By Chuks Okoh
Former Abia State Governor and member Peoples Democratic Party,Dr Orji Uzor Kalu Sunday described the growing acceptance of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), as a big threat and challenge to the ruling People’s Democratic Party ( PDP), which must put its house in order to avert implosion .
Kalu said it is time for PDP members to close ranks and avoid undemocratic practices , else its style of governance could engender the revolt of the people .
Speaking on arrival from United Arab Emirates ( UAE), at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Kalu said the old practice in the PDP with regards to party primaries and elections are no more fashionable.
He said :” The PDP should really know that the All Progressives Congress, APC, is a big challenge to the PDP ,that the more the party comes together to work, the better for everybody.This is because there is a big challenge from the opposition party . I see the country moving towards two party structure and if the country follows that, it is good for democracy, the country and even the poor people.”
He said :” Abia people will never vote PDP into power if I’m not there and that’s the truth. If they think what they did in 2011 to use the military and the security services to rig election will happen again, such a thing can’t happen again. Now, Mu’azu has brought a genuine reconciliation between the governors and some parts of the Jonathan’s outfit and we are very happy with Mu’azu, we are excited to have him as our national chairman and he’s going to do the job he’s sent for. If people think they will rig primaries and rig elections, that is no longer fashionable in this period of our time. ”
He said the new leadership of the PDP is poised to bring all aggrieved members together to deliver people -oriented leadership .
Kalu said :” Adamu Mu’ azu is one of my closest friends, I can tell you that authoritatively, I cannot do anything against his interest, he has already talked with me and some other people, his former colleagues and others and we have given him our words. As long as he’s the chairman, we will give him all the support to do what is good for the party. We stand for equity for the party; good primaries, openness, interest of everybody. All these people who are trying to deprive people from voting, we don’t want to see them. We want to see open primaries and we want a situation where people will be happy to say this is our candidate.”
Kalu said he will not join issues with some elders in Abia State, who have urged the national leadership of the party not to re- absorb him into the PDP fold . He said :” This elders are not good elders. When Alhaji Bamanga Tukur (former national chairman, PDP) came two years ago, they alleged that his PDP membership card was fake. So, how can it be a recurring decimal? I believe that the elders are not thinking right . They are people I cannot abuse or say anything against them.They knew they did this fight with Tukur, they cannot do it with Mu’azu. Mu’azu is a more civilized man, more enlighten and straight forward. They are not
party people, they are not democrats; if they were, they won’t be doing what they are doing.
Honestly, I’m disappointed with some of them and I don’t want to call them names because I have a lot of respect for some of them like Gen. Nwachukwu when he was a governor. I share a lot of sentimental values with him. I cannot abuse him publicly until the day I will see him and whatever I want to tell him, I will tell him. I’m not afraid of talking to anyone of them. I’m not in support of any journalist to insult them, I will never support that because they are elders who have crossed 70 years and I will like to be 70 years old and above and be like them. I can say it here that they are not just sincere; they are pretending to be fighting for Jonathan and the state might not be delivered if we are not there because they are nowhere in Abia.”
He absolved President Jonathan of any blame in the campaign against him by certain Abia elders . Said he :” Mr. President is smarter than those people. He knew and serious talks
have gone on; they are behind.., they are behind ..because President is not with them on this and I can assure you of that. President is fully in support of full reconciliation of every member of PDP so that the party can move forward. I can tell you authoritatively that President is not with them and possibly, he might be laughing at them that they are not genuine democrats.”