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Kalu rated highest among Abia lawmakers with 25 bills 

With 25 legislative bills standing in his name, Orji Uzor Kalu, a first time senator from Abia State, who made his entry to the Senate in 2019, has been rated highest in bill sponsorship among other senators from the South East.

As reported on Tuesday by OrderPaper.ng Nigeria’s parliamentary multimedia platform, Kalu has sponsored more bills at the nation’s apex parliament than his Abia State counterparts.

Using the 2019-2022 cumulative legislative tenure of the 9th Senate and Kalu’s bills, the Senate chief whip exceeded his colleagues by 67 per cent compared with Theodore Orji (10 bills) and Enyinnaya Abaribe (two bills) who have spent eight and 12 years respectively at the Red Chambers.

Asides discharging his constitutional elected responsibility with his bills driving streak, Kalu, the 62-year-old lawmaker representing Abia North, has also bagged prestigious awards from notable organisations in recognition of his infrastructure and empowerment drive for his constituents which has been described as superlative coming from a first time senator.

As published by OrderPaper, some of Kalu’s notable bills among the 25 include: A bill for an Act to amend the administration of criminal justice Act 2015 and other related matters bill 2020; A bill for an Act to establish the national food bank and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing, bill 2021; A bill for an Act to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to provide that the Federal Government and the state governments shall have concurrent legislative powers on railway, and to provide for matters related thereto 2021.

Kalu a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) was elected to the Senate in 2019 in the National Assembly.

In the report, the media organisation x-rayed the legislative performance of the 12 Abia lawmakers in the National Assembly. OrderPaper Nigeria highlighted the scorecard of senators and members of the House of Representatives from the state. The piece was focused on their performance in the area of bill sponsorship over the last three years (2019-2022).


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Kalu’s Education Bill: Senators mull fine, jail term for children’s non-enrolment in schools

A bill proposed by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to amend the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004, has received the unanimous nod of the Senate after the Clerk of the Senate, Barrister Chinedu Akubueze, read its short title during the plenary session pre- sided by the Senate President, Akpabio.

Shortly after the Leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele, introduced the bill to the Red Chamber, it received the approval of theSenate via a voice vote, The bill prescribes a fine of N50,000 or imprisonment for parents default in enrolling for primary and secondary school education. It also recom- mended free meals for child in the country.

The bill states that every government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age. It further states every parent shall ensure that his child or ward attends and completes his primary school education and junior secondary school education by endeavouring to send the child to primary and junior secondary schools.

As proposed, stakeholders in education in a local government area shall ensure  that every parent or person who has the care and custody of a child performs the duty imposed on him under section 2(2) of this Act.

The Bill further noted that a parent who contravenes the earlier prescription should be liable, on the first conviction to be reprimanded.

“On a second conviction, a fine of N2,000 or imprisonment for a term of one month or both; and on subsequent conviction, to a fine of N5,000 or imprisonment for a term of two months or to both.

The Senate, however, in its amendment, proposed N50,000 fine instead of the N5,000 previously stated in the Act. The amendment states: “Section (4) (b) of the Principal Act is amended by deleting N2,000 and inserting N20,000. Section (4) (c) of the Principal Act is amended by deleting N5,000 and inserting N50,000.” It added, “Section 3(2) of the Principal Act is amended by deleting N10,000 and inserting N100,000.” “A person who receives or obtains any fee contrary to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N10,000 or imprisonment for a term of three months or to both.

As proposed, every parent shall ensure that his child receives full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude by regular attendance at schools.

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Group Faults Garba over Claims Tinubu Got 8,000 Votes in Abia

The national support group of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu has debunked claims by a former member of the House of Representatives, Adamu Garba that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, got only 8,000 votes from Abia State.

The political pressure group known as “OUK Grassroots Movement” in a statement in Abuja, described Garba’s statement as not only erroneous but ignorant.

It clarified  that the former Abia governor and Senate President hopeful contributed over 300,000 votes to the victory of the  Tinubu.

The group’s national leader Alhaji Murtala Mohammed in a statement yesterday, said  apart from his error ridden comment, Garba has no moral standing to advise the party leadership as he had recently dumped the party over selfish reasons only to return a month after.

Explaining further, Murtala emphasised that Orji Kalu gave the president-elect over 300,000 votes rallied by the Movement from across Nigeria during the presidential election held on February 25. 2023

Murtala carpeted the ex House of Reps member’s comment on Channels TV programme Politics Today where he said that members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east did not do  enough to give them the right to demand that the office of the Senate President should come to the South-east.

He dismissed the comment as fake news as according to him, Garba spoke out of ignorance because he did not  know anything about the level of political structure put in place for the Senate Chief Whip by his numerous supporters across the country who wanted the former Abia Governor to run for president ahead of the 2023 election.

Murtala further noted that the group through Kalu’s support navigated the grassroots communities across the nation to rally votes for the APC president-elect.

Part of the statement read: “For the record, we formed a Movement to mobilise support for the former Abia governor to run for president and we were able to mobilise supporters across all the 36 States of the federation and FCT.

