“The former governor of Abia State, Kalu, was returned unopposed in Abia North senatorial zone, nobody contested it with him.”
Okey Sampson, Aba
Dr Ukaegbu Madukwe is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State. He said that the former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu remains the candidate of APC for Abia North senatorial zone for next year’s election. He spoke against the backdrop of rumour making the rounds that Kalu was not giving the ticket by his party to contest the 2019 election.
There is this rumour flying around that the former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has been denied ticket by the APC to run for Abia North senatorial seat, is it true?
It’s absolutely not true, there is nothing like that unless somebody is actually not living in reality. There is absolutely nothing like that; let me put it this way, that is a fake news.
Are you saying he has been given ticket to run in next year’s election by APC?
Of course, as a matter of fact, the former governor of Abia State, Kalu, was returned unopposed in Abia North senatorial zone, nobody contested it with him. So, it will be foolhardy for anybody to say that he was not cleared or not given the ticket by his party to contest the forthcoming election. This is politics quite alright, but people must be very careful of how they go about spreading fake news.
Some people may be spreading this fake news based on the fact he has a case in court with the EFCC, could that on its own be enough to deny him the ticket?
The Nigerian constitution is absolutely clear and if I may also add, vehemently clear as to the innocence of anybody accused of any wrongdoing until a court of competent jurisdiction tries and convicts the person. That Kalu is under trial does not mean he has been convicted of any crime. So, for some people to start meddling with the court process by saying because there is a case against him, that now makes it imperative for their own convenience for him not to run, is unfortunate. I don’t understand that, it is sheer foolishness for people to be thinking this way.
I don’t want to get into what is happening in the court because it will be sub judice, but I’m only mentioning it for the purpose of clarity because some ignorant people in Nigeria, those who will sit in the pepper soup kitchen, sit in the beer parlour, gossiping and wasting time instead of focusing on reality. The reality is this, is former governor, Kalu qualified to run for senate? The answer is yes. Does he have the capacity to run for that election? The answer is yes. Does he have what it takes to represent his people in the senate? The answer is yes. Taking politics apart, when Kalu was the governor of Abia State, he was one the best. I am yet to see who is going to beat his record.
When we talk about the Aba and Umuahia stadia which were patched fields before he became governor, we saw what did there after he became governor. Or is it the Ururuka road from Aba to Umuahia which traverses five local governments? He led Enyimba International FC to win the CAF champions cup back to back. Which one should we talk and which do we leave out? The question remains that those who are hell bent on pulling Kalu down, what have they done for Abia and the South-East?
Do you think those who are spreading the fake news are likely to be his political opponents who are afraid of his intimidating political profile?
Yes, it is the handwork of his political opponents. They are the ones spreading the fake news and they are doing this because they have seen that he is now unstoppable and they think with that they could stop him. They are saying this, believing that on the day of election, they will have no opponent. You see, when a drowning person is going under, whatever he or she sees he or she grabs so that they will drown together; they want to grab Kalu and drown together, but I can reassure you that it is not going to work.
President Muhammadu Buhari has stated without any equivocation that there will be a level playing field this time. He said the election will be free and fair and that is what they are afraid of because they have catapulted themselves into master riggers. So, they are now frightened that lo and behold, here comes Kalu. And knowing that the field is level, the goal post is clear and he is about to score the goal they’ve denied him many times by doing their fowl play called rigging, they want to try another trick. But they have failed.
You know that his opponents are not popular and because there will be no more rigging; they feel the best thing they could do is to carry fake news against him and talk him down. They started by saying that his name was not in the APC register and now it is that his party did not give him ticket. They will continue to lie while Kalu continues to soar higher in the political realm.
Having cleared the air on this, what’s your advice to Kalu’s supporters?
The advice I have for Kalu’s supporters in Abia State and in particular Abia North Senatorial zone is that this time, Kalu is the senatorial candidate of APC for Abia North. The rumour before was that he was not screened, now they are rumouring that APC did not give him ticket, my advice is that they should remain steadfast, let them continue to work hard and should not be deceived Kalu by anybody. Let us go to the political arena on voting day and vote for the best candidate that will take Abia North senatorial zone to greater heights and the person is Kalu, the action governor, who will soon become the action Senator. He is not a Senator yet, but he has through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) done many roads in Abia North, including Ututu, Ozuitem, Ugwueke, Umuhu Ezechi and many more roads. So, when he becomes a Senator, his international and national influence will come to play and that is what his opponents are afraid of and that is why they have decided to be spreading the fake news. Let me also encourage his supporters not to be deceived, they should make sure they have their PVC secured and ready so that on that day of election, they will vote for Kalu as the next Senator to represent Abia North and by so doing, they would have shut the mouth of the people that sit in the beer parlour to gossip; and they would have also shamed all those people who are of no good to Abia State.