• We want you in our fold
The National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, has chided Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, and other politicians from the state for leaving everything they were doing to travel to Abuja to protest the rumoured return of a former Governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement yesterday, Nkire said that the PPA would always welcome Kalu to its holds any day.
The PPA chairman said the opposition to Kalu’s return to the PDP, spearheaded by Governor Orji, and the desire of his party to have the former governor in its fold, were a clear case of “one man’s meat being another man’s poison.”
He said although the news that Kalu wants to return to PDP was a rumour he does not believe, the former governor should not bother himself trying to rejoin a political party that does not value his worth or wants him back, even though, according to him, nobody has the right to prevent him from joining any party of his choice.
According to him, it was unusual for a party to adopt a policy, whereby intending members are rejected, “except they were under-aged or people of unsound mind,” adding that even ex-convicts are not prevented from joining political parties, provided they can obey the by-laws. The PPA chairman expressed surprise that Governor Orji and other top politicians in Abia State left what they were doing to embark on a trip to Abuja to protest Kalu’s return to PDP.
“I am surprised by the number and calibre of the delegation that spent time and money to go and make a request, which should not succeed under normal circumstances,” he said. He seized the opportunity to appeal to members of PPA across the country to pursue the ongoing membership drive with zeal and vigour. It will be recalled that the reconciliatory efforts of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) suffered a setback on Wednesday, as chieftains of the party stormed the party’s national secretariat in Abuja to protest the rumoured return of Kalu.
Led by the Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, the PDP chieftains, including Colonel Austin Akubundu, Senators Nkechi Nwogu and Eyinnaya Abaribe and former National Chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, the protesters told the party’s national leadership to align itself with their feeling of the party’s chieftains. National Vice Chairman, South East of the PDP, Colonel Akubundu, who read ‘the position paper of the Abia stakeholders on the re-admission of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu to the party,’ said that the return of the former governor would undermine the peaceful co-existence and camaraderie, existing among party stalwarts in the state.
Governor Orji, who made his remarks after the presentations by Colonel Akubundu, said: “My people have spoken and I don’t need to repeat what they have said. Our strength has been that we fought a common enemy. If we have to retain that strength, we have to keep the common enemy at bay. There is no need for reconciliation in Abia; we are at peace with ourselves. We don’t want any distraction in Abia, as it will be a disservice to our people.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier statement on the possibility of his returning to the party, Kalu had said that it was not on his agenda. He said his present pre-occupation with the Njiko Ndigbo pressure group would not even enable him to show bias towards any party for now. He said: “My concern now is for Igbo presidency in 2015.
Any party that would give Ndigbo the platform to get to the presidency in 2015 is the one I will align with.” Kalu said that if it took so many people from Abia State, many of whom, he noted, do not have followers, to go beg PDP to illegally fence him out in a democracy, then it was an indication of the fact that he is still the issue in Abia State politics.