Sen. Osita Izunaso (APC-Imo) says he is most qualified for the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly, going by situations on ground.
Izunaso said this when he spoke in Abuja on Monday, saying that the South-East should be allowed to produce the Senate President for the 10th Assembly for justice, fairness and equity.
He said he had the experience and capacity needed to ensure stability and a cordial working relationship between the Executive and Legislative haven been a lawmaker since 2003.
Izunaso, also a former APC National Organising Secretary, said he was the most qualified ranking Senator, adding that allowing the South-East to produce the Senate President of the 10th assembly would help calm nerves in the zone.
He said he was the only ranking Senator in the country’s political history that had worked as a staff of the two chambers of the National Assembly and later served as elected representative of the people.
“In 1992, I worked as the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Agunwa Anakwe. I also served as the Chief Press Secretary to Senate President, Chief Evans Nwerem with the return of civilian administration in 1999.
“I had earlier served as Chief Press Secretary to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Jim Nwobodo from 1995 to 1997 and retained same position with the Minister of Labour and Productivity from 1998 to 1999.
“Haven been first elected into the House of Representatives in 2003 and later into the Senate in 2007, I am one of the most ranking Senators in the incoming 10th Assembly,” he said.
He said he had also served as chairman of various committees, including: Rules and Business, Local and Foreign Debts, Housing, Gas, Foreign Affairs and Sports Development among others.
Izunaso added that he sponsored many bills and led debates during plenary sessions.
He said that with the election of Sen. Bola Tinubu as President-elect and Vice President-elect Sen. Kashim Shettima, the two top-most political offices in Nigeria had been taken by the South-West and North-East.
“Political expediency, quest for national stability and cohesion dictate that the number three political position and the head of the Legislative arm of Government should go to the South-East.
“And I am the most qualified and ranking Senator to take up that position and I have been consulting and meeting with critical party stakeholders, including my state governor on this,” he said.
He added that he had also been meeting with other governors from the zone and had been receiving calls from stakeholders both within and outside his party urging him on.
He said that the best way to douse ongoing tension, especially amongst those calling for secession was to have a man from the region in the top three political positions in the country.
“My emergence as the Senate President of the 10th assembly will not only help douse tension in the South-East zone, but will give its people a sense of belonging.
“Historically, the Nigerian federation has always rested on the tripod of three dominant ethnic groups of Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo.
“Under the current political dispensation, the Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani which now include Kanuri have produced the President and the Vice-President.
“Having not produced the president of the country since independence except for the six months stint of Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi as Military Head of State in 1966.
“The intense Igbo sentiment against political exclusion and marginalisation in Nigeria is justified,” Izunaso said, adding that this could be addressed if the South-East was allowed to produce the Senate President.
He said the development would ensure inclusiveness and help arrest the agitation for Biafra in the South-East, especially among young people who had been misled by IPOB activities and other separatist movements.