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US lobbies Kalu, others to back Yar’Adua

Posted by By IKE NNAMDI, The Sun Reporter on 2007/05/16 | Views: 959 |

US lobbies Kalu, others to back Yar’Adua


As legal challenge to the April elections heats up, America has reached out to several presidential candidates to withdraw their court cases and begin a national reconciliation.

As legal challenge to the April elections heats up, America has reached out to several presidential candidates to withdraw their court cases and begin a national reconciliation.

Investigations showed that one of the candidates White House and State Department officials have held discussions with his Abia State governor and presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.

Sources said Washington advised Gov. Kalu not to challenge the results of the polls in court but "work to deepen and sustain the growth of democratic institutions in Nigeria."

The administration believes that lingering court cases over the election could destabilize the country and reverse the country's socio-economic growth. Washington hinged its optimism on a recent report by the Africa Development Bank and World Bank of a huge growth in Nigeria's economy. It believes a legal battle will distract the next regime.

The administration said the Abia chief executive remains a popular figure and should use his stature to continue the fight to sustain democracy. "Gov. Kalu remains one of the best candidates, but he is still young and his fight for democracy despite the loss of his businesses makes him a very attractive candidate in the next election," top administration officials stated.

To broker peace between Gov. Kalu and president-elect Umaru Yar'Adua, Washington has approached the Emir of Katsina for assistance. "Both gentlemen hold traditional titles from the emirate and the emir, a father figure could bring them together to work for the development of the country," a White House official stated.

Sources said the reconciliation moves explained the reason for the refusal of President George Bush to take a public stand on the election. "The elections had very serious flaws, but the alternative would have been chaos which will not be in the interest of the country or the continent, we believe a national reconciliation is necessary to heal the wounds of the election and move the nation forward.”

A close aide to Gov Kalu confirmed efforts to get him to drop his legal challenge and support Yar'Adua. "He is a statesman and strongly believes the election was seriously flawed, but he will put the interest of the country first and would be open to discussions with Yar'Adua at the behest of the emir," the official stated.

Kalu is currently consulting with supporters and all other stakeholders on how to respond to Washington’s move, sources stated.
A source at the White House also said gubernatorial elections were free and fair only in Kano, Bauchi, Lagos and Abia states, adding that National Assembly elections in Abia were, however, flawed by the huge presence of soldiers and policemen, who reportedly intimidated voters.
The source added that if elections had gone nationwide as was witnessed in the four states, there would have been no hues and cries as is currently being witnessed.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.