Igbo Presidency: Orji Uzor Kalu’s love for Ndigbo and the Unity of Nigeria

by Odimegwu Onwumere

The absence of love is the cause of many problems that are associated with
the world today. Inter alia, lack of love is the cause of disunity among
peoples. But if there is any man who is cosseted to love, that man is Dr.
Orji Uzor Kalu.

His love for his people – Ndigbo – is irrefutable. He frowns at any
environment where there is a lack of love, hence his several calls for Igbo
unity. These calls have no measurement. They are coming after some Igbo
organisations that the Igbo businesses were placed on their feet seemed to
have failed. Dr. Kalu formed Njiko Igbo in that admiration to organize
Ndigbo and to make them to love each other.

Acting as transient coordinator, he is spending millions of dollars in
making the attainment of love among Ndigbo a reality, no matter a minuscule
discordant voices to his visions with Njiko Igbo; one of which visions is
for Ndigbo to actualise Igbo presidency in 2015.

The exceptional aspect of the Njiko Igbo is that it is not affiliated to
any political party. Njiko Igbo is not into partisan politics, but it
doesn’t rule out the fact that it is not against any political party in

There are Shylocks, traitors, detractors and traducers anywhere in the
world. There are people with these traits among Ndigbo, and they have
fought and been fighting Kalu in making sure that he goes somber in his
benevolence act of love for Ndigbo, but he has refused to relax in his
obligation; rather he prefers loving Ndigbo by consulting widely on how to
make Ndigbo to be their brother’s keeper, and not their brother’s killer.

He was with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, and the Obi of Onitsha,
Igwe Alfred Achebe, at their palaces in his love pursuit for Ndigbo, to
discuss the issue bothering to them. From Abia to Anambra, Kalu has not
been relaxing in the lock-up of his comfort; he has been sojourning for
this onerous task.

During one of Kalu’s visits to the palace of Obi of Onitsha in 2012, Igwe
Achebe observed that the desires of Ndigbo in Nigeria can only be
actualised if they are in unity. Achebe fingered the sizable investments
that Ndigbo scattered across the world with extremely-small size of them
invested in ala-Igbo. Again, he regretted how armed robbery and
kidnapping were becoming immune in ala-Igbo, and called on the government
to checkmate these.

It is noted that if the few things that Achebe outlined are addressed, it
will help the Igbo to come back home and invest, whereas they can unite no
matter where they have as residences. But it is observable that some
powerful members of the public are playing politics with the Igbo and the
government has refused to address these things, hence Kalu frowns and wants
the Igbo to understand the ugly handwriting on the wall painting the Igbo
in bad light for a worse future.

The overconfident Kalu sees the Njiko Igbo as an all-important
socio-political dais for a president of Igbo extraction in 2015. While few
Igbo sons and daughters are playing to the gallery against this conceivable
and lustrous Njiko Igbo; Kalu comes out boldly, striding to fruition with
the organisation. Kalu says that the aims of Njiko Igbo as the name
connotes, include harmonization of different interests in the South East
Zone of Nigeria, facilitation of a common South East position on national
issues, rekindling the spirit of political participation among the citizens
at the grassroots across the zone as well as channeling such enthusiasm to
positive national goals, building bridges across political tendencies in
the zone and extending such bridges to other geo-political zones for the
full re-integration of the zone, among others.

Kalu sees anything that is against the Igbo presidency in 2015 as
retribution against Ndigbo. Kalu, as far as Ndigbo and the rest of
Nigerians are concerned, represents the moon that shines down in the
darkest hours, unlike most Ndigbo that want to be the sun that lightens up
but refuse to be around at the darkest hours. So, is anybody thinking that
he or she can do without Kalu in ala-Igbo? The fact remains that Kalu is
well positioned to help the emergence of an Igbo as President of Nigeria in
2015. This is why it was not seen as a ruse when Dr. Kalu advised
developing countries to take a hint from the democratization process in
America. This, he said, would help in making certain, stable democracy, in
countries. But what is the rest of ethnic groups in Nigeria thinking about
the Igbo in achieving the 2015 presidency? Are some groups showing lionic
gait and, others expressing chameleonic approach?

As a man of love, Kalu beams his love for the South-west. He says: They
always raise personalities against injustice. It did not just start with
Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was ready to
confront colonialism with bare hands. Prof. Wole Soyinka risked his life
and went to jail not really because his friend Christopher Okigbo died in
Biafra; he had a soft spot for the Igbo who suffered so much persecution.
The road to 2015 will throw up more of such men and women.

Kalu has maintained that there is so much between Ndigbo and the rest of
Nigerians, but the Igbo have been refused opportunity such as the
President, Forty Two years after the Yakubu Gowon-led genocide against the
Igbo erroneously called Nigeria-Biafra civil war took place. And even if
the genocide may be taken as a war, it was then an uncivil war led by the
War-head of State, Yakubu Gowon.

It is on record that Gowon was it who removed the Bight of Biafra from
the Nigerian map in his continuous bid to extirpate anything Igbo. Kalu
says that if Ndigbo do not mind many of the mayhems meted out against them
in some parts of the country and still embrace the rest of Nigerians as
brothers and sisters, why can’t the same be shown to them in Nigeria at
least in 2015?

In Kalu’s own words: There is so much between us. During the war, you found
some Igbo