Kalu’s Alleged Presidential Ambition: Whose Interest Is Ohanaeze Defending?
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State is one man whose sincerity of purpose drives out darkness. And, many know that darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light, which Kalu represents. He is a man of peace and not a dreamer, but somebody who sets goals and gets them. He is a man who forgets pains and does not, show those who might have betrayed him revenge, as a way to pay back. He is an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi's statement, which states that an eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
Having researched on the dude and understood what he believes in and what he does not believe in, it did not come as a surprise when news filtered into the skinny air that he made certain comments, when Ohanaeze Ndigbo had a meeting with him for several hours in his Abuja home freshly. The meeting was to compel him to drop his supposedly presidential ambition come 2015.
Mazi Gary Nnachi Enwo-Igariwey it was who said to newsmen in Kalu's premises that he was there to urge Kalu to drop that purpose, having dialogued with Kalu six months ago. In what sounded like a publicity-stunt to restrain Kalu from his ostensibly presidential ambition, Enwo-Igariwey reportedly said that Kalu should join him for Igbo unity and shelve that single purpose, so that the Igbo could speak with one voice. Enwo-Igariwey further said that the Igbo no longer want a situation where they speak with individual divergent views, but that Ndigbo should operate a single agenda in Nigeria. In the interest of peace, Enwo-Igariwey said that Kalu should shelve the ambition until such decisions were made.
Kalu in his charisma responded amongst others that he considered whatever Ndigbo have agreed as superior and have to abide by their decision, because he believes they have their reason for resolving so. Their reason might be more superior to what he thinks; it's not only the Ohanaeze that have been making the appeal to him; there were so many other Igbo elite, sons and daughters both in government and the private sector.
The appeals had come from Lagos, Abuja and the Diaspora. Since it's like that, who's he to say no to their appeals. He couldn't turn down the appeal from Ohanaeze, because he doesn't have anywhere to run to for support. So long as Ndigbo will not derail, he will abide by the discussion with Enwo-Igariwey, which he doesn't want to make public. Kalu said that he would not contest for presidency, because the Igbo must speak with one voice and he won't divide the Igbo nation. He holds the Ohanaeze in high esteem and he wants to make it clear that Ndigbo don't have any other faction of the organisation. There is only one Ohanaeze.
Kalu might have spoken well and holding a clause that he would not make public what he discussed with Enwo-Igariwey on the purportedly presidential ambition, which means that there is more to what Kalu has in mind than what has been fed us in the media. Well, there is one gray area that Kalu should hold at heart about the Ohanaeze's president even though that he does not believe that there is a public office holder who is not labeled to be corrupt.
After reading the conversation between Kalu and Enwo-Igariwey, the News Express of 27/01/2014, came to mind. It could be that Enwo-Igariwey was not speaking his voice owing to the weight that Kalu garners in Igbo land and across the world. Enwo-Igariwey, perhaps, was sent to hoodwink Kalu, hence using Ohanaeze, knowing full well that Kalu is one man who does not joke with the Igbo nation and whatever that would go for the interest of the Igbo. Kalu showed such mettle in a paid advertorial in 2011 before he dropped his presidential ambition, because he believed that his Igbo people had spoken through Ohanaeze that all Igbo should support President Goodluck Jonathan.
But before Kalu should pay heed to anybody or group to contest or withdrew his presidential ambition (if he has any), he should check how trustworthy that person or group is. This is because the dated edition of News Express alleged that Enwo-Igariwey was rewarded with N1.2 billion for the role he played in helping Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to win Nigeria's presidential ballot in 2011. And if this is true or anything to go by, it means that Kalu is the person who bearsthe brunt for withdrawing his apex-political career for the glorification of one man, thinking that he did that for the interest of the Igbo nation and love for fatherland.
Kalu should know that the media outfit was not just writing, but referenced a letter that the Ohanaze Founding Secretary General/Chief Executive, erudite Professor Ben Nwabueze wrote to Chief Goddy Uwazurike, President of the Igbo think tank, Aka Ikenga. News Express said that the letter containing the N1.2 billion given to Enwo-Igariwey for helping Jonathan's ambition was dated 15th January, 2014, and the sharing of this money composited the crisis in Ohanaeze.
Knowing that Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is a peaceful man, the visit of Enwo-Igariwey should be well cross-examined if it were in-line with the mission for the giving of the alleged N1.2 billion. Prof. Nwabueze, if he wrote that letter, Kalu should know that such a personality is not one who says something just for the fun of it, but for the reality in his words. He should be seen as one writing to tarnish the image of the organisation. Ndigbo may not achieve the purpose of speaking with one voice if truly that money is changing hands in Ohanaeze leadership for Mr. President's presidential ambition. Let Kalu not allow anybody or group fight, hurt, take his inner-peace, peace, permission, strength, trials etc., for selfish purpose.
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.
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