Protesters who want to be identified as Concerned Citizens of Abia North, Abia State on Tuesday stormed the National Assembly to demand the higher hierarchy of the upper chamber to declare the seat of its jailed Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu vacant
The group argued that such declaration would enable the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to conduct a fresh senatorial election for the Abia North Senatorial District.
The statement read by the leader of the group. Chukwudi Chukwu read:
“We are indigenes of the five (5) Local Government Areas: Arochukwu, Bende, Isuikwuato, Ohafia and Umunneochi that make up the Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State.
“We formally notify Your Excellency of the absence of our Senator Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, from the senate. The conviction and incarceration of the senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu leading to his long absence from the National Assembly has effectively silenced our voices. Abia North constituents have no representation in the Nation’s highest deliberative body and cannot participate in matters that affect them.
“Citizens in Abia North Senatorial District have every cause to feel abandoned, angry, less optimistic about their future because they have no representation in the senate. Democracy thrives and is significantly enriched when citizens participate in the process, and can speak through their elected representative.
“Denying citizens the right to be represented inspires disaffection and provokes contempt for both the Legislative body and the democratic process. More fundamentally, it does grave violence to the democratic imperatives of representation.
“Your Excellency, we are law-abiding citizens and have confidence in both the democratic process and your ability to assuage our concerns and repair this anomaly. We are deeply and fervently committed to the democratic process and respectfully urge you to restore our voice in the legislative process muted by the incarceration of our Senator.
“We, therefore, pray you to use your good offices and declare the Abia North Senate seat vacant to enable INEC to conduct a fresh election to elect a senator who will represent us at the senate. Your Excellency, declaring a vacancy in Abia North Senatorial District will repair the monumental injustice done to us and encourage hope in our senatorial district.
“We deserve to have an active voice to speak for us in the senate as we have previously had, more so now that the deadly Covid-19 Pandemic is ravaging countries and across the land; non-selective. Again, our Senatorial District is grossly prone to ecological disasters, especially erosion and landslide.
‘We are regrettably backward and disadvantaged, and in dire need of Federal Government Presence; to be canvassed through our senate representative, akin to the other districts of the state and federation.
“We pray our demand meets your kind consideration and good conscience.”