Former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has said that he pulled out from the Deputy Senate President election race because of former President of South Africa, Late Nelson Mandela, Vanguard reports.


According to Kalu, Mandela was the inspiration behind his withdrawal from the election, he added that the late South African President taught him to respect the decision of the party because party is supreme.


The Senator stated this yesterday in Abuja while delivering the Nelson Mandela Day Lecture during the 10th Nelson Mandela International Day celebration held at the University of Abuja.


He said; “I make bold to say that I learnt at Mandela’s feet. During one of our meetings, he told me that he wanted Cyril to be his deputy, but the party leadership thought otherwise. One thing he told me that he did was that he respected the decision of the party because party is supreme. I imbibed that education and have lived by it in my political pursuits in Nigeria.


“It may be recalled that recently I made an attempt to contest to become the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate. I however withdrew from that contest as soon as the party’s decision was conveyed to me. I stood down because having learnt from Mandela the dictates of party supremacy, it would amount to a betrayal of my learning to go against what the party’s consensus.


“I also believe that as an evolving democracy, one with a history of military adventurism with the attendant destruction of political ethos and institutions, Nigeria will fare better if politicians, irrespective of their party affiliations, respect party supremacy. That way, we will be able to build a political culture that derives its powers from the party manifesto and programmes.”