Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu
By Vincent Obia
About 200 public figures from across the country, among whom some frontline politicians, have come together to form a new political group that is yet to be named, THISDAY has learnt. Promoters of the group, which has been meeting as a non-partisan organisation, say it is aimed at institutionalising good governance in the country.
The new group is chaired by the former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, and it has met no less than five times in the last few months at the residence of a senator in Maitama, Abuja. The attendance is said to be getting bigger with every meeting, with the last meeting on Wednesday attended by over 200 prominent Nigerians.
The attendees included Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who is vice chairman of the group; Akin Osuntokun, the secretary; former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu; former petroleum minister Odein Ajumogobia, SAN; former deputy national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George; Ambassador Fati Abubakar; Nigeria's former High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro; former Minister of Aviation in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Femi Fani-Kayode; and Chris Uche, SAN.
Members of the group insist their major aim is the unity of Nigeria. A source in the group said they were concerned about what he called the country’s dangerous drift and were out to stop it.
THISDAY learnt that the focus of the group’s last five meetings was the state of the nation, especially the issue of security.
“We are concerned about total leadership. We are concerned about the wellbeing of Nigerians and how the leadership treats the followers,” a source in the group said.
To pursue its objectives, several committees have been formed by the group, which was said to have started with just 37 members and was initially known as the G-37.
Some of the committees include those on mobilisation, which is chaired by Fani-Kayode, with Senator Grace Bent as deputy; finance, led by Fafa Dan-Princewill; and media, chaired by Senator Emmanuel Onwe, with Professor Mahmud Jega as vice chairman. Ribadu heads the committee on strategy and research.
Prominent lawyer and businessman, Dr. Wale Babalakin, and George were among those at the last meeting of the group.
Also in the new political group are Lawal Shuaibu; human rights activist, Uba Sani; Senator Umar Argungu; Olusegun Awolowo; Hon. Uche Ekwunife; and Hon. Yemi Arokodare.
Sources say the coming of the new political group is connected with the politics towards 2015.