L-R: Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji; Ebonyi State Governor, Martins Elechi; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim Pius; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi; Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha; Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha
Odimegwu Onwumere writes that those Igbo leaders fighting former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor-Kalu, for speaking truth to power are myopic in their estimation of the political equation in the country
Darkness seems to be taking over the intuition of some people of the Igbo extraction, no matter how hard genuine andprominent sons and daughters from the area try to shed light and exorcise them of this political migraine. There are voices from the dark-quarters in area that are very biting in the ears. These are those who have been marshaled out and, perhaps, paid in thousands of dollars, to scuttle any voice that speaks for the Igbo, to actualize presidency in 2015. One man the presumed enemies of this political progress in ala-Igbo have been out to dishonor with their make-belief political system is the former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
Do these people feel it is not his fundamental right to add his voice to the political arithmetic in Nigeria again? So, why the attacks on his person in the hope discredit him? Unfortunately, majority of the people who know better are yet to give a clear attention to the mischievous trade that is being orchestrated against him.
Since the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan presidency came on board, it was rare to hear any Igbo person say that the Igbo would produce the next president come 2015, until Kalu came up with the assignment. These persons who once lost their voices in the pursuit of political-porridge, are now gradually gaining their voices, but in the wrong direction. It is in the wrong direction, because their unpromising show of aggression on the personality of Kalu does not only portray them as do-nothings, but also as persons who are uncouth and myopic. They think that their tantrums would make many of us who are enlightened to buy their hard-to-sell disinformation or make the known unconquerable Kalu lie down? No!
What is it that they are fighting Kalu for? The outspoken and fearless Kalu was only crying against the penury the entire people of Nigeria have come to endure in the name of democracy. And what was wrong with that? Refineries are not working in a crude oil producing country like Nigeria, yet some people who grow fat on the cry of the majority of the people are campaigning against Kalu, who is only agitating that the significant maladies against the masses should stop. Are what we have had from the Jonathan presidency not just promises and assurances that more parts/zones in the country would benefit from his ‘Utopian’ government?
This type of statement is mostly heard from his aides. Especially, those of his aides from the Igbo region are always sent out against their people to continue to massage their already battered hope, which was gotten while waiting for the Federal Government’s presence in the piqued area. This is what Kalu frowns at. Were we not told about the proposed new refineries and the removal of petroleum subsidy, that we should wait and see the Federal Government’s programmes? But have we not waited for hours and days and months and we are yet to see anything.
Ndigbo and their areas play a very significant role geographically in Nigeria’s affairs, no matter the political shift of this fact to any region of the country on the ownership of commerce and industry. Kalu cannot close his mouth as some of the political jobbers want him to do. Whereas, the Federal Government had always called on the people for calm and understanding, yet the old Eastern Region represents a war ravaged area in terms of the Federal Government’s neglect of its share of programmes in the region.
What is Kalu’s sin by saying that the Igbo should produce the next president of this country? Have Ndigbo not given Jonathan ‘a chance’ that he was so dire need of? This brickbats politics that few people have taken upon themselves to talk evil of Kalu is not admitted. Such is a political bomb against the Igbo. It is worrisome.
No one allows foams from the soap to enter his or her eyes while taking bath in a big ocean. How come that they want Kalu not to talk when all federal roads in the region appear in the budget of the Federation, without any meaningful presence of work done on them? The Second Niger Bridge is no longer news. Was its construction not commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Yet, there is no work on it?
Is anybody still saying that the people of the old Eastern Region not marginalized? Why should Kalu not talk when the people’s disenchantment of the ill-treatments against them has written off their livelihood? Not even the representatives from the region at the National Assembly have helped matter. They have been spotted many times working together, but only ended at the issuing of communiqués on the state-of-affair in the region as they disseminated the critiques.
As an insider, no matter what, Kalu has been the only man among many who has not sold out to anything he believed in. He has been working before and newly to ensuring that the region is treated with respect and given the presence of infrastructure and presidency like other regions. Though, an Ijaw man from the South-south region in the old Eastern Region is president; Kalu is saying it is the turn of the Igbo to be president.
Kalu is a moving force that should be respected. He is out to revolutionise the situation against the Igbo. He deserves support than condemnation. Come to think of it, how could the second Niger Bridge which the Federal Government said was commissioned for construction, was later said to have been commissioned without design? Is the Federal Government not playing politics with the Igbo?
Kalu should continue to talk because the old Eastern Region has been hit hard by indescribable privation and uncountable losses of lives owing to the ensnaring roads of the Federal Government. Kalu should continue to talk, because the Federal Government is only good at paying lip service to psychoanalysis of roads in the region. What about the misdirection of the South-east slot of judges to the Supreme Court to another zone? If these and others are not the marginalization of the Igbo that Kalu has been condemning, those Igbo persons operating in a seeming dark political intuition should tell the world the true meaning of marginalization, if not the reckless abandon of the Igbo in the way of things in Nigeria.
•Onwumere, an Author is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes in Rivers State