The Chairman of G37, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has dispelled insinuations that the group was nursing an ambition of forming and launching a new political party as claimed in some newspapers and online news medium.Speaking from Liberia, through his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, said G37 is just a gathering of like minds who have come together to share experiences and knowledge on the state of the Nigerian nation with the aim of contributing their own quota to the promotion of good governance for the betterment of Nigeria and Nigerians. Kalu, who said he remains a committed member of the Peoples Democratic Party, noted that the G37’s membership cuts across different political parties and affiliations, religion and geographical zones, making it apolitical and neutral.
He further stated that the group is not an agent of any political party or individual, adding: “It is a selfless effort for the collective interest of our fatherland, Nigeria and nothing else. “We are working for the unity and progress of our country in order to make it a better place to live. “We are concerned about insecurity, employment creation, power and other infrastructure amongst others and this is the common vision we all share as members and agreed to maintain.”
Kalu debunked the claim that the alleged single term agreement President Goodluck Jonathan had with some governors in 2011 was a discussion at the last meeting of the group held in Abuja on February 20, 2013, as reported in the media. He said: “We are not a court of law and have no legal jurisdiction to take decisions in this regard and we are not interested in party politics as far as the group is concerned.
“We are concentrating our time and ideas to the corporate Nigeria project where an average Nigerian can vote and be voted for without fear or intimidation, sustaining our growing democracy. “You will agree with me that once the voting right of the average Nigerian is protected, it will translate into good governance.
“We are only concerned with issues that will promote and sustain good governance where Nigerians can afford three square meals, live in peace and do their businesses in a friendly environment.”
Kalu also clarified that Dr. Wale Babalakin is not a member of G37 but only came to visit a member of the group at the venue of the meeting.In another development, Kalu has hailed the appointment of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State as the Chairman of PDP Governor’s forum. He said the decision is “a timely and welcome development that will add value to our great party PDP.”
He described Governor Akpabio as a tested, trusted and patriotic Nigerian who has the goodwill, experience and intellectual capacity to handle the challenging assignment, which is evident with his achievements in Akwa Ibom State.He stated further that the PDP Governors’ Forum was long overdue and thanked the party hierarchy for initiating the move at this time that all political parties are restructuring ahead of the forthcoming elections. He noted that this will provide a
platform and opportunity for the 26 PDP governors to come together under one roof to share practical experiences and strategies to drive the party manifesto for the well being of Nigerians. He charged the leadership of the PDP Governors’ Forum to see the assignment as selfless for the repositioning of the party and called on Akpabio to adopt a participatory approach so as to promote good working relations with his colleagues, the National Working Committee of the PDP and other stakeholders of the party.
In a related development, the Chairman of the Publicity Committee of G37, Senator Emmanuel Onwe, has also said the group was formed for the betterment of the country and not as a political party.Onwe, in a statement, said the group was out to discuss national issues.He said: “A press report about our group G37 was leaked to the media yesterday. Given the slant and false impression that the story gave we believe that it is important and expedient to clarify the relevant issues and let the world know precisely who we are and what we stand for. The G37 comprises of politicians, professionals and businessmen from all over the country who have an interest in the unfolding political scenario in our country and who seek to make an input in the development of Nigeria.”We are non-partisan, which means that our members and leaders are drawn from all the major political parties and indeed some of our members are not in any party at all. We
have created a strong platform where Nigerians from every part of the country and from all the various political divides can sit together and discuss national issues, forge national unity and cohesion and help our country to move forward.
Every state of our country is well represented in the group and we are not affiliated to any political party even though most of our members are playing a leading role in all the major political parties that exist in Nigeria today. It is not our intention to form a new political party and neither did we ever discuss or deliberate about the single term agenda in our last meeting.”The mission statement of our group will soon be released and at the appropriate time new leaders will be elected to lead the group because the present leadership is merely an interim
arrangement. It is not the style of our group to go running to the press on every issue because most of our work, meetings and deliberations are done in the strictest privacy and confidence and are held behind the scenes.”We intend to make our input to national development in a very unique and innovative way and we will discuss and make appropriate comments on various national issues from time to time when we see fit. We have had numerous meetings in the last few months and judging from the increased attendance at each of them and the massive interest that has been shown in the group by leaders and people from all over the country we
shall surely flourish and go from strength to strength. “We consider what we are doing as being vital to the development of our nation and we call on the finest and most brilliant minds in the land to join us and make their own input to the restoration and development of our great country. Our doors are open to all and our primary mission is to join our efforts with others from across party lines to move Nigeria forward.”