Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari to clinch a second tenure mandate in the 2019 general elections. Kalu made the call Friday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, as a part of his ongoing South West Peace Advocacy tour.
He stressed that Buhari remained the best option for the country despite the current storm of criticisms by some leaders against his administration.
Kalu 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 names of Buhari’s critics, Kalu stressed that they were leaders who must respect leaders like Buhari who, according to him, has done creditably well.
“When some people become leaders, they don’t want anybody to criticize them, but when they are out, they begin to criticize those that are in positions. We need to respect our leaders and support them. That is what the Bible as Quran say,” Kalu said.
The former governor observed that it was not possible to have a perfect leader and that people should not expect Buhari to be perfect.
He added that the President had been doing the best he could for the country, having brought infrastructural development and the 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 supporting the President in hopes that he lands a second term come 2019.
Kalu also commended other traditional rulers in the region for supporting Buhari and called for more of their support in the President’s second term bid.
“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,” Kalu told the monarch.
Kalu, 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.
In response, the monarch commended Kalu for his laudable contributions to nation-building over the years.
He described Kalu as a strong political stalwart who has contributed to the nation’s socio-political and economic development and as a fearless man who loves his people and cares for humanity.
He showered royal blessings on the former governor and chairman of the Slot Group, wishing him success in his peace and unity tour in support of the President.
“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 southwest shows that you are a detribalised person and believe so much in the unity of this country and showing an example of detribalisation,” the monarch said.
“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,” he added.
Dr. Kalu 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 a part of his poverty alleviation programme.
At Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, where 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 its entrepreneurial programme. Kalu said it was a part of the foundation’s moves for job creation for graduates to solve unemployment in the country.
“OAU has contributed a lot to human and capital development in this country. It is so important to us. The society has given to us and we need to give back to the society. That is the essence of what we are doing. We have done the same for other universities too. OAU too deserves it,” he said.
He promised the foundation’s readiness to collaborate with the University in their moves for technological and research development.
Professor Ogunbodede commended Kalu for the visit and assured him of his full backing in his peace and unity advocacy in support of President Buhari.
He appealed to Kalu to support the University in its move to introduce a school of journalism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Ogunbodede also urged Kalu to set a legacy at the University by building a hall to be named the Uzor Kalu House as a contribution to educational development.