Orji Uzor Kalu is a microcosm of what Nigerian politics shouldn’t be. Those he is milling around with form the larger organism hosting such parasites that have been sucking life out of Nigeria since the advent of democracy in the country. They are all the same kind of organisms committed mainly to their personal interests. Altruism, if it ever comes to mean anything to them, would come long after; long after the electorate have cried ad infinitum that they should rise up to their duties and responsibility. The larger society can rot for all they care, so long as their interests are secured. In Ikwuano, Abia State, this ‘go and die’ kind of disregard for others is captured thus: May the rain drench all those including mothers, who went to the market, is my mother among them? (Mmíri màgbúo ndí gara ahia, nne m o gara a ga?) That’s their attitude to the Nigerian populace, the Nigerian electorate. They are atop in the league of ‘I don’t care whose ox is gored’… t’eni bàjè ò kan mi.
In simplest of terms, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has chosen the path of destroying it if he cannot get it. It is the disposition of let the rain hammer the cocoyam leaf…. He doesn’t care how torn it gets. He has aligned firmly with that clique which muzzles other parts of the country to remain in power. That is if you join those interpreting the devil to mean the oppressors of Nigeria. Kalu is campaigning for Senator Ahmed Lawan to become the next president of Nigeria. Lawan, who became a sudden presidential aspirant, is the President of the Senate. Lawan said leaders, friends and, perhaps foes drafted him into the race. That Lawan is running for the presidency is not the issue here. The issue is Senator Orji Kalu who has been sounding like an errand boy of Lawan at the detriment of the nation and his constituents.
Kalu has been in the forefront of those senators and others canvassing for support for Senator Ahmed Lawan to become the next Nigerian president. He has been quoted to have said certain things that belittle himself and the people that elected him to the Senate. He currently serves as the Chief Whip of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Kalu is representing the people of Abia North. But he is acting like he was enrolled in the Nigerian Senate by the magnanimity of Ahmed Lawan rather than being an elected representative of the people of Abia State. Nigerians of Abia State origin know how much of a burden Orji Kalu has been to the state in its politics and economy.
Kalu appears like an angry man. He is angry that the other zones in southern Nigeria chose not to cede their chance to become the president to the South East, a zone that has obviously been political marginalised, maligned and unfairly treated especially by the heartless North. Kalu’s logic is that if the South West and South South cannot lend supportive hands to the South East to produce the next Nigerian president, then there is nothing wrong if the North steps in and take the slot. Nothing, as far as he is concerned, should stop the North from joining in and winning the presidential race to the detriment of the other jostling southern zones since it has numerical voting advantage. If the South cannot employ tact, get united and present a common front, let any region with those ingredients take the prize. That is what Kalu has done, and he has chosen to queue behind Ahmed Lawan.
The action of Kalu has been long foreseen by those who know that the South would always bungle whatever opportunities there are for them when it comes to national politics. The southern leaders would eventually stretch their hands for crumbs at the table of the north after the north has snatched what is rightly theirs. For more than two years, discerning Nigerians had said it that many southerners would sprout from all corners, like wicked weeds, and mix and detract from the nutrients meant for the crop. The northern power brokers only sat back and plotted. They reclined in their easy chairs to watch the weeds and the wheat grow together. This is just like the parable told by our Lord Jesus in Mathew 13. The servants were eager to pull the weeds but the Master told them to allow both to grow and at harvest time, the differentiation would be made. This is that harvest time.
In 2021, Uzor Kalu expressed delight at the announcement of the award of the contract for the rehabilitation of Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road. His acolyte and successor as governor of the state, Chief Theodore Orji, has not said anything about the road.
In late April, when he opted out of the presidential race, he said he was doing so to support the emergence of a candidate from the southern part of the country. In the reports, he had urged the South West and the South South to support a South East candidate in 2023. Then, he held thus: “I am even shocked with the number of aspirants coming from the South West and the South South. It is embarrassing that these aspirants (APC and PDP) have no single respect and concern for the South East. I had thought they would think about the South East; I thought they would support us. The amount of money being spent by these aspirants is alarming and they have forgotten that money alone cannot buy the presidency.
“It has become a joke to an ordinary Nigerian who hears Southern commentators and aspirants rooting for a Southern President on the premise of fairness, equity and justice.
“How can you talk about these morals when you are not even fair to your own brothers?
“If there is anything like “fairness”, “equity” and “justice”, it should be the entire South pushing for a president of South East extraction. Anything less than that is “hypocritical”, “unjustifiable” and “inordinate”. Some ‘persons’ are even claiming God’s anointed choice in 2023.
Orji Uzor Kalu didn’t seem to have started his advocacy at home. If he did, he didn’t seem to have worked hard and sincerely enough to see it come to fruition if he wasn’t going to be the beneficiary. Orji Kalu isn’t known to have asked any of the governors in the region if they are truly interested in a president from the zone. Is a governor like the grappling Hope Uzordinma of Imo State one to take a credible case of Igbo presidency to those who can help the cause of the region? Has any Nigerian heard Hope Uzodinma speak loudly of Igbo presidency? Is Hope Uzodinma credible enough as a Nigerian governor elected by the people to mount the rostrum and speak for a president of South Eastern extraction? Has he washed himself clean of the toga of ‘Supreme Court Governor’? Has Uzodinma ever been in the South West as a governor ‘elected’ on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to speak competently for the region?
In Orji Kalu’s Abia State is Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. He happens to be my governor too, sadly. It is sad because the governor is bland.
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