- Former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has declared that northerner must emerge president in 2019
- He said that Igbo and other tribes should wait till 20123
- He, however, maintained that Igbos are not the only marginalised people in Nigeria
Former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has maintained that the north must complete its two-term of eight years, adding that Igbos and other tribes should wait till 2023.
New Telegraph reports that Kalu told Journalists on Monday, October 9, after a closed-door meeting with former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, at his uphill mansion, Minna that if President Muhammadu Buhari does not run in 2019, then another northerner should emerge.
NAIJ.com gathered that Kalu said that: “If Buhari would not want to contest the 2019 Presidency like I will always say and maintain my position, northerners should be allowed to complete their second term making it eight years.
“If Buhari is not contesting even though he is entitled to the second term, the north should still present another candidate. This is the turn of the north. Even though I am a Nigerian, I am also entitled to it but fairness is paramount.”
Furthermore, he warned that “other zones should wait and be ready for 2023, but for now I still maintain my position and I am not afraid of anybody. This is the turn of the north. Anybody can take me for what I say. Whoever that is castigating me over my position on this matter is wasting his time.
“I live by the truth and I will be ready to speak the truth always. Opinion is an entitlement, and that is my opinion given to me by God.”
Speaking on the state of marginalization in some parts of the country, he said: “Igbos are not the only marginalised people in the country, each zone has its peculiar challenge."
The former governor said the main reason for various agitation all over the country including that of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) is lack of infrastructure and basic amenities.
Accordingly, he said: “the solution to these problems and agitation is justice and fairness by the government. The federal government should build roads, give water, let children have access to school and we will all respect the law.
“The absence of all these is responsible for whatever agitation you are seeing. Not only IPOB is being marginalized, every part of this country is being marginalized.
“When I was coming to Niger, I passed through the Minna-Suleja road, I now concluded that not only the eastern part of the country is being marginalized. All parts of the country are marginalised.
However, he advised that Nigeria and Nigerians need new orientation from A to Z, that is the only solution.
Reacting to comments by some aggrieved IPOB members, Orji Kalu said: “I did not say anything bad on IPOB, they have the right to carry their flags around and agitate but they don’t have the right to separate Nigeria.
“What I said, and it is clear, Nnamdi Kalu’s brother told me that he has left the country, and I was not looking for him for any bad intention, I was looking for him to be able to call the federal authority that he is with me and no Army or Police can take him away from me.
“So that we can discuss the way forward. People misunderstood my intention. I was just after peace because burning down our state (Abia state) wouldn’t have been the best option.
“And again, the lives of the over 15 million Igbos that are living in the north are more important than one person. That is the issue. So, we need to take control of the situation."
When asked about his purpose and aftermath of his meeting with IBB, he said: “I am in Minna because it is one of my homes and also this is one of my regular visit to Minna. So, my visit has no political undertone. I come here regularly."
In a similar vein, at the government house in Minna during a courtesy visit, he commended the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello for ensuring peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups in the state.
He particularly commended the governor for his role in dousing tension following the October 1st quit notice to Igbos by Arewa youth, saying that his (Sani Bello) various peace meetings among various ethnic groups in the state is highly commendable.
“This is what makes a great leader. A leader is not only known for his developmental strides but the way a manner he ensures peaceful coexistence among its people."
In his remarks, the governor aligned with his guest in the area of marginalisation saying that Niger state has one of the worst federal roads in the country.
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According to him “despite various interventions to fix the roads, the haulage by the articulated vehicles have not helped matters.
“I went out to inspect these roads and discovered that they are now in the worst condition. To this end, we will soon come up with a law banning the movement of these trucks especially those carrying excess loads.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that the agitation for an independent Biafra state is grossly affecting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the south-east.
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