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Why I backed Ohanaeze against Obasanjo – Kalu

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/04/05 | Views: 918 |

Why I backed Ohanaeze against Obasanjo – Kalu


Chairman, Board of Trustee of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Dr. Orji uzor Kalu, yesterday justified his support for the Dr. Dozie Ikedife-led Ohaneze socio-cultural group, describing it as victory for democracy.

Chairman, Board of Trustee of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Dr. Orji uzor Kalu, yesterday justified his support for the Dr. Dozie Ikedife-led Ohaneze socio-cultural group, describing it as victory for democracy.

Kalu, who was reacting to allegations by a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Guy Ikokwu, that he dragged the group into the murky waters of politics, disclosed that his intervention was aimed at thwarting the third term ambition of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

His words: “When some of us, Igbo sons realised that a few Ohanaeze leaders were working for Obasanjo in his quest to stay longer in office, we were worried. We could not sit on the fence and watch. And that is the beauty of democracy. A great majority of Ndigbo did not want Obasanjo to elongate his tenure. Today, Nigerians know better.”

On the claim by Ikokwu that Kalu cannot be an Igbo leader, the former Abia State governor threw the decision to the people, adding that he felt honoured to be a follower.
“I am not struggling to be Igbo leader when elders like Chief Ikokwu are there. I am a mere follower, going to the destination they are taking us to. Ndigbo know their leaders,” he said.

Kalu expresssed surprise that Ikokwu, who he described as a very good friend “could turn around to accuse him of using Ohanaeze to pursue political ends, stressing that men like Ikedife and other officials of the sociocultural group understood the plight of Ndigbo and only fought to stem Obasanjo’s pet project.

“Chief Ikokwu is not only my very good friend, he is my senior brother, my master and we see often. We are not quarelling and cannot quarel. I am ready to go to his house to beg him and ask for forgiveness if I wronged him. What we did, people like Rear Admiral Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu (retd), myself and others, was to protect Igbo interest. There was no reason to support a man who never hid his disdain for our people. It would also have been undemocratic to give Obasanjo a third chance.”

Kalu believes there is so much between the two friends that politics cannot put them asunder. Both are sports enthusiasts. Ikokwu was vice president of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) in the late 1980’s. Kalu is the pillar of sports in Nigeria, recognised by the confederation of African Football (CAF) and on the A-list of the Internationa Football Federation (FIFA). Ikokwu, a lawyer, was Anambra State chairman of the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) in the second republic.

Ikedife belonged to the rival National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and was made Presidential Liaison Officer (PLO) to Anambra by president Shehu Shagari. Prior to second republic politics, the medical doctor was a commissioner, infact, a pioneer under military governor, John Atom Kpera, after the creation of the old Anambra State by the late General Muritala Mohammed on February 3, 1976. Ikedife took over the mantle of Ohanaeze leadership following the end of the Professor Joe Irukwu era.The baton had been handed over to the professor of insurance by legal luminary Justice Eze Ozobu.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown