Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The saying that once a man is free from the evil machinations of his people, nothing can trouble him outside, played out on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, when the Igbere Welfare Union, Abuja Branch, turned out in their large numbers to visit one of their own, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu.
One after the other, members of the union, in their local Igbere dialect, heaped prayers and praises on the former Governor of Abia State who just returned from Germany after undergoing surgical operation.
The moment was one bound to linger for a long time. It was a moment when brothers and sisters, young and old, gathered during working and business hours, to have a heart-to-heart talk, including dining and wining together.
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An elated Kalu who could not hide his emotions, said the Igbere people are like the Jews who are everywhere in Lagos, Abuja, Togo, Sierre Leone, et cetera, expressing gratitude to God that he is a son of Igbere. “Anywhere you go, you see Igbere people doing their trading. We are very proud
of ourselves and I thank God that I come from this community,” Kalu said.
Kalu also said the Igbere people were about forty to forty-five thousand people, declaring that
they are very close to each other.
He said it was as a result of the closeness that made his kith and kin to abandon their offices, businesses just to come in the middle of afternoon to be with him.
According to Kalu, “that represents what we do in our community. That we show you that no matter the differences we have, we come together to build a strong community. Our community is everything we have. We have no other thing than our community.”
Kalu also said the Igbere people are very proud and shy people who are very committed to the Project Nigeria and for democratic process, adding: “We love Nigeria.”
On his part, a prominent member of the Igbere Welfare Union, Hon Nnanna Uzor Kalu, said the visit was in solidarity with Kalu who underwent a successful surgical operation in Germany.
He further said Kalu was one of the patrons the union invited for its end of year party, but could not
turn up. “So, we decided to come and pay him a courtesy visit and to thank him and also felicitate
with him on the operation.
“Of course, so many things have been going on: speculations, rumours and all the rest of it. Today, people have seen that he is alive, hale and hearty. That is why Igbere Welfare Union decided to
come today to visit him as their brother and also as our leader,” Hon Kalu said.
Further speaking on the rumours and speculations which surrounded Kalu’s absence from the country, Hon Kalu said Igbere people have hope and are keeping hope alive, declaring that the hope must come to fulfilment.
“Of course, Igbere have hope and we are keeping hope alive. And that hope must come to fulfilment.
“Of course, you all know that he is one of our pillars and he is one of our aspirants in Abia North
Senatorial District. By the grace of God, in February 2019, he will be there representing Abia North
in the National Assembly,” Hon Kalu added.
On the larger Nigeria, Kalu said Nigeria has a superstar in the person of Dr Orji Uzor Kalu.
“You know Biblically, they say the star comes from the East. And of course, you all know His Excellency is from the East. He comes from a State called ‘God’s Own State.’ So, God’s fulfilment must surely happen,” Hon Kalu further declared.
For the Chairman of the Igbere Welfare Union, Abuja Branch, Elder Ezekiel Adiele Udeogwu, the main of purpose of the visit was to greet their son. “He is the son of the soil. We have come to solidify our togetherness and as well, wish him the most of quick recovery,” Udeogwu said.
Udeogwu also said while Kalu was away in Germany, they were up in prayers, adding that “as we
can see, God did really answer our prayer. He is back, and not only coming back, but coming back in
Udeogwu however said what people were saying which were contrary to what they were doing,
they were in Kalu’s residence to see to it that God is faithful unto his children. “So, we have come
to wish him successes in his days ahead and we have come as well to ever continue to tell him that
God who started the journey with him is ever present to end the
journey with him.
“And then, we as a community, we are ever ready to continue to render our services, more especially to our fatherland, Nigeria, beginning from where we came from. So, in all things, we have come here for the good of us as a union and all of us as Nigerians,” Udeogwu maintained.