Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzo Kalu, has said former President Olusegun Obasanjo is responsible for the problem Nigeria is suffering today by his failure to utilise his goodwill to transform the country. Kalu, who made this known at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos yesterday when he arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), alleged that Obasanjo amplified corruption during his eight-year leadership and instead of bringing development into the country; he chose to fight perceived political enemies. The former governor, while reacting to the decision of the former president to stop playing active role in People Democratic Party (PDP), said: “Well, let me tell you, Obasanjo is part of the problems of this country. The earlier he goes back to his farm the better. He caused all the problems that we are going through. He was worse than Jonathan and any other president of this country.” Kalu also alleged, “In 1999 when he was elected as president, instead of giving leadership, he went to fight political war. The goodwill this country had, he squandered it, and this is what we are suffering from today because if he had given qualitative leadership without pursuing political enemies, we would have grown.” He said he was surprised that Obasanjo was still walking freely in the country; that he was supposed to have been arrested after the expose contained in President Goodluck Jonathan reply to the letter Obasanjo wrote to him. “Look at some of us that formed this party (PDP), look at what he has done to us; both locally and internationally. I don’t even know why he should be walking along the road. He’s not supposed to be on the streets of Nigeria because he started active corruption in political circles in Nigeria. I want to be quoted on this. He started corruption in active circles. Why should he sell assets of the federal government? Where is the $16billion?” Kalu also alleged that Obasanjo made a law through the National Assembly to benefit himself and perpetuate himself in office through the third term agenda and later made another law that the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the ruling party must be occupied by a former president. “He made a law to benefit himself; that it is only an ex-president that can be the chairman of BOT of PDP because he wanted to benefit from all these things. They were not democratic; they were not beneficial to the Nigerian masses. Nigerian people are hungry, they are looking for food. What does his letter writing mean? It’s even a shame to President Jonathan to reply him because he (Obasanjo) was worse than him,” he said. Reacting to the resignation of the former National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Kalu commended his decision to resign and has called on President Jonathan to assert himself as the leader of Nigeria and the ruling party by showing good leadership in order to hold the country together. The former Abia State governor, who said he knew that Tukur would resign said the party would be reorganised and those who had left would come back. He said many prominent Nigerians and spiritual leaders were predicting that Nigerian would disintegrate, so it is the responsibility of Jonathan to ensure that this does not happen by showing good leadership and holding the country together. “I believe President Jonathan should stand up now. Everybody is saying every day the country would disintegrate, the country would have problem. Even my own spiritual leader, Catholic Bishop of Abuja said so. President Jonathan should stand up to leadership, he has to stand up and lead the Nigerian people. This is the time. There is no better time for him to lead and show leadership than now,” he said. Kalu congratulated Tukur for his decision to resign, remarking that it was the decision of the majority of the party members that he should leave, adding that in democracy the decision of the majority must count. “This is what the stakeholders have been clamouring for. Democracy is about the people and I believe President Jonathan, Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) and other members of the caucus of the party have done what they ought to do because democracy essentially is about the people,” he said. “If majority say they don’t want somebody, the person should take honourable exit and respect the view of the people. I also praise Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for his courage, instead of fighting and bickering, he was able to say no, ‘I would resign on my own’ and this is how democracy should be practiced,” Kalu stated. He also applauded the strengthening of the opposition, saying that Nigeria needs the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the ruling party needs strong opposition so that Nigerians could be served better. “The essence of All Progressives Congress (APC) is very good. APC is heading for democratic change. If there is no two main political parties, the country will not move forward. There must be an alternative. What is happening in Nigeria with APC is not a bad deal, but rather a good deal for the poor masses of this country, who should have alternatives. Alternative is always good in any system. Maybe the lukewarm attitude of PDP is that they feel they are the dominant party, which no one can challenge. Alternative is very essential, I support it and I will live for it and I belie we should be able to work for it,” Kalu added.
One-time spokesman of the House of Representatives and currently Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga weekend spoke with selected journalists on various national issues. Excerpts: Some people like Orji Uzor Kalu claim President Goodluck Jonathan will truncate the chances of the Igbo presidency if he contests in 2015. […]
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