Ask any right thinking person from Umuahia, the hometown of Governor T.A Orji of Abia State, whom he or she preferred between Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the former governor of the state and T.A Orji, that person will vehemently shout, “Orji Uzor Kalu Is Our Man”. This is to tell you how popular, admired and loved that Kalu is in and out of Abia State. You may go to the North or West and ask the same question; the answer is not different.
But one wouldn’t understand why Governor Orji has been using rented groups that only exist in the media to harass himself, thinking that he was embarrassing Kalu, who has been handling these issues with enough maturity. The other time, it was “17 LGAs frown at Kalu’s re-admission into the PDP,” “Ohanaeze Youths Are Against Kalu” and many other useless sponsored articles and phantom protests (without pictures) we have been reading in the news recently against one affably man called Kalu.
For the past months I have been traversing every part of Abia State on investigation of who Kalu is than what we read in news. In his clan of the state, any Bende person you meet and ask about Kalu, the person would say in affirmative: “We the people of Bende and Igbo at large are proud of Orji Uzor Kalu.” And when you ask about T.A Orji in Umuahia, the answer usually is, “Forget about T.A Orji and his men. They have exhausted their political relevance. Theirs is a non issue.”
Kalu is one of the few that the country has not tapped their intellectuality. OUK, as he is fondly called, comparing him with T.A Orji is like comparing the military with the democrats. While Kalu represents the latter, the other represents the former. The only job that T.A Orji has found to do in Abia, where people are asking for good governance and provision of basic amenities, spill over investments, production and employment and the private sectors development, is to be using taxpayers’ money to lead rented protests against Kalu. T.A Orji thought that this will ensure hurried improvement in that state, to enable the people attain a better environment. Hooey!
It would be very absurd to use the word ‘mess’ to characterize the government in Abia, but we can use the word, except there is equivalent option. Who told T.A Orji that Abia cannot be like Enugu and Akwa Ibom States? To start with. What we have seen in place of that are lies upon lies from the Abia State government apparatuses of how they have developed the underdeveloped Abia State, which Kalu did his best for in his time as governor. Today, because of the posturing of T.A Orji in being a ‘hard man’ the people have nicknamed him Mike Tyson. The irony of this is that T.A Orji is not boxing to save Abia from all forms of decadence; rather, he is boxing and kicking every contrary opinion to his make-belief ones. The real Mike Tyson is a celebrity, but the one in Abia State is the obverse.
Ask anybody in Abia State, the person would tell you that Kalu introduced free education, road in Aba was fair under him, and he never called rented crowds to praise sing him. However, upon how T.A Orji uses the rented crowd to extol himself against Kalu, the people know how to get him noticed quick and fast – pelting him with pebbles and satchet water. It has happened severally and if not for the arsenal of security men that T.A Orji uses any where he went now, more satchet water would have been used to welcome him into any gathering.
But during the Kalu era as governor of Abia State, there was nothing like that. Rather, one would see people arguing in his defense and were ready to fight just for Kalu. Ask any observer the first achievement of T.A Orji, the answer would be: The only achievement that is recordable and traceably to T.A Orji was that he is the first governor in eastern Igbo-land to chase away all Igbo citizens of other states working in Abia State Civil Service, something that cannot happen anywhere in the world. Because of T.A Orji’s myopia, he made people who were not from Abia to bite the dust in the Civil Service. This is the man renting crowd against Kalu – his political benefactor?
Kalu has been described as the most selfless patriot in Igbo-land after Ikemba .One observer said: This man would have made fortunes if he was corrupt and selfish as some hirelings want us to believe, if he had supported OBJ third term agenda. But all the businesses he built years before becoming governor, were serially killed by OBJ, yet Kalu never yielded. A man that can dash PDP with half a billion and another one million dollars to OBJ campaign one year before becoming governor, must be wealthy, no one has disputed that, and many other facts enunciated. People just display emotion, and accuse Kalu wildly without facts. The puzzle is why are some people disturbed about his return to PDP? OBJ deregistered OUK, and forced him out of PDP. He was able to deliver the present governor, via PPA, and the two states he won their governors left the party, and you want him to remain? I advise Ndigbo to know that OUK remains one of the very few hopes Ndigbo have, politically.
This is the Kalu that T.A Orji has been renting crowd for? Another critic said what he observed of Kalu thus: What I see in the life of Kalu is humility, which most Igbo political leaders like T.A Orji do not possess. He has apologized enough to Abians. He should stop feeling guilty for mobilizing Ndi’Abia to vote for T.A. Orji as governor, who has shown the height of mis-governance.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, contributed this piece from Rivers State. Email: [email protected]