Fred Ezeh, Abuja The Archbishop of Benin City Catholic diocese, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akabueze, has been elected the new President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Also, the Bishop of Umuahia Catholic diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, emerged the Vice president of the conference, while the Bishop of Ikot-Ekpene diocese, Most…
IT is unprecedented in the history of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sometime ago, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party granted one of its founding members/foundational financiers and former governor of Abia State Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu (and three other stalwarts) especial waivers to return to the party and also contest the latest Abia North senatorial election on its erstwhile all-conquering platform in Dr. Kalu’s case.
Before this epochal intervention, a few charlatanistic fellows in the Abia chapter of the party who were merely provincial secretariat operatives had since 2011 when Dr. Kalu re-defected to the party consistently fed the public with tissues of lies on the non-membership of Kalu in the party he co-founded when most of these local champions had not seen the day! The absurdity of it all was that virtually all the persecutors and Kalu-haters were people biting the hand that had fed them in their days of anonymity and political insignificance, nay inconsequentiality. Kalu’s beneficence to these ingrates remains a subject for future sociological enquiries.
All manner of combative efforts and vicious ingenuities were thrown up in the inexplicable criminalization of the routine process of entry, exit and return to political associations. Even the country’s Constitution in Sections 36, 37 and 38 recognizes the citizens’ inalienable right to associate freely without any manacles by any individual or corporate.
The clownishness of the failed dismembering of Kalu from the PDP family got to its summit when deviant references were made to his disrespect for the state’s leadership of the party and use of expletives that lacked remorsefulness for an imaginary offence. I doubt if there is any former governor in this country that has received invectives as much as Kalu from poverty-stricken people who are suffering from acute stomach infrastructural deficiency and survive exclusively on successive government’s regular dole-outs.
Why were the oppositional forces against the return of Kalu frightened? Why are they afraid of him? Is it the man’s supranational political and economic profile that intimidates those vehemently opposed to him? As I had stated sometime ago, Kalu is irrefutably a political asset that is misunderstood and mismanaged by acrimonious people who ideally should be synergizing with him. This misperception of Kalu is the spring of his strained relationship with grassroots party stakeholders, so-called elders and ad hoc ‘Abia Patriots’ (thoughtlessly empanelled for the defence of T. A. Orji’s controversial legacies).
The global excitement and jubilation that greeted Dr. Kalu’s formal return to the party were unparalleled. In all parts of the country, there was this messianic feeling that a man that would redeem and restore the conquistadorial pedigree of the PDP in the South East generally and Abia particularly has finally come back. As to be expected, if anyone had the illusion that those opposed to Dr. Kalu would allow sleeping dogs lie they were mistaken as the dust has been kicked up again for the ultimate fiasco! I just hope that some people would not cut their nose and spite their faces in the unjustifiable witch-hunt of Dr. Kalu.
This political novelty could not have been possible if not for the sagacity of the party’s former National Chairman, Alhaji (Dr.) Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, CON, Walin Bauchi, whose reformist agenda while in charge of the PDP Wadata Plaza catalyzed the come-back process for Dr. Kalu and three other key members of the party. It would be foolhardy for any party leader to ignore Dr. Kalu’s teeming supporters and followers. He is so popular in the South East particularly in and out of government that with his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political fortunes of the ruling party will experience a revolutionary swell. It is this famousness of Dr. Kalu that is discomfiting the few vanishing critics of his domiciled in Abia. I take off my hat to Alhaji Mu’azu for his forthright intervention in the resolution of this hypocrisy—at least for posterity.
Even in the face of provocative asininities, Dr. Kalu remained calm and philosophical in addressing some of the phantom issues raised by those who shiver over his dominance of Abia and South East politics. He never for one day used foul language on the party or its leadership. Apparently, he knew that it was a question of time before the rascals in Abia would be cut to size as has happened. And despite the imbecilities by local war-lords, Dr. Kalu continued to demonstrate his unflinching support for the PDP which he partly evolved with like-minds.
On the heels of this was a bizarre effrontery by the Abia PDP wing which thoughtlessly took a full page advertorial in THE NATION ON SUNDAY sometime to discredit and disclaim their political godfather! I wonder how they would be feeling now with this unassailable and unimpeachable APC masterstroke.
The Kalu exclusion brazenness by the Abia PDP impolitic combatants reeked of rascality that could only be associated with blokes on a weird mission of ragamuffin idiocy. And to compound matters, the treacherous and traitorous elements involved in this pugilistic enterprise adopted bohemianism as the instrumentality of war. In the obscene process, they unwittingly exhibited and advertised their crass irresponsibility, amnesia and systemic small-mindedness!
Men that should ordinarily be gentle, taciturn and decorous became wild, intemperately garrulous and incautious themselves and employed a legion of loquacious chaps who embarked on unrestrained media frenzy of deconstructing and demystifying whatever Kalu stood for. Even his aides were not spared as my own abduction case is still fresh to be rehashed here. It was a free for all kamikaze kind of political warfare: everything was thrown in to diminish the Igbere icon and his vociferous followers like this columnist, who doubles as his media advisor among other official and personal engagements/assignations. In all the specious allegations against Dr. Kalu, there was no thread of substance. Even the propaganda lacked logic because there was no iota of truth in the falsehood that was massively circulated among jaundiced online portals and a few yellowish publications that were inevitably driven by survivalist instincts that endemically enveloped them to the point of asphyxiation.
With the historic defection of Dr. Kalu to the APC, there are unlikely to be further invidious brainwaves from his traducers of yore. I rest this case on the optimistic and reconciliatory note that the Abia PDP political brigandage that culminated in interminable character assassination of Dr. Kalu has, finally, come to an end with the currency of his political deft move. No more diatribes and innuendoes from the fractured and factionalized PDP, especially from the fringe PDP rascals in Abia.
One thing is clear to one and all: with Kalu’s entry into the APC, the party’s fortunes in the South East and South South particularly—and even pan-Nigeria—can only be experienced. Critics who insist that Kalu’s political vicissitudes in Abia State engineered by a combination of defunct oppositional and state governmental forces are liabilities miss the point as such factors no longer exist to God’s glory.