The senator representing the Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Orji Kalu, has explained why he built the Lokpanta Cattle Market, a ruga settlement in the state, when he was governor of Abia State.
Following some hostile comments and accusations as to why Kalu set up the deal, the senator took to his Facebook account to clear the air saying that he built the Lokpanta cattle market as a source of revenue for Abia state.
Between 1999 and 2007, when Orji was governor, the state faced financial challenges. In addition, to fish for more internally generated income and to sanitize the state capital from the threat of cattle, the cattle market that was situated in the center of Umuahia city was moved to Lokpanta and the state became “the cleanest city “Nigerian.
He noted that the cattle market was not established as for the Hausa/Fulani settlement, but as a cattle market where many Abian and other Igbo men and women could also engage in the cattle business.
However, since the deal was used as a campaign theme, the senator in his post wrote: “Let’s stop talking about me establishing the Lokpanta Cattle Market. I built the cattle market in Lokpanta and I don’t regret doing it.
“If there is a problem with the cattle market today, there are two governors after me and they could have reviewed the situation if it is bad for the state.
“I did it to generate revenue for the state and it is still generating revenue.”
He advised those who want to make the issue a campaign issue to check the revenue the market brings to the state.
“That they disclose the income that is obtained there and said income will be used for many things in the state, at least to verify the security if said income does not go to private pockets.
“I am the senator representing Abia Norte and not the state security officer or the senatorial zone
“My duty as a senator ranges from making legislation that impacts my people to providing sustainable projects in my area and even beyond. The people I represent are very satisfied with what I have done in Abia Norte. It is unprecedented.
“When politicians accuse me of not providing security in North Abia, it says a lot about how ignorant they are about the different levels of government.
“I urge my brother-in-laws to show people a single project that any of them facilitated during their years in the National Assembly instead of stirring up sentiment to spite the good people of North Abia.”
He further clarified: “I am not in the executive arm of the Federal Government. So it sounds funny that someone who’s been in the legislature for 12 years is asking me to look at security. It means he doesn’t know what to do in the Senate.
“So I think my duty as a federal legislator is to help legislate and make laws that have an impact on my constituents, the state and Nigeria in general, which I have been doing to help get funding for sustainable projects in my constituency. including roads, water and education, which includes the construction of new schools and the maintenance of old ones, among others.
“My job is not to tell security agencies what to do, since I am not in the executive arm of the Federal Government. I am purely a legislator.
“The bills that we have made in the National Assembly are many and I contribute a lot to what happens in the National Assembly.
“Today in the National Assembly, I am a ranking senator, number four, after the president of the Senate, the vice president of the Senate and the leader of the House.
“I am the Chief Whip, which is number four. So, I have done my job very well, proving that what anyone can say is wrong.
“I am a good representative of my people and people know that I care about them.”
He advised his critics to “go see the number of projects in my district, both those of my ZIP (Zonal Intervention Projects) and those of the presidency.”
Kalu also thanked the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), for his willingness towards his constituency, saying that Buhari has approved “small funds in budgets to support rural farmers and help people travel to their homes.” . Malaria and cough will now disappear when the roads are paved”.