Former governor of Abia State and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has responded to questions bordering on his recent defensive positions on President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is even as he said the recent visit paid by the APC national chairman, governors and a minister to President Muhammadu Buhari in London has also vindicated him.
Recall that Kalu had on June 2nd visited the ailing President in London and told Nigerians that the health of the president was improving with prediction of when he would return.
Since Kalu’s visit, the wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari and the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has also visited and with the hopeful message of improvement on the health of the president
Kalu made the remarks yesterday, during a dinnner hosted in his honour by Dr Nasiru Abubakar in Shanghai, China.
The former governor while speaking on several critical issues also said Nigeria’s greatest problem is tribalism and religion. He said Nigerians are sentimental even in the least expected issues ,and admonished that for the country to move forward, many things should be put aside.
In his response to the questions on why he speaks for President Buhari despite not being his spokesman, Kalu acknowledged that despite not being a spokesman for President Buhari, he is a a member of the APC, and as a member of the APC, he explained: ” It beholds on me to support the government in power . To support the central government which the APC is controlling in Nigeria and to support the policies of the APC. First, I speak as a member of the APC .Second, as a friend of the President .Third, as a Nigerian who wants the country to move forward . ”
“We should try to be our brothers’ keeper.” He continued. “We should also continue to pray for our President . You see, I am excited , because just as we are seated here, the news have it that President Buhari is receiving the national chairman of APC and some Governors on visit .This has vindicated most of us , people wanted to kill us for telling them that President is alive and that President will soon be back . I don’t know what people gain in seeing a leader to die Instead of praying for their leaders . It’s written in both the Bible and Koran that we should pray for our leaders . Our leaders need our prayers they need our help . They need our cooperation .”
Speaking further, he said: “I thank our host, Dr Nasiru Abubakar and the Nigerian community people for the prayers you have been giving to our dear President and I am sure you are aware President is getting well by the day and those who are making hate speeches everywhere; who are abusing Mr. President; who are abusing people like us that are telling them the truth that the President is alive and that the President is doing well and responding to treatment. ”
The eminent businessman also chided accused treasury looters who have held public office and referred to them as ‘shameless people’ for boasting to return to power in 2019
He mentioned that corruption is the greatest challenge of the Nigerian society, adding that people are paying lip service to it .
“People are just saying anything on it . Every Nigerian person should be able to identify corrupt leaders. How can somebody just be given a position ,and in less than two days he is already a very rich man and nobody asks questions . So, I want to encourage all of you to be agents of government; to be agents of progress; to be agents of the necessities of our country. The country needs lot of healing, the country needs a lot of oneness .
In his further explanation of reasons for economic setback of Nigeria, he added that “People have looted this country and are still talking . It’s therefore amazing to see them talking about ruling Nigeria despite the amount of looting they have done.Most of them are walking home freely because nobody is talking about it and it is embarassing ,even to international communities .I am sure most representatives of international communities in Nigeria are amazed about this looting . About three years ago when we first mentioned about this looting, they looked at us like fools but we know that some of them are still shamelessly talking about getting back to rule Nigeria .
“Another set back of Nigeria is greed.” He also explained . He listed cultural re-evaluation, political re-evaluation among others as part of what the country needs urgently. ” Yes, the country needs restructuring, economic restructuring, political restructuring but not to divide the country. The country needs stability to move forward.
He insisted on the unity of the country and condemned hate speeches which he said is a ‘product of miscreants’.
“All those people preaching hate messages calling for dividing the country should desist from it .I am excited that the leader of the Arewa have been talking to me and his statements are very positive .The youth leader of the Arewa Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shetima and I ,have been in touch and am excited from the assurances he has given . The quick notice given to Igbos were products of miscreants ; by people who do not understand what the unity of this country means . Look at the largeness of China and we are still supporting them under one China policy.
“I believe that Nigeria will in the nearest future be good for everybody. I believe that we can live as people and as people who are very civilized . Why should we disintegrate? Instead of us to talk about aquiring more land , we are talking about dividing the country. Of course we can’t support such. ” He also said
Kalu ,who said he was in China to strengthen the business ties of China and Nigeria said he also addresed some prominent Nigerians in Beijing the previous day and was glad to be honored in Shanghai. He expressed his unreserved conviction in the Muhammadu Buhari led administration and urged them to continue supporting the President and the country in any capacity
According to him, “in no distant time, you will see the difference of the APC government .Few days ago I was on the foreign ministry of China to see the director general of African affairs and I reaffirmed to them the good things that President Buhari has done in Nigeria for China. Taiwan offices in Nigeria have been closed and the government recognizes one China policy.
“Every human being can be sick including me. I am not an immortal, anybody created by God almighty can be sick any day . Nigeria is going to do very well with APC government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. We know we have a set back and we know the ruling party has done very well in some areas but we have not handled the economy very well but this is due to the fall of oil prices in the international market . You people live here in China ,you see what is also happening and how major companies are gong through hard times.”He stated
In his remarks, Dr Abubakar thanked him for sharing his time with the Nigerian community in Shanghai. He noted that their support for President Buhari is largely for his integrity. He also thanked Kalu for his immeasurable support to the president and assured him of continuous support to the incumbent administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari .