- By Ukpono Aniefiok
Having bowed to the plea of the apex Igbo Socio-cultural Group, the Ohaneze Ndigbo to shelf his presidential ambition in 2015, little did Nigerians know that a few years ago; 2013 to be precise, an international media outfit had for utmost reasons singled out Orji Uzor Kalu amongst other candidates for the presidential race.
The Washington Times which is a reputable news organization that provides an in-depth analysis on politics, business, world national news and more with awards to its credit, featured an article on the Nigerian political economy.
The columnist, Marian L. Tupy who is a renowned policy analyst and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, in the papers’ analysis captioned: “Nigeria’s Reagan?”, identified and endorsed Orji as Nigeria’s Ronald Reagan if he vies for the presidency.
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States was well known for his “Reagan Revolution” wherein he produced a significant shift in public policy through his “supply-side” economics or “Reaganomics” as many referred, as well as his active and assertive approach to diplomacy in international matters.
Reagan was beloved by the US citizens for revolutionizing the economy and conquering the world. It was during his era that the world witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, dividing East/West Germany; the defeat of Communism and the US emergence as a unilateral world power. Consequently, it signaled a boost for American businesses which became bullish in the stock market.
The Washington Times columnists stated that: “…judging by his rhetoric, Mr. Kalu certainly represents a break with the past.” Driving his point home, he quoted Orji who noted that: “Nigeria needs small government and a large market, instead of running businesses, the government should focus on making the business environment more conducive to foreign and domestic investment.”
Orji Uzor Kalu is a former governor of Abia State, a known political figure in Nigerian politics and a businessperson. He is currently serving as a Senator in the National Assembly, representing Abia North senatorial district and in capacity as the chief whip of the house.
From the foregoing, the question is; if an independent organization as the Washington Times with the acknowledged level of scrutiny can point to Orji Uzor Kalu, isn’t it time that Nigeria should begin to also examine the capacity of this Senate whip as a Presidential Aspirant?