• Also in Akure, says President’ll contest in 2019
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term bid in the 2019 general elections.
Dr. Kalu made the call yesterday, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, as part of his ongoing South West Peace Advocacy visit.
He stressed that Buhari remained the best option for the country, despite the current incessant criticisms by some leaders against his administration.
The former governor expressed disgust that some leaders had turned themselves to letter writers against Buhari, instead of supporting his administration to make him succeed.
Though he did not mention the names of those writing such criticism letters, he stressed that they were leaders who must also respect other leaders like Buhari, who has done creditably well.
“When some people become leaders, they don’t want anybody to criticise them, but when they are out, they begin to criticise those that are in positions. We need to respect our leaders and support them. That is what the Bible and the Quran say,” Kalu said.
He also observed that it was not possible to have a perfect leader and people should therefore not expect Buhari to be perfect.
According to him, the president had been doing the best he could for the country, having brought infrastructural development and dividends of democracy to every part of the country.
He commended the monarch for his support for the peace and unity of the country and urged him to keep the flag flying in supporting Buhari to return for the second term next year.
Kalu also commended other traditional rulers in the region for supporting Buhari and called for more of their supports in his second term bid.
He told the monarch: “The Bible and Quran, say, we should support our leaders. That is exactly what you have been doing and that is why I am on the tour of the South West to advocate for peace, fairness and unity of this country with a view to rallying support for Buhari in the interest of all of us for good governance.”
The former governor, who is also the Aro of Ogbomosoland, stressed that as the Chairman of Advisory Board for the National Movement for Re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, he would extend the peace and unity advocacy to different parts of the country to support Buhari’s second term bid in 2019.
Kalu said he was in Ile-Ife to preach peace to the people and to appeal to the monarch to continue the message in his domain in consonance with one of the cardinal principles of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress.
In response, the monarch commended Kalu for his laudable contributions to nation building over the years.
He described him as a very strong political stalwart who had contributed to the nation’s socio-political and economic development and nation-building over the years and a fearless man who loves his people and cares for humanity.
He showered royal blessings on the former governor and assured him of bumper success in his peace and unity advocacy as well as the call for support for Buhari.
“It is good to have you in the house of Odudua. You have played pivotal roles in capital development, not only in Abia but also in the entire country. You have remained the voice of the voiceless, the first to do that especially through your publications. Your visit to five states in the South West shows that you are a detribalised person and believe so much in the unity of this country and showing an example of detribalisation.
“Keep up the good job you are doing. Only God will reward you. So, look up to Him. You are here on behalf of APC and Nigeria and you have our support,” the monarch said.
The foremost businessman also promised to use the Uzor Kalu Foundation to empower 2,000 petty traders in Ile-Ife in collaboration with the Ooni Hope Alive Initiative, as part of poverty alleviation programme.
At Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where Dr. Kalu also paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Uzor Kalu Foundation instituted a N100 million endowment fund for the best graduating students for entrepreneurial programme. He said it was a part of the foundation’s moves for job creation for graduates to solve unemployment problem in the country.
He promised the foundation’s readiness to collaborate with the university in their moves for technological and research development.
Professor Ogunbodede commended him for the visit and assured of full support in his peace and unity advocacy and the call for support for Buhari.
The VC appealed to him to support his passion for journalism profession and support the university in its ongoing move to introduce a school of journalism for Mass Communication programmes to take off at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Ogunbodede also urged Kalu to set a legacy at the university by building a prestigious hall of fame to be named as Uzor Kalu House in contribution to education development, which is also a part of his passion.
In Akure also yesterday, the former Governor who declared that Buhari deserves a second term having performed creditably well in the last three years, called on all Nigerians to support the president in his quest to make the country better than he met it.
Kalu spoke at the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi during the continuation of his advocacy visit to the South West geo political Zone of the country.
He opined that President Buhari will win the election with the support he enjoys from all Nigerians irrespective of tribal or religious affiliation.
He urged Nigerians to discountenance calls by some Nigerians against the second term ambition of the president, stressing that “those currently advising the president not to contest in 2019 contested for a second term and won despite performing woefully while in office during their first term.”
His words “democracy is not built in a day. There must be divided opinions in any democracy. We must live above party affiliation and tribal differences if our democracy will grow and our nation develops.
“President Buhari has done well and his achievements are there for everyone to see. As a business man, I travel a lot and I can tell you that this government has rehabilitated many federal roads. The man has done wonderfully well and we should all rally round him to do more for us and our nation.”
Speaking, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo assured Kalu of his support for Buhari in the next year’s general election, recalling that the people of the town gave maximum support to Buhari in 2015.
He said Buhari has done well and should be encouraged to serve the nation again.
Describing Kalu as a detribalized Nigerian, the monarch said the eminent business man is supporting a responsible person, saying that Kalu’s name is a household name in the country.
He assured Kalu to count on the people of Akure and Ondo State at large.