I WILL WORK HARMONIOUSLY WITH T. A ORJI IN THE SENATE – OUK

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Senator-elect for Abia North and former state governor, Orji Kalu, said on Thursday that he had put his political enmity with his successor behind him and was prepared to work harmoniously with him in the Senate.

Mr Kalu said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Umuahia, shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Election Commission in Abuja.

He said: “I have forgiven him (Orji) for the benefit of Abia people and we are going to work as one family in the Senate in the interest of Abia and Nigeria.

“We are going to have a robust relationship in the Senate because the interest of Abia and Abians is uppermost to me.”

Reports have it that Mr Kalu and Mr Orji, who succeeded him in 2007 as Abia governor, had been arch- enemies for almost a decade due to political differences.

Mr Kalu, who won the March 9 National Assembly polls, after two consecutive attempts, said that he would work assiduously to re-write the history of representation in his senatorial district.

“There is a lot of work to do for my constituency and we shall work to support the programmes of the Federal Government to ensure they succeed,” he said.

Mr Kalu, who was a member of the House of Representatives in the aborted Third Republic, promised that the ninth Senate would reverse the unnecessary delay in the passage of the annual budget.
He said that the Senate would ensure that the Appropriation Bills received expeditious consideration, once they were presented by the president.

“The consideration and passage of budget estimates would not exceed three months. Once the president presents the bill in September, by December we would have concluded the consideration.

“By so doing, the budget would be ready by January for the president’s assent,” Mr Kalu said.

He said that during the consideration of the budget, the ministers would be restrained from embarking on overseas trips.

“They must be available during the budget defence. They would not be allowed to travel overseas until the budget is ready,” Mr Kalu said.

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