From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Abia North -based multipurpose cooperative society with bias in agriculture, Isun Cooperative, has given a 21-day ultimatum to the senate leadership to declare the seat of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu vacant or face mass action.
The ultimatum was contained in a communique issued after their emergency meeting at Ohafia over the weekend.
According to the communique jointly signed by its National Chairman, Hon. Isaac Nkole; Abia North Zonal Coordinator, Chief Obinna Nwankwo; Isuikwuato Coordinator, Dr. Chris Nwachukwu and his Umunneochi counterpart, Ugochukwu Eze, if after the expiration of the three week ultimatum the senate fails to heed their call, they would have no option but to take to the streets.
The group expressed fury that since December 2019 when the occupant of the seat, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was jailed for 12 years following his conviction on a fraud case, the zone had been without a representative at the red chamber.
They argued that it was unfair for the senate leadership to continue to ignore the clamour by the people to declare the embattled senator’s seat vacant to enable them elect his replacement.
The group regretted that since Kalu was imprisoned, “Abia North has been totally excluded from federal largess as we have nobody to speak for us “.
The farmers’ group particularly expressed concern that they could no longer access federal aids including loan facilities which they had enjoyed with ease during the tenures of Kalu’s predecessors.
They urged the senate to consider the political plight of Abia North senatorial district which “is now without a voice in the senate “.
According to the communique which was made available to newsmen on Monday, ” it is unfair to leave an entire senatorial district without a representative at the senate for no fault of theirs “.
The five point communique read in part :”Abia North cannot continue to be without a representative at the upper legislative chamber .
“It’s unfair to punish the entire zone over one man’s sin which he committed without the consent of the people.
” If after three weeks of this ultimatum the senate leadership fails to do the needful to enable us fill the vacuum created by Kalu’s incarceration, we shall have no option but to occupy the national assembly until this injustice is addressed “.
The farmers further noted with regrets that all the federal projects already captured in the 2019 budget for the zone had been abandoned just as those in the current fiscal year suffer similar fate.
“It’s unbelievable that Abia North which had produced vocal and eloquent senators – the likes of Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (retd.), late Senator Uche Chukwumerije, and Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has suddenly become voiceless at the senate “, the communique read.