Recently, this medium did a front page damning editorial on the leadership degeneracy in Abia State. I had expected conversations following that expose, but the narrative ended there, as usual!
Sometime ago, the former governor of Abia State (1999-2007), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, made a well-articulated and cerebral intervention in the raging debate over the unconscionable salary indebtedness of the immediate-past governors and proffered resolutory suggestions, going forward. The article, published in one of our weekend titles was vintage Kalu Leadership Series.
In one of the tepid reactions, one pseudonymous character nomenclatured “Koos James” (from which planet?) declared ignorantly that Kalu’s contribution was a ‘ghastly attempt’ at joining the national discussion. One thing I find intriguing is why most of the rabid defence dogs of the past administration in Abia State (2007-2015) decide to use fictitious names in their chronic tirades on Kalu. We need familiar names, which can be comprehensively situated and classically addressed.
Fictive representations vitiate elevated discourse. Furthermore, it would be good to know the backgrounds of some of these hirelings in order to contextualize their fatalistic distractions from critical national exchanges as signposted by Kalu’s persistent re-engineering efforts misconstrued as redemptive ghastliness by those rattled by his state and national renewal stridency and ubiquity.
One of the craps contained in the vituperative rejoinder goes thus: “For the avoidance of doubt, Kalu’s vitriolic and withering attacks on Senator Theodore Orji is (sic: are) fuelled by deep seated (sic: deep-seated) animosity (sic: either a deep-seated animosity or deep-seated animosities depending on context) and hatred of the former governor for dismantling the former’s political dynasty that had hitherto held Abia to ransom. By confronting, defeating and dismantling the Orji Uzor Kalu political dynasty, Governor Orji brought to an end the serial raping and systematic pillage of the resources of the state by rapacious kleptomaniacs who had boasted in their fleeting moments of madness that they would enslave the state in perpetuity.”
If, indeed, Mr. Theodore Orji dismantled Kalu’s political dynasty as erroneously perpetrated and perpetuated by his innumerable jobbers, why did former President Goodluck Jonathan and erstwhile National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, direct the errant Abia State PDP to collaborate with Orji Kalu—who had been working closely with them in Abuja—to ensure that the PDP wins elections in the state particularly and the South East generally?
This directive was given publicly at the Umuahia Township Stadium shortly before the last elections. With this testamentary confidence in Kalu by the leadership of the PDP at the time, I do not know the foolish basis for any brat to assert that Kalu’s disenchantment with his successor has to do with the mythological mirage of the latter confronting, defeating and dismantling his master’s political dynasty. (Shortly after, Kalu joined the APC).
Not long ago, Kalu organized an informal meeting of his Abia PDP followers in his hometown of Igbere. Even with the short notice, poor pre-event publicity and official futile attempts by the agents of the Abia State Government to abort the gathering, the chief host (Kalu) and other stakeholders in the renewal of Abia were overwhelmed by the multitudinous crowds that made the entire expanse of Igbere look like an Olympic stadium.
Kalu’s expansive compound and massive structures of architectural splendour with Romanesque visage and allure could not accommodate even party members from Aba, let alone other towns in the state! Our guests spilled over to neighbouring communities in joyful solidarity and all-day celebrative accord. With just these two antecedents, among copious pedigrees, I do not comprehend this balderdash about the dismantling of any dynasty. I have always insisted that there should be a national referendum on the political value of both Orji Kalu and T. A. Orji so that we get to know who has more acceptability, credibility, utility, relevance and vision.
At the grassroots level, I have also consistently advocated that both men should walk the streets of Abia, particularly Aba, unaccompanied, and let us see who will be stoned or more stoned, as the case may be (since some people strongly believe that both men are two sides of the same coin), with Kalu as the light and the obverse pitch darkness!
For the umpteenth time, if as declared by faceless James that Kalu systematically raped and pillaged the resources of the state, his successor in his aberrational and irredeemable rule systemically (dear reader, please take note of this word) gang-raped the state and privatized its resources instead of wasting time on pillage. Let us have a forensic audit of the finances of Abia State between 1999 and 2015. Very soon, I am sure, President Muhammadu Buhari will investigate the states he is bailing out. If he does not do that, he would be setting a very bad precedent for current governors to transcend professorship in pursuit of scarlet vice-chancellorship! Only rapture can stop this looming descent—or is it ascendancy!
Yet another tantrum from the unknown James: “In the case of Abia State, former Governor Theodore Orji took over power from Orji Uzor Kalu and in the process inherited a staggering debt in excess of a whopping N55 billion naira deficit and bank loans which could not be accounted for. As a result of this monumental debt overhang, N1.5 billion was deducted at source from the federation account to service the 22 banks/creditors on monthly (sic: a monthly) basis. The ruination of the finances of Abia State and the high scale (sic: high-scale) mismanagement of its resources under the watch of Orji Uzor Kalu more than any other factor contributed to the parlous state of affairs in the state.”
In my response to Professor Herbert Orji’s uncharitable and grossly unprofessional analysis of the finances of Abia State under the exclusive action (as acknowledged by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo before the bubble burst) governance of Kalu, entitled “Abia debt hang: 1999-2015)”, I dismissed the pub gossip that lacked professorial accoutrements and nuances and called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to publish in major national newspapers the income and debt profile of Abia State during the aforementioned period for public scrutiny and edification. I also asked the apex bank to mandate all banks to publish their transactions with the state.