The senator representing Abia North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Orji Kalu, has explained why he built Lokpanta Cattle Market, a ruga settlement in the state, when he was governor of Abia State.
Following some unfriendly comments and allegations about why Kalu established the settlement, the senator took to his Facebook account to clear the air saying he built the Lokpanta Cattle Market as a source of revenue for Abia State.
Between 1999 and 2007 when Orji was the governor the state was faced with financial challenges. In other to fish for more internally generated revenue and to sanitise the state capital of cattle menace, the cattle market which was situated at the Umuahia city center was relocated to Lokpanta and the state then attained “the cleanest city” in Nigeria.
He noted that the cattle market was not established as for Hausa/Fulani settlement, but as a cattle market where many Abians and other Igbo men and women could engage in cattle business also.
However, with the settlement being used as a campaign issue, the senator in his post wrote, “Let us stop talking about me establishing Lokpanta Cattle Market. I built the cattle market in Lokpanta and I have no 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 yield revenue for the state and it is still yielding revenue.”
He advised those who want to make the matter a campaign issue to verify the revenue that accrue to the state from the market.
“Let them disclose the revenue being made there and such revenue will be used for many things in the state, at least to check security if such revenue does not go into private pockets
“I am the senator representing Abia North and not the security officer of the state or the senatorial zone
“My duty as a senator ranges from making legislation that impacts on my people to providing sustainable projects in my zone and even beyond. The people I represent are very satisfied with what I have done in Abia North. It is unprecedented.
“When politicians accuse me of not providing security in Abia North, it speaks volume of how ignorant they are about different tiers of government.
“I urge my brother politicians to show the people one single project any of them facilitated during their years in the National Assembly rather than raising sentiments to spite the good people of Abia North.”
He further clarified, “I am not in the executive arm of the Federal Government. So it sounds funny for someone who has been in the legislature for 12 years to be asking me to look at security. It means he doesn’t know what to do at the senate.
“So, I believe that my duty as a federal legislator is to help in legislation and to make laws that will impact on my constituents, state and Nigeria as a whole, which I have been doing to help bring funding for sustainable projects in my constituency including roads, water, and education, which includes building new schools and maintaining old ones, among others.
“My job is not to tell security agencies what to do as I am not in the executive arm of the Federal Government. I am purely a legislator.
“The bills and laws we have made at the National Assembly are much and I contribute much to what happens at the National Assembly.
“In the National Assembly today, I am a ranking senator, number four, after the Senate President, Deputy Senate President and the Leader of the House.
“I am the Chief Whip which is number four. So, I have done my job very well, thereby proving wrong what anybody can say.
“I am a good representative of my people and the people know that I care for them.”
He advised hiS critics to “go and see the number of projects going on in my district, both those from my ZIP (Zonal Intervention Projects) and those from the presidency.”
Kalu also thanked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for his disposition towards his constituency saying Buhari has approved “small fundings in the budgets to support rural farmers and to support people to travel to their homes. Malaria and cough will now go when roads are tarred.”