By News Critic Reporter
Erstwhile governor of Abia State and senator representing Abia North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has come under severe attacks from the Igbo elites over his comments that South East should not expect to benefit anything from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari because the region did not support his election.
The group Abia Citizens Forum, in a statement issued in Umuahia and signed by its convener Jerome Kalu, said that OUK statement is an indication that the former governor and senator has integrity problem which is his biggest undoing. The group said no credible Igbo leader can be credited with such a remark that Kalu made in a public gathering at his home town Igbere last weekend.
He said that many Igbo elites are at a loss as to what Kalu wants to achieve with such a statement that can only come from the mouth of Igbo enemies, adding that he has only ended up ridiculing himself before the general public as a northern apology.
The group which called on Igbos not to take the former governor seriously again, pointed out that Kalu has on many occasion sold out on the Igbo project when it matters most because of his personal interest. ‘’Ndi Igbo should not forget in a hurry the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential primaries in 1998 between Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (retd) and the late Dr Alex Ekwueme and how he (Kalu) voted against Ekwueme’’.
‘’Let me tell Orji Kalu that if he thinks that deriding his people to please the North and APC leadership is what will save him from the corruption trial he is facing, then he should better have a rethink because the law will run its full course as far as that trial is concerned because it is the money belonging to the people of Abia that he diverted into personal use’’.
In the press statement, the Abia group disclosed that Kalu could not have won the Abia North senatorial election should INEC had done what it was supposed to do, maintaining that the Tribunal is expected to do justice in the petition filed by the PDP candidate senator MAO Ohuabunwa.
They accused Kalu of being responsible for the backwardness of Abia state today because of the wrong foundation that he laid, adding that he did not leave behind any legacy that is worthy of commendation.
He faulted Kalu’s claim that he decided to step down from the Deputy Senate president race in obedience to the party, stressing that the former Abia governor was never in the race in the first instance because he had no support even from the senators from his state. The group said that Kalu’s lack of integrity is his greatest burden because according to them Abuja view him from that lens, while insisting that he has nothing to offer Ndigbo and as such should be ignored.
News Critic reports that Kalu last Saturday June 22, organised a victory rally at his home town Igbere which attracted a mammoth crowd of party supporters, political friends and well-wishers who thronged the venue to celebrate with him.
He told the mammoth crowd that gathered to celebrate with him that Ndigbo should try and be wiser next time because the rule of the game is that if ‘’you work, you eat’ and not the other way round. He said that the Igbo should not expect to get anything from the Buhari administration because they did not vote for him. To him there is need for the Igbo to wake up politically and begin to consult and meet in order to reposition the South East region politically.
Kalu, immediately after his infamous speech at the open ground, disappeared into his apartment and shut his doors and never came out again to be with the dignitaries that came from far and near to celebrate with him. It was his aides who came out to announce to the VIPs, including visiting journalists that Kalu is not available, a development that came as a surprise to observers. However, his going into hiding did not stop the entertainment of the visitors at the Camp Neya hall and the supporters at the open field arena.
He remained locked inside until all the visitors and press men left his Olympic size mansion at about 6:00pm, after he disappeared from the venue around 2pm that Saturday. Many were stunned by this action and left with that impression. At the top of the entrance gate to his house is an Arabic symbol.
Kalu is facing a N7.1 billion corruption trial preferred against him by the EFCC. The case has been moving back and forth since the past eleven years. The last time the matter came up at the federal High court Lagos, it was adjourned indefinitely. Many concerned Abians were surprised that despite the ongoing trial of Kalu the APC went ahead to clear him for the senatorial election.