• His exit won’t affect PPA –Nkire
Former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu said last Saturday that he returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after an agreement with other founding members of the party, urging him to return. Speaking with newsmen at his Igbere country home, near Umuahia, Kalu said there was no going back on his decision as the PDP executive in Igbere Ward ‘A’ had already issued him a membership card. He said he returned to the PDP to re-jig the party and realise the dreams of its founding fathers.
“All the founding members of PDP have met and decided that we should all go back to our party because if we continue to leave it to the animals, they will put it into shame and Nigerians no longer have confidence in the party,’’ Kalu said. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Kalu was re-admitted to the PDP by his community ward, Igbere Ward ‘A’ on January 16, at Igbere in the Bende Local Government Area. However, Mr. Emma Nwaka, the Abia PDP chairman, had while briefing newsmen on January 18, dismissed Kalu’s claim. Nwaka said all the party’s executive members in Igbere Wards ‘A’ and ‘B’ resigned their positions on January 10.
He also said Chief Amaechi Ukoh, the Igbere Ward ‘A’ chairman who issued the card had resigned and submitted the party’s cards and register to the state’s PDP secretariat. Contrary to Nwaka’s position, Ukoh was sighted at Kalu’s home in company with other officials of PDP’s Igbere Wards ‘A’ and ‘B’. Ukoh told reporters that he was yet to resign as a ward official of the PDP, saying that he was in hiding because the PDP state officials were using military men to trail them in their homes.
“In the past four days, we have been on the run because they are using military men to pursue us in our homes and I use this opportunity to call on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the matter,’’ he said. Kalu also condemned the actions of PDP leadership in Abia over what he described as ‘false propaganda on my re-admission’. “I already have PDP card number 9787845 and there is no going back.’’ He said such un-coordinated propaganda presented the state PDP leadership as not only irresponsible but fake. “We want all these deceits in Abia State to stop because we are going to fight for democracy, we are going to remove inept government and put a credible one in the state. “All those living by propaganda will soon stop; corruption will stop, all the manipulation of Abia people will stop.
“The stealing going in the state will stop and we will call for social justice in Abia,’’ he said. Responding to some questions later, Kalu said he returned to PDP because former President Olusegun Obasanjo vacated the position of PDP Board of Trustee chairmanship, stressing that he left the party because of Obasanjo. “I kept to my position that as long as Obasanjo remained the PDP BoT chairman, I will not return to the party and now that he had left, I am back and will continue to make useful contributions for the growth of the party,’’ he said. Kalu said the only problem he had with Governor Theodore Orji was that he was not delivering quality leadership to the state.
“The members of Abia House of Assembly, commissioners and other people are all complaining that they are not getting anything.” On the allegation of harassment of Igbere PDP officials, Kalu condemned the act and called on President Jonathan and the chief of army staff to intervene. “I am not sure General Azubuike Ihejirika will support that act of the military in Abia. I am not sure Mr. President will equally support that and I do not believe that any right thinking person can support that,’’ he said. Reacting to the news of Dr. Orji Kalu’s return to the PDP, the National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, said his exit from PPA would not affect the party. Nkire said in a statement that as a founding member of PDP, Kalu was free to return to the party or any party of his choice for that matter.
The PPA national chairman said the former Abia State governor left PPA about two years ago and that the party had been functioning ever since. He said political parties were built like churches and mosques with at least two doors: one for entrance and other for exit but without restrictions whatsoever. Nkire said even though his party would have preferred that Kalu would come back to PPA instead of PDP, saying there was no love lost between Dr. Kalu and members of PPA.
According to the PPA boss, the party was currently seeking alliances with other political parties even as it was restructuring and strengthening the party in the states. He urged PPA members not to be discouraged by the sad news but to continue their door-to-door campaign for membership, saying “the future of PPA looks brighter everyday.”