It’s like twelve years since Orji Kalu the Tiger of the South East politics left power in Abia state as Governor. Since then, he has been out of frontline news except appearing on his personal album ‘The Sun or Telegraph news papers.’ Many a time the news for which he appears on the vendors pack are not palatable. If they are not for election failures which were many times, it was EFCC taunting him or court rulings on the alleged misdemeanours while he presided as Governor of Abia state. Kalu took those unsavoury times in great strides. At one time due to his stature as pillar of sports in Africa, Kalu enlisted to contest for the flashy but global office as FIFA President. No sooner than Kalu showed interest in that office that some minions in Nigerian soccer world declared their interest as if they could even run as CAF president at all. When Kalu saw those soccer lilliputians raising their fingers to contest for that office, Kalu wisely withdrew from the race. Lo, the aspirations of those ordinary men fizzled out.
It became clear that their intentions were to run on Kalu to world fame win or lose. Orji Kalu knew them as they came and tactically left the turf for them and their target to use Kalu to climb to world fame crashed. So deft and reasonable is the man Kalu. Like Tiger Wood like Kalu! For upwards of more than one decade, Kalu the Tiger had been struggling in the Woods to find his feet but glory just came with his victory as Senator- elect for Abia North. I doff my hat for this giant. I raise my fingers of victory for this Tiger of South East politics. Years back like twelve years ago baring all the booby traps and persecutions from the powers that be then, Kalu set up a political pan- Nigerian vision that pre- dates many who prance around today as Lords in Nigeria. In that vision Kalu had won elections in the two states (Imo and Abia) through his nascent political party called Progrrssive Peoples Party (PPA). The party had gone into a government of national unity with the then ruling PDP in which the PPA had produced a Minister and other offices. The Tiger had planned to launch his political foray into Nigeria from that vantage point. His traducers and his brothers like Governors Ikedi Ohakim and TA Orji killed that pan- Nigerian dream. Today people like Asiwaju Tinubu have emulated that idea and it had worked for them. Even in the throes of the demise of that Nationalism, those after Kalu didn’t allow him to sleep with two eyes closed. Kalu have been struggling like thrice to relaunch his politics. Thank God that June 9th or there are about finds Kalu in the red chambers of the Senate of the federal Republic of Nigeria. In that milieu, Orji Kalu will be sitting with his fellow associates turned bitter political opponents especially Senator T.À Orji. If I may say, the fight T.A Orji put against his former boss turned opponent was one of the worst form of political wickedness. We do hope that their sour grape relationship will not linger into the Senate chambers. I make bold to say that all the three eminent leaders that will be representing Abia State are Abia/Nigerian patriots. I wish them well in the service of our country. The Senate is a veritable platform for Orji Kalu to recapture his once brilliant politics. I trust his power and sagacity. But I have a strong advice for him. The attributes of a visionary leader is to select his friends, be scrupulous about his associates and keep his eyes on the ball. Kalu may have made his own mistakes but he and his brothers should target the past and move on and concentrate on the bigger vision of serving Igbo/ Nigerian interests. I foresee an Orji Kalu as Senate President or Deputy Senate President in the unfolding drama in the Senate in the next four years. If not at the inception of the 9th Senate this June certainly in the rolling years ahead. I look forward to the Tiger being in charge of his environment and play the role for which nature has given him a second chance- that of the New face of the Igbos as he espoused years back.
Dr. Batos Nwadike(Nkwa Chukwu Kwere Ndi Igbo) writes from Umueze Umuorlu Isu in Nwangele LGA of Imo State.