“When it became clear that our principal is not going to run for President we collapsed our structure for Tinubu and eventually we gave Tinubu over 300,000 votes

“What I am saying is that the political structure of Orji Uzor Kalu cuts across the whole country because he has followers and supporters all over the 36 States and FCT Abuja. So it is wrong to use votes from Abia State and the South-east geopolitical zone to judge his contribution to the election of Tinubu as president during February Presidential election.”

Meanwhile, the Abia North stakeholders under the aegis of Abia North Peace Foundation has said  a former Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Mao Ohuabunwa is using Senator Orji Kalu’s name to seek relevance after losing the 2023 senatorial election.

Ohuabunwa, who represented Abia North Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly, yesterday, opposed the possible emergence of Kalu as the Senate President for the 10th National Assembly.

Speaking during an interview with Channels TV, Ohuabunwa said Kalu was not competent.

When asked how he would feel should Kalu emerge as the next Senate President, Ohuabunwa said: “I will feel terrible because I don’t believe that he is competent to represent the Senate.

“He has not won the election so I wouldn’t want a Senate President that will be removed tomorrow.”

But the stakeholders in a statement signed by its Director General, Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu said Ohuabunwa was frustrated, following his rejection by Abia North voters in 2019 and 2023, saying he was only seeking relevance.

They said:  “As stakeholders of Abia North Senatorial District, we must appreciate Nigerians rallying round Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu—a known performer and a detribalised Nigerian with an impeccable character and charisma.

“We commend Nigerians across board for supporting our son and we assure them that he won’t disappoint when he emerges as the President of the 10th Senate.

“Ohuabunwa’s unfortunate interview on Channels Television  is a futile attempt of a frustrated and rejected politician to assess a national figure like Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

“Nigerians must know that our people voted massively for distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to defeat Ohuabunwa consecutively in 2019 and 2023. Hence, his dimensional frustration and bitterness towards sons and daughters of Abia North Senatorial District.

“We also appreciate Mr Ohuabunwa’s frustration arising from his dimming image after his catastrophic outing in 2019 and 2023 and his struggle to accept realities that he is not on the same lane with the current Chief Whip of the Senate having lost his polling unit, ward and local government area to him.

“We are aware that Ohuabunwa is trying to seek relevance using the name of our dynamic son and senator,  Orji Uzor Kalu. We urge him to do it with decorum or remain silent as we have not forgotten his infamous frying pan sharing era that brought shame to Abia North Senatorial District.”

The group added that it is laughable that Ohuabunwa said Kalu did not win the Abia North Senatorial election, noting that Ohuabunwa lost his polling unit, ward and local government area to Senator Kalu.

“For the umpteenth time, we advise Ohuabunwa to have some shame and accept his unpopularity in Abia North Senatorial District and move on. How can a man who failed in his polling unit, ward and local government area to  Senator Orji Uzor Kalu be talking the way he did on Channels Television?

“We want to urge our President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his vice, Senator Kassim Shettima,  Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senators-elect, all patriotic sons and daughters of Abia North Senatorial District, Abians and Nigerians in general to remain focused with their eyes on the ball and refuse to be distracted by the attention seeker named Mao Ohuabunwa,” the group said.

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APC coalition petitions NWC to zone Senate President to South East

A group, All Progressives Congress (APC) Coalition of Support Groups, has petitioned the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to consider zoning the post of Senate President to the South East zone. 

The coalition also urged the NWC to place emphasis on character profile, experience, capacity and competence as yardstick for whoever is to superintend over any arm of government, especially the senate of the 10th Assembly.

They also made a case for commitment to party, loyalty, capacity for performance, and track record of service in party administration for such a canddiate.

The coalition in a statement, yesterday, by Sally William-Chinepu claimed that having been overheated by non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments, the NWC can redress this by taking proper and judicious decision on the South East quest for the Senate presidency.

Said the coalition: “For a smooth democratic process,  there is a need for the protection of nascent democracy which is hinged on the principle of Federal Character as provided in the constitution of Nigeria that recognises and promotes inclusivity of all groups in the country into public offices. By compliance of this provision, the peaceful co-existence and national security is guaranteed which is the bedrock of progress and development of our nation. Without being subservient to primordial argument of state, tribal, religious, regional considerations, emphasis should be placed on character profile, experience, capacity and competence on who should superintend over any arm of government especially the senate of the 10th Assembly.

“For the 10th Assembly, the aforementioned should be the yard stick in determining who becomes the senate president. As members of the NWC, paramount amongst your reasons for preference on who become the senate president, should be commitment to party loyalty to party, capacity for performance and track record of service in party administration.

“While not objecting to the emotional argument of geopolitical consideration, it behooves on the NWC to lean on the balance of justice and equity, and insecurity challenges to concede the senate president position to the South East geo-political zone, where undoubtedly character and competence is remarkably in abundance.

“Only recently, the South East political zone has been overheated by non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments which the NWC can redress by taking proper and judicious decision on the South East Senate Presidency.

“Going forward, while not overstretching our bounds of advice, we are compelled to further micro zone the office of the Senate President to a square peg to a square hole,” the coalition said.

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