From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja The decision to retain health maintenance organisations (HMOs) as part of the country’s health insurance programme caused a major disagreement between the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services and the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Yusuf Usman. Usman, at the just concluded two-day investigative hearing…
• Asks Buhari to tackle economy
Billionaire businessman and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has tasked judges to emulate their colleagues in the United States instead of compromising on justice.
This is even as he commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against terrorism, urging him us similar tactics to fix the economy.
Speaking in Washington DC, United States yesterday, during a dinner hosted by Chief Daniel Eke, Kalu said the US judiciary is strong, which was evidenced with what happened between it and President Donald Trump.
He said all the judiciaries in Africa, especially Nigeria should stand up and emulate US and other countries
“They should stand up and give us judgment by the law, no matter the condition they find themselves,” he said.
The former governor decried situations where judges jail innocent citizens for something they never did, adding that it was time people rose to defend the judiciary.
Recounting the genesis of his case with Nigerian anti-graft agency, Kalu said he had declined many interviews over the lingering case, noting that since it is already in a court of competent jurisdiction, it was appropriate he reserves his comments.
He also lamented the ill-treatment he has received from his former party, the PDP, which he claimed had benefited very much from him.
He said: “We need to know that living on rumour and accusing people of something they never did, accusing genuine leaders who means well, of alleged wrong they never did. All of you know that if the PDP was a company, I ought to own 90 per cent of it, because in 1998 I gave the party its first N500 million. By then, I wasn’t in government. I also gave the presidential candidate, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, over N100 million in 1998.
“How many Nigerians would have done that? Yet the same government, the same PDP, took my bank, took my airline, took my oil licence, to put me out of business entirely because I proposed that I must run for president in 2007, I also opposed the 3rd term, which they are denying today.”
Further speaking , he said: “Yes I am being tried by the EFCC, but I have people who work with British intelligence. I have people who work with United States intelligence and they know that even when President Obasanjo wrote to Tony Blair about me, Tony Blair told him they won’t arrest me me in London because I was not corrupt. When he also wrote to President Bush Junior, he wrote him back and told him they won’t arrest me because I hadn’t committed any offence.”
Kalu said God used people like him to pull Nigeria together, adding that Nigerians know those who are corrupt and urged the law enforcement agencies not to overlook them
“The law enforcement agencies should go after them and fight corruption, which is a major challenge to Nigeria’s development. I am a trustee of Nigeria dream, but a few Nigerians are putting what I put in 1998 of which most of them today are billionaires, but nobody ask them how they made the money. These are people who couldn’t afford one kobo, one naira or one cent for their living.
“So, people should fight corruption the right way. Obviously, I cannot talk about this now because we are already in the court of record and court of competent jurisdiction. I believe the court will decide who is right and wrong. I believe in the liberty and profoundness of the judiciary and I believe in the sanctity of the law and I believe that the law should not be a respecter of nobody, people should respect the law and not the law respecting them.
“I also believe that if I am wrong I should be punished and if I am right I should be asked to go to my house, because, I have suffered, internationally. I have lost all the credit lines I am doing business with. We have lost reward from international business people. We have lost doing business with them for the past 10 years and we have lost almost everything, but we give thanks to God. “ Kalu who spoke amid many professionals drawn from different fields, including US intelligence, restated his belief in a unified Nigeria with restructuring and also urged the Nigerian President to extend his success in fight against terrorism to the economy.
He said: “ Restructuring is a must. If we restructure politically and economically and reduce the states to eight or 10 regions or federating units, we will be in the states and contribute to the federal.
“I call on the president to tackle the economy, the same way he tackled Boko Haram, so that Nigerians will benefit from their country because Nigerians are not asking for much, they are only asking for three meals on their table, decent health care, decent school for their children, decent places for them to go and move freely for their business. I must commend the President and all the service Chiefs for the good job they are doing especially in winning the terrorism fight. “
Speaking on President Buhari, who the former governor said their friendship ties dated over 25 years, Kalu reiterated that Buhari’s presidential emergence was providential and should be supported. He sympathised with the family of the President for their hard times during the president’s illness
His words: “Buhari is back to give Nigerians qualitative leadership, I sympathise with the family of the president for the trauma they have gone through, I sympathiae with his relations and Nigerians in general, and as a Katsina tittle holder, Mayaki Katsina, for the trauma we went through during the president stay in United Kingdom. The President is human. He can be sick like every other Nigerian. He can see things he never planned for. He never envisioned he would fall sick but only God knows the reason.
“I have known him closely for over 25 to 30 years, so I can talk about him; but this is not the time to talk about him, we will only pray to God to that he should have the desire to give Nigeria constitutional development, constitutional leadership that will change the suffering of the Nigerian people who are today looking for food.”
Kale gave assurance that the coming of Buhari was not man-made. “It is from God. He might be imperfect in some areas but he is also perfect in many other areas. God will use his perfect areas to re-establish his name in Nigeria. God will use his perfect areas to re-access for the common man. Things are very difficult. Yes, I agree, but I call on the president to use everything he has within his power to bring back the economy to where it ought to be. I don’t need to say much tonight, but I want us to continue celebrating Nigeria.