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Abia guber: The blackmail against Orji Uzor Kalu, By Dan Ukey

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When I read the mischievous write up by one, Chigbu Nwogu on some online platforms, I knew political jobbers and enemies of progress are at work again.

The write up coming at a time there is relative peace in  Abia polity, shows that the sponsor (s) of the said article and their cohorts, have a selfish agenda of heating the polity in God’s own state.

Without holding brief for Kalu and his family members, as an experienced administrator, philanthropist and community leader in Abia state, I can read between the lines, when articles like this pop up. With the obvious and unwarranted attack on the Kalus’ and their political dynasty, it is clear the writer and his cohorts are looking for cheap popularity.

Yes, no doubt, Orji Kalu became Governor of Abia state at the young age of 39 to the adoration of Abians. Like every mortal, nobody is perfect. Kalu did his best as the state’s helmsman to the extent that the then President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, couldn’t hide his joy, when he visited Abia state to see the laudable road projects executed within six months of Kalu’s tenure. I remember vividly then, Obasanjo’s excitement earned Kalu the name “Action Governor” . Despite the huge debt burden and slim resources of Abia state when Kalu assumed the mantle of leadership, the accomplishments of Kalu as Governor are remarkable and historic. The free education, free primary health care, prompt payment of salaries and pensions, infrastructural regeneration, massive reconstruction, rehabilitation and construction of roads, youth and women empowerment programmes, peace and security, scholarship programmes, sports development: Enyimba FC CAF Cup 2004/2005 and other projects of the Kalu administration remain evergreen in the minds of Abians. I agree that government is a continuum and as such, successive governments after Kalu ought to have consolidated and taken Abia state to the next level.

Kalu has been out of public office for 12 years, until last year when he was elected as a Senator, representing Abia North Senatorial District. Upon resumption as a Senator in the red chamber, Kalu has used his office and vast contacts to attract federal projects: erosion control, roads and youth empowerment projects to his constituency and beyond. He has also sustained his known boldness, courage, patriotism and selflessness in his capacity as the Chief Whip of the Senate. Kalu’s profile in the private and public spheres of life, is intimidating and rich and as such, political enemies and jobless elements, who are always envious of other people’s progress, will certainly adopt different measures, to rubbish the  hard earned pedigree of successfully persons. I will only advise Kalu to ignore such shallow minded individuals like the author of the write-up.

The Kalus: Orji, Nnanna, Mascot and their matriarch, Elder Mrs Eunice Uzor Kalu (Odi-Uko) have created a niche for themselves in various aspects of life. The Kalu political dynasty has nurtured, supported and made politicians across board. With all sense of humility, most politicians in Abia state, had at one time or another benefited from the magnanimity and benevolence of the Kalus’. Hence, faulting the Kalus’ for raising people from grass to grace is not only unfair but wicked.

The continuous rise of Kalu’s profile in the political space has been giving the sponsor (s) of the write-up sleepless nights . Kalu as Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, as expected in his capacity, has been meeting with party stalwarts, stakeholders, chieftains and loyalists to advance the cause of the APC in Abia state and other parts of the country. At a well attending caucus and extended caucus/stakeholders meeting at Camp Neya, Igbere on August 8, 2020 and August 9, 2020 respectively, the party members and chieftains  applauded the efforts of Kalu in his determined efforts to reposition the party in Abia state. It is important to bear in mind that in politics as a leader, your doors must be open to all and sundry, without discrimination. Kalu has demonstrated his open door policy and participatory approach to governance by meeting with party chieftains and stakeholders from time to time. During Kalu’s triumphant visit to Abia state last month, as always,  he visited residences of Sen. Chris Adighije, Sen. Nkechi Nwogu, DIG Azubuike Udah (red), Hon. Nkiru Onyejiocha, Chief Alex Otti, Chief Dan Okeke and other party stakeholders for the sake of the party.

Kalu’s younger brothers, Nnanna and Mascot, are true sons of Abia state and strong pillars of APC in Abia state and as such if they so decide to run for elective positions, it is not a crime nor out of place.The duo are matured and independent. They are responsible for their decisions and not the older Kalu.

Honourables Benjamin Kalu and Nkiru Onyejiocha, spokesperson and Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, respectively have been performing their noble roles in the green chamber credibly well. Kalu has always expressed his joy over these individuals in view of their contributions to their constituencies and Abia state at large. Recall, during the last general elections, Kalu, because of his firm belief in the capacities of the duo of Kalu and Onyejiocha, mobilised both material and human resources to ensure victories for the APC in Abia North Senatorial District: Bende and Isuikwuato /Ummuneochi federal constituencies inclusive. To the envy of political jobbers, the relationship between Kalu and other political office holders has been cordial. Hence, any desperate ploy to bring animosity between Kalu and his political allies, associates and mentees will not fly. As leader of APC in Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Kalu will continue to work harmoniously with other stakeholders to improve the common lots of Abians and Nigerians at large.

Let me remind the writer that Kalu before venturing into the murky waters of politics, had made a name in the business world and philanthropy. As a young man in his late twenties, Kalu was one of the richest business tycoon in Nigeria, with vast business interests in oil and gas, media, shipping, real estate, consumer goods etc. If not politics, I am sure the sponsor(s) of the writer and their cohorts, wouldn’t have had any opportunity to drag Kalu’s name into cheap political gossips. However, Kalu as a leader and father of Abia politics, will continue to stomach all these insults for the sake of his robust agenda for the people.

Finally, let prepartrators of evil, refrain from their “Pull-Him-Down” syndrome as Kalu will continue, regardless of all odds, to sustain his good works as a businessman, politician, philanthropist and community leader.

Dan Ukey writes from Aba

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