Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Former Governor of Abia State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Orji Uzor Kalu, at the weekend in Nsukka, Enugu State declared that President Muhammadu Buhari would not only contest the 2019 election but will also win â€œconvincinglyâ€.
Kalu who spoke to journalists after receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka said the president would use his second term to rewrite injustices and fight for the oneness of Nigeria.
The former governor also expressed optimism that the people of the South east will support the presidentâ€™s second term massively, until they did during the 2015 presidential election.
â€œThe mass movement you are witnessing today will translate to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, a man whose administration and second term project I support. â€œIâ€™m not God but you know Iâ€™m a supporter of anything Buhari, so itâ€™s going to translate to vote to President Buhari , thatâ€™s what it means.
â€œThe president will run, I have said this time without number, I was the first Nigerian in June 2nd who told you people that he will come back on June 11 and he did not come. And I was the first Nigeria on the same programme on AIT who said he will and he is going to run.
â€œI didnâ€™t join APC to go and look at the rocks in Abuja, I joined APC to use it for the benefit of Igbo people and Nigeria people, so I joined for him to run and we will use his regime to rewrite injustice and also fight for oneness of Nigeria of the country.
â€œAs you are aware, the marginalisation of Ndigbo did not start today, marginalisation has been something that has been there immediately after the civil war, so Buhari is not going take four years to correct. So we were not on board in 2015, we are going to be board in 2019 and we will address the issue.
â€œI want to be involved when I have given the vote, because when you give vote you can ask question, if I donâ€™t give vote I canâ€™t ask question. I cannot come to paradise with 0.5 per cent vote for the president, I want to give president 75 per cent vote and I will ask question; that Iâ€™m sent by our people,â€ he said.
He said his award from UNN â€œrepresents recognition by Igbo intellectuals in Eastern Nigeria and Iâ€™m very excited. Iâ€™m very excited to say that Igbo intellectuals have just recognised me on their own; as I was told, they were 70 senate members and almost 60 something voted for me. So Iâ€™m excited about it.â€
Other party leaders who spoke to mewsmen including Chief Maduka Onyishi, owner of Peace Mass Transit and Hon. Hyacinth Ngwu, South East Zonal Publicity Secretary of APC congratulated Kalu for the award.
â€œHe is a good Igbo man and believe that he deserves this honour,â€ Onyishi said.
On his part, Ngwu noted that the shortest route to the presidency for Ndigbo would be President Buhariâ€™s second term.
â€œWe witnessed a movement, It is truly a movement from other parties and non-politicians into APC. Like our leader, Kalu said, this is just the beginning, the Igbos have realised that the shortest route to the presidency is the APC and that is in 2023.
â€œSo this movement you witnessed today is the beginning of the good things that will accrue to Igbos particularly in 2023. And it will start in 2019 when the Igbos would have given APC massive support,
â€œIâ€™m looking at more than 70 per cent of votes from the South-east that will go to Mr. President Buhari in 2019 and that will be the beginning of full integration of the Igbos into the mainstream of Nigeria politics.