Nigerian state governors on Thursday approved the release of $1 billion from the country’s excess oil account to the government to help fight the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency. The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to Nigeria’s accountant general. “We are pleased with the…
Says North should produce presidency in 2019
Former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has identified marginalisation as the main reason for agitations all over the country, including that of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“I did not say anything bad about IPOB agitation, they have the right to carry their flags around and agitate, but, they don’t have the right to separate Nigeria,” said Kalu.
This was even as the business mogul said the if President Muhammadu Buhari is not contesting, although he is constitutionally entitled to a second term, the North should still present a candidate because this is the region’s turn.
Kalu spoke in Minna, Niger State, yesterday, in an interaction with newsmen, shortly after he visited former military President, Ibrahim Babangida.
The former goveror pointed out that the unity of Nigeria is more important than individual interest.
Kalu insisted that he was misunderstood on comments about whereabouts of the IPOB leader.
“What I said was clear, Nnamdi Kanu’s brother told me that he (Nnamdi) has left the country.
“I was not looking for him for any bad intention. I was looking for him, to be able to let the federal authority know that he was with me and no Army or Police can take him away from me. I did that so we can discuss the way forward.
“People misunderstood my intention. I was just after peace because burning down our state (Abia) wouldn’t have been the best.
“And, again, the lives of over 15 million Igbo living in the North are more important than one person; that was the issue. So, we needed to take control of the situation.”
He disclosed that the solution to agitations is justice and fairness, by the federal government.
“Build my roads, give me water, let my children have access to good school, I mean fairness and we will respect the law.
“The absence of all these is responsible for whatever agitation you are seeing. It is not only the South East that is being marginalised, every part of this country is being marginalised.
“When I was coming, I passed through the Minna-Suleja Road and I concluded that it is not only the eastern part of the country that is being marginalised. All parts of the country are being marginalised. Nigeria and Nigerians need new orientation from A to Z, and that is the only solution.”
Kaly said he was in Minna to see General Babangida as has been the tradition since he (Babangida) visits him every year.
“I am in Minna because it is one of my homes and also this is one of my regular visits to Minna.
“So, my visit has no political undertone. I come here regularly, at least twice, every year.”
Asked if he would contest the 2019 presidency, if Buhari does not run, he replied: “ I am a Nigerian, I am entitled to it, but, as I will always say, and I maintain my position, northerners should be allowed to complete their second term.
“If Buhari is not contesting, although he is entitled to second term, the North should still present a candidate because this is the turn of the North.
“Other zones should be ready for 2023, but, for now, I still maintain my position and I am not afraid of anybody.
“This is the turn of the North. Anybody can take me for what I say. Whoever is castigating me over my position on this is wasting his time.
“I live by the truth and I will be ready to speak the truth always. Opinion is an entitlement, and that is my opinion given to me by God.”
Kalu also visited the Niger State Governor, was also at the Gover Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House.
He commended Governor Bello for ensuring a peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups in the state in view of the tension in the country.
He particularly commended the governor for his role in dousing tension following the October 1 quit notice to Igbo by Arewa youths. He said the governor’s various peace meetings among various ethnic groups in the state is highly commendable.
“This is what makes a great leader. A leader is not only known by his developmental strides, but, the way and manner he ensures peaceful coexistence among the people, stands a leader out, because no meaningful development can be achieved without peace.
In his remarks, the governor aligned with his guest in the area of marginalisation, saying Niger State is highly marginalised in the area of roads as the state has one of the worst federal roads in the country.
“Despite various interventions to fix the roads, the haulage by articulated vehicles have not helped matters.
“I went out to inspect these roads and discovered that they are now in worst condition, and because of this, we will soon come up with a law banning the movement of these trucks, especially those carrying excess load on our roads.