ORJI UZOR KALU: A ROUND PEG IN A ROUND HOLE
By: Koké Alozie Nwoko
One of the worthy sons of Igbo land today is Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK), the Chief Whip of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He came to limelight when he was elected into the House of Representatives in 1991. The annulment of the 1993 presidential election by the then Federal military government and the subsequent institution of interim national government truncated the legislative dreams of the young lawmaker, Orji Uzor Kalu. Young OUK went back to his business after the unfortunate transitional mishap.
Young OUK didn’t go to bed but remained focused on the people with a view to changing many lives for the better through various empowerment programs. With the return of democracy in 1999, the good people of Abia State elected him governor. This is not unconnected to his numerous humanitarian gestures which greatly helped to lift many people out of poverty. As governor of Abia State, OUK gave the God’s own state leadership through the provision of many infrastructures and social amenities. He also empowered many youths of Abia for self reliance. He constructed many roads for easy access to communities. The students of public schools enjoyed free education throughout his two terms as governor. He also established the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba. He equally revived sports in Nigeria by energizing the state owned Enyimba Football Club to the level of lifting the CAF Champions League back to back. He also rejuvenated the club to lift the NPL when he held sway as governor. In fact, his commitment to sports aroused many Nigerians into supporting the local league. He constructed the Umuahia Township Stadium and modernized the Enyimba City stadium for the development of sports in Abia. Towards the end of his tenure, OUK contested the 2007 presidential election with PPA and lost to Late Umaru Musa Yaradua. After his tenure as governor, OUK took a break from politics.
Out of his desire to continue serving his people, OUK contested the Abia North Senatorial Seat in 2019 and won. He was subsequently elected Chief Whip, making him a principal officer of the National Assembly. As the Chief Whip of the Senate, OUK has touched the lives of the people of Abia North positively through the infrastructures and empowerment programs. He has really dedicated his life fighting the Igbo course. He also fought against any form of marginalization of Igbo.
As a true Igbo son who believes in equity and fairness, he declared to contest the 2023 presidential election. He later withdrew because of the insensitivity of Southwest and South South politicians to the cries of Southeast. He boldly said that if power must shif to South, that south must be Southeast. He soberly thanked many non-Igbos who had made strong cases for Igbo Presidency especially Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Deji Adeyanju for their courageous support Igbo Presidency. It should be noted that OUK’s condemnation of the insensitivity of Southwest and South South received massive support from Nigeria.
Since the political hawks of Southwest and South South failed to allow the Southeast to produce the president, OUK started drumming support for the Presidential ambition of Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan. He was subsequently named the Director General (DG). His coordination of Lawan’s campaign has boosted it to the shock of many. He has always maintained that the presidency of Ahmed Lawan from the Northeast will be a soothing balm on the Southeast people. He is poised to make that dream a reality starting with the election of Lawan as the presidential candidate of APC on Monday.
As it is glaringly becoming obvious that Ahmed Lawan will fly the APC flag, OUK is the best man for the position of Vice President. We therefore call on Senator Ahmed Lawan to pick OUK as his running mate in order to give Igbos sense of belonging in Nigeria. As it stands now, only LAWAN/KALU ticket is the best combination for reviving Nigeria for accelerated development.
We can only but pray for the realization of this dream
Long live Senator Ahmed Lawan
Long live Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
Long live Southeast
God bless Nigeria ????????