- By Peter Eze
Ahead of the February 16 general election, the All progressive Congress (APC) candidate for Abia North senatorial zone, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, on Tuesday, intensified campaign efforts, as his team embarked on a vigorous exercise on the streets and suburbs of Abia central senatorial zone canvassing for votes for the APC.
This is even as the campaign has been scheduled to extend to Aba and its suburbs
Speaking during the campaign at the various areas visited in Umuahia amid excitement and cheers from teeming party supporters and admirers.
Kalu thanked God for using him to serve Abia. He said it is only those that rig themselves into power that lacks the conscience to govern well. “If people vote for you, you will love them and the love will force you to govern with your conscience. But when you rig yourself into power, you will be full of hatred for your people because they never wanted you in the first place. That is why someone would be in a political office with no single achievement and still incur unimaginable debts. It is because there is no love for the people in the first place. You must resist anybody from rigging your election,” He stated
Kalu who did not hide his displeasure over the decayed governance of the people’s Democratic Party led government in Abia prayed God to give Abians strength, wisdom and foresight to vote out the non- performing PDP.
He said he wondered what his successor T.A Orji and incumbent Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu did with Abia money despite the huge allocations they received in eight and three and half years respectively.
Reeling out figures , the business mogul said, “For the eight years I was governor , the total allocation for us was 100 billion naira . That of T.A Orji for eight years was 850 billion naira while Ikpeazu’s three and half years is 650 billion naira . Despite the heavy funds that came into their administration they have done nothing . They don’t even pay salaries nor pensions. All their payments are on radio.
What sort of governance is that ?
Kalu queried while the crowd responded with hisses and anger against the PDP government
Continuing to speak, Kalu said that when he was governor and until he left, “Abia debt profile as confirmed by Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was zero but today, the state government debt profile is 101 billion naira as confirmed by the Abia State commissioner of finance .What are they doing with the money? Despite our little allocation, we never owed salaries nor pensions . We gave 100% subsidy to Abia State university and everything was affordable. We paid leave allowances to civil servants. But after we left, T.A hiked the fees and today, school fees in ABSU is outrageous.“ the former governor stated
Instructing the people to vote out T. A Orji who is also the Senatorial candidate for Abia central zone, the Mmiri ririenyi of Igbo land said that when he was governor, “Igbo people were same in Abia, Nigerians were same in Abia. There was no Anambra, Enugu or Imo in Abia. We were all equal and our employment had no boundary. We employed everyone despite your state of origin. Sokoto indigenes worked here, people from Kaduna, Kano worked here. But when I left, they started tribalism even against our own brothers from neighboring states. Does that make sense at all? God has made us one and we just need to leverage on that.
“Whoever is telling you that APC is Muslim party, please is PDP Christian party? Political party is like church, some come to seek salvation, some seek prosperity. Others want to show off their new dresses while some even come to find boyfriends and girlfriends. So don’t believe their lies. You must vote out incompetence in this state. Vote APC all the way.
“For Abia central senate, you must not just vote out ochendo, you people should give him leave town because he doesn’t deserve to live with humans. That Ibeku criminal must go. And you must cast your vote with no intimidation. Anyone that touches any APC member will be pounded like pounded yam.” Kalu warned
Among others who spoke at different places was Chief Martins Ikechukwu Apugo, the APC candidate for Umuahia/ Ikwuano Federal constituency. He appreciated Dr Kalu’s human empowerment gesture, especially the leadership role he played in the political life of virtually every politician in the state. He equally appealed to the people to make the right choice by voting APC in all the election.
He accused the PDP of “killing Abia State” adding that Abia people must use their vote to send out the PDP whom he referred to as “evil men “out.
“We can’t continue to be lead by wicked, heartless people , even the Bible forbids that.” He said
In each suburb and ward, the people sang “Kpooya Ojiugwo” song which means call them perennial debtors. The song introduced by Kalu in reference to PDP’s non-payment of salaries has become the most popular political song in Abia.
It was indeed a colourful outing for Kalu and the APC in Abia State as the exercise lasted till late in the evening.