua-non to holding forth the realms of affairs at the Senate, and by purposes and intents, the aspirant possesses the qualities. Orji Uzor Kalu is the chairman of SLOK Holding, a successful business endeavour. Pragmatism and resourcefulness qualities are among his greatest strengths. He is a man with the Midas touch, a captain of industry who has investments in many areas including the media – he owns the Sun and the Telegraph newspapers. I dare say that, a tested and trusted vessel like OUK fits the bill for a presumably marginalized geographic zone of our vibrant compatriots from the eastern front. Similarly, his experience in the private sector will help sustain a workable national development plan for Nigeria.
Permit me quickly to put something to you about the working of OUK’s loyalty. OUK is unwavering, unambiguous, and unrivalled in its loyalty to the APC, the ruling party, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-Elect. OUK has great political minds and is brilliant, progressive, mature, brave, tough, wise, and experienced. Which exemplary administrations will Nigerians have with BAT as President and OUK as Senate President? An extraordinary and comprehensive piece of governance for our growing democracy, without a doubt. In essence, it would be creative and revitalizing under such headship from the Executive and Legislative branches. The resistance groups would experience restless twilights as a result of this initiative, the Senate would have unlimited areas of highly productive strength for everyone, and the APC would blossom and perform great things, making the Nigerian public a better place as a result.
Conclusively, the prognoses consider strongly, among other variables, a cerebral personality who can play the balancing act in a delicate political environment like Nigeria at this critical time, and found in Senator Kalu a ready-made democratic of a great mind, someone Nigerians urgently need to deepen our democratic experimentation as Senate President for the convocation of the 10th National Assembly. For certainty, Kalu is amendable, dependable, reliable, and opinionative not to rock the boat of governance for the Asiwaju Tinubu/Shettima Administration.
Prof. Ojo Emmanuel ADEMOLA is a distinguished and foremost strategic political analyst and a global Cyber Security technocrat