The Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that nine presidential aspirants from the All Progressives Congress (APC) are set to step down to support the presidential ambition of the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan.
Kalu told newsmen on Saturday in Abuja that an influential presidential aspirant from the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is also planning to join the APC.
Although he did not substantiate his claims by listing their names, Kalu was the first to drop his presidential ambition in support of Lawan on the grounds of the failure of APC to zone the presidential ticket to the South East.
He declared his support for Lawan who hails from the North East.
According to Kalu, “The issue of the APC presidential candidate will be settled even before the primaries.”
“As I am talking to you, about nine presidential aspirants from our party have intimated me of their plans to drop their presidential ambition to support Ahmad Lawan.
“Does that not signify victory before the election? Lawan’s candidature will rock like a hurricane. Lawan is from the North East and has similar sympathy with the South East that is yet to produce a president. I have repeated my reasons for dropping my ambition for Lawan severally, and I am sure Nigerians are aware already,” he said.
Kaly also said that the ruling party is expecting “an influential PDP presidential aspirant” to defect to the party soon.
“So, you can see the party is very progressive and properly ready for Lawan’s emergence,“ the former governor of Abia said.
Concerning calls for the postponement of primary elections by some political parties, Kalu said he does not expect the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to listen to them.
The senator said the parties were duly informed and should have prepared well as mandated by the electoral body.
“Extension of the dates will only support irresponsibility. Nigerians find it difficult to keep to time and appointments, and that is why they would always seek extra time.
“I support INEC to stick to their timetable; otherwise, we will be living with postponement after postponement. Such a trend is not healthy for a society and its people.
“We complain of indiscipline but are not ready to be practical about the requirements of discipline. INEC should discipline any party that fails to meet up, because that is the only way they can take their jobs seriously,” Kalu said.