Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu said it was insane for anyone to link President Muhammadu Buhari with herdsmen killings in the country.
Kalu who spoke during a farewell dinner he held in honour of the outgoing Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Pavel Mikes and wife, Senait, in his Abuja residence, yesterday, said Buhari is committed to ending the circle of killings.
“I don’t know why a president of Nigeria would be expected to aid people to kill his citizens. I mean, it is embarrassing to even hear that.
“I have explained this; I have discussed this with you (outgoing ambassador) many times, and I said it is not possible, there is no way any man directly elected by the people will abandon his duty and be doing the opposite. The issue of herdsmen has become a challenge to us. Since the Federal Government dismantled Boko Haram, it became a problem.”
Kalu expressed gratitude to Mikes in his efforts to ensure that all levels of the Nigerian government respected the rule of law.
But Kalu lamented that rather care how the country will make progress, everybody was fighting one another, a development he said was at variance with the process of true democracy.
“This is a new order. The old order should pass away – Oh, Saraki, Buhari, Dogara, all these dancing, we should be out of it. We should talk about the people, 190-200 million Nigerians that have no food, no good education, no good healthcare, ways to eradicate the Almajiris; these are commitments leaders should give.
“Leaders should stop talking about backbiting, killing and all the rest of them. Killing is also not a good thing. No president would want to see his people dying. I ask the governors to do more about those killings. I was a governor. Nobody can tell me what a governor can do. I was a governor, I am passionate about this country, and I am passionate about a process that can eradicate all these killings because it is not good to kill. And President Buhari has taken new steps. He was in Plateau the other day and every other place where killings have taken place and he is committed to making sure that these killings stop.
“Boko Haram has just changed their strategy. When I complained last year about people infiltrating the Nigerian system and making these spontaneous killings, you people never believed me. The press lashed out at me, and said what am I talking about. Today, I am happy that the DSS came with a report that there are foreigners in our land. I sawt hose foreigners last year. I spoke to few of them in Enugu road at a time and they were not Nigerians. I stopped people rearing cattle and I found that they can’t even speak Hausa. They didn’t hear Fulfulde, which is Fulani; they didn’t hear Hausa and that confirms what I said last year that people that are non-Nigerians have taken over our soil.”
Amb. Mikes thanked Kalu and his wife, Ifunaya, for the privilege and honour to be their guests. Mikes, who said his tour of duty ought to be three years, but ended up spending almost five, expressed gratitude to his country for extending his stay, even as he said Nigeria is a great and complex country.
“I would like to stress that we found very many good friends and I would thank as the best friends of ours here in Nigeria, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and his charming wife. I discovered he is not only a very good friend, but also a passionate thinker, politician, passionate about the future of Nigeria, working hard to promote Nigeria in the world,” he said.