Igbere TV reports that Goje, a top contender for the Senate Presidency, had withdrawn from the race following a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The endorsement of Kalu, Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, came at a meeting between the two leaders at the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Also at the meeting was Senator Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi State.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Goje, former Gombe governor, said there was the need to give all region sense of belonging in the Ninth Assembly.
He argued that his move was in the best interest of the country, while calling on lawmakers-elect to queue behind Kalu and elect him as Deputy Senate President on Tuesday, June 11.
He specifically called on former governors at the Senate not to abandon their colleague, Kalu, whom he described as a go-getter.
Goje said, “For the sake of fairness and equity, the APC NWC must look in the direction of the South East for the position of Deputy Senate President, to correct the imbalance in leadership positions.
“The 9th Senate needs a man who could tame and douse ethnic tensions through his dexterous style of leadership. Dr. Orji Kalu has long proven to be the right man for the seat as a former governor of Abia State whose outstanding achievements in the state and beyond speak volumes till date.
“Above all, he (Kalu) is a man of integrity and a passionate leader whose love for the party (APC) and the development of this country is immeasurable going by his antecedents. He has sacrificed enough for our party and deserves the DSP seat.”
I will Emerge Deputy Senate President, Vows Kalu
In a related development, Dr. Orji Kalu has said he would emerge the Deputy Senate President of the 9th Senate, insisting that he was still very much in the race.
Kalu, who spoke on the backdrop of the purported endorsement of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the APC National Working Committe, said he is not moved by the development, adding that it was the handiwork of some selfish elements in the APC who are self-serving and desperate to cause disharmony among party stakeholders.
The former governor who hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari did not endorse any candidate for the Deputy Senate Presidency, however stressed that as a staunch supporter of Buhari and a loyal and committed member of the APC, he (Kalu) would always abide by the decisions of the President and highly respected members of the NWC.
“I hold the President in high esteem as well as the National Chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and other members of the NWC and as such, I will not disobey any formal pronouncement by them.
“However, I am still in the race to become Deputy Senate President because the President and the NWC have not adopted any candidate and as such the contest is open to all members of the party, who have the capability.
“I have the political dexterity, leadership qualities and goodwill to complement the efforts of the Senate President in actualising the objectives of the legislature to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in taking Nigeria to greater heights.
“Leadership positions in the 9th Senate should be given to people who have the will to support the agenda of the APC while not deviating from the ideals of democracy.
“As I continue to mobilise support for the position of Deputy Senate President, I commend the President, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and other stakeholders of the party for their support.
“Come tomorrow by the special grace of God and to the admiration of APC members and Nigerians at large, I will emerge as Deputy Senate President in the 9th National Assembly”, he said.
While appealing to the leadership of the APC to give a level-playing ground for all contenders for the position of Deputy Senate President, who are APC members, Kalu maintained that he is still in the race except otherwise advised by the President or the party’s highest decision-making body.
“Only Lawan and Gbaja Have APC’s Endorsement”, APC Govs Forum Counters Issa-Onilu
The governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said it only endorsed the candidacy of Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, and Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the ninth National Assembly leadership, Igbere TV reports
The governors, under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) made this known to newsmen after its inaugural meeting on Sunday night at the Kebbi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
Chairman of the forum and Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu while countering a statement by Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC national publicity secretary about alleged adoption of Sen. Omo-Agege by the National Working Committee (NWC) for the position of Deputy senate president said that “the governors would work towards ensuring that only the candidates endorsed by the President and our forum, Lawan and Gbajabiamila will succeeded”.
Bagudu said the governors are of the firm belief that the leadership of the party took the right decision when they opted to support Lawan and Gbajabiamila for the principal offices.
Bagudu also added that the choice of people for other principal positions would be determined in due course.
On the crisis in the party, he said members made comments, but was silent on the position of the governors.
He said the governors were solidly behind the President as the leader of the party and were prepared to work with him to take the nation to the next level.
Among those present at the meeting were governors of Kebbi, Edo, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Ekiti, Osun, Lagos, Gombe, Niger and the Deputy Governors of Borno and Kaduna States.
However, governors of Katsina, Ogun, Ondo and Yobe states were absent and did not send representatives.