Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu yesterday urged Nigerians to desist from spreading messages of hate and division about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said is fast recuperating, when he visited him in London last week.
Kalu said it was inhuman for some Nigerians to spread messages of falsehood about the health of Buhari.
Speaking in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Kalu said Nigerians should rather pray for Mr President,to enable him recover fast and return to his duty post.
Kalu said he visited London to have first hand knowledge of the state of health of Buhari .
While speaking earlier at a function in London Kalu said President Buhari would be returning to Nigeria before June 11.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, he said : ” I went to Washington to visit some business partners and from there stopped at London to see Mr President, who is recovering very fast . I am excited over the state of health of President Buhari despite the hate messages people were spreading about him. I am disappointed with the statement coming from some Nigerians about the health of Mr President. The messages some Nigerians have been spreading in the social media is unhealthy. I am calling on Nigerians to have a change of heart. Being a President does not mean, you cannot be sick, the hate messages are becoming too much . There must be good sense of tolerance among the ethnic groups, we are all one.”
Kalu said it is wrong to embark on any assessment of the duties of the acting President, whom he said is carrying out his constitutional duties. Osinbajo he said should continue to discharge his constitutional duties.
He commended Lagos State Government on the 50 years anniversary noting that other states should copy the template of governance where there is continuity of projects in the state.
Kalu said : ” Since 1999, the governance of Lagos State has been the same.There is continuity of programmes and projects. The problem with other states is that their leadership need exposure to replicate what is in Lagos. To achieve what Lagos State has done is to continue with the programmes and programnme. I commend Governor Ambode for what he has done, his giant strides are remarkable.”
On the state of the nation, Kalu said Buhari has done well in the fight against insurgency and the war against corruption . But, noted the government should obey constitutional provisions as it affects the judicial arm of government.
He said : “The government has done well, but there is a lot of suffering in the land. The masses are suffering , going through economic problems , the administration has done well, but must obey the laws of the land, by respecting judicial processes. Government must pursue the hardware and software of democracy. that includes the rule of law and respect of the constitution.
On the sit at home order by IBOP, Kalu said it is wrong for people to sit at home, because it will affect the economy of the South East.He said though the people have a right to agitate, but calls for enlightenment on the need to pursue a united country .
He said : ” Most of people may not understand what the issues are, but, with time they will soon understand. There is strength in Unity, God did not make a mistake by putting us in one country. ”
Meanwhile, Kalu has pleaded with students in United Kingdom to emulate lives of Muslims and Christians in places like Banjul, Senegal , Sierria Leone , Liberia among others whom he said cohabitate peacefully and enjoin each other to celebrate their different religious festivals without prejudice.
He also charged them to join other Nigerians in praying for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he disclosed to have visited earlier in London . He also added that the President would be returning to Nigeria before June 11.
Kalu made the call while addressing African students from Oxford University including staff and students drawn from Oxford Brookes University , Bellerbys College and neighbouring colleges in Oxford, United Kingdom during a Ramadan fast breaking dinner he hosted.
He accused African leaders of using sentiments to cause hatred among the populace in the cover of religion.
Nigerians advocating for religious considerations according to him do not love humanity but their political interests.
“African leaders and people should stop causing problems, there is a lot of hatred being preached in Nigeria. I am always excited when ever I go to Gambia, Senegal, Liberia, Freetown and I see Muslims and Christians sharing things in common. I wish it could have been in Nigeria because the Christmas in Banjul looks like a Sallah in Banjul and Sallah in Banjul
looks like a Christmas in Banjul . You hardly recognize the difference, so those of you who are not from Nigeria might not
know what you are enjoying. But I am sure that with increasing religious enlightenment on tolerance and understanding Nigeria people should be doing same ,” he said
Speaking on Ramadan observed by Muslims, Kalu stated that although he is a committed Catholic by faith, it doesn’t restrict his association with Muslims.
According to him, he has been observing Ramadan for the past 25 years adding that part of his upbringing was by Hausa Fulani .
“I am a committed Catholic, it takes a good Christian to respect a good Muslim and vice versa. It is bilateral. So I believe that we Africans should start living in peace. Although this is not the first nor the second time of coming to your school ,but I am grateful for the time we are spending together today and above all ,breaking fast together with you. Prior to my daughter’s entrance to this university, I have always visited on invitation for participation in your programmes. With me here is Mr Saheed he is from Pakistan and has been my friend . He also used to work with President Pervez Musharraf and Musharraf is also in London I have also seen him. So you can see that we are all families. There is no difference
between Christians and Muslims. It is only people who want to use it for political reasons that preach this all over the world.
“I want you to remain committed to peace and oneness. You shouldn’t wait to be told that we want you to leverage on your education and exposure and preach peace all over Africa especially Nigeria.
Speaking further, he said, “You should preach against terrorism and preach against killers; those who don’t want us to live in peace Those of you from Nigeria should not forget to pray for your President. He is in London and I just finished seeing him before coming here. He is doing very fine and will soon return to the country to continue his work. Both the Bible and Koran request us to be praying for our leaders and it is good you keep praying for our leaders.
“There is nothing wrong in anybody being sick, there is nothing wrong with anybody being in hospital, but there is everything wrong in people wishing their fellow human beings dead. It is un-ethical, it is not acceptable by any norm, any religion ,any person or anybody. President Buhari is sincerely committed to putting the country in its supposed shape. My friendship with him spans across years and I am convinced he is committed to moving our country forward .
Kalu noted that President Buhari still needs to make sure his lieutenants respect constitutional authorities, obey rule of law and imbibe in democratic process laws.
In acknowledgement, a senegalese, Dr Mohammed Usman thanked Kalu for his visit and time shared with the community.
“We thank you very much for being here today. We are Muslims and we like your concern towards building a society that abhors religious fanaticism . Thank you very much and may Almighty Allah bless you as we hope to see you again” he said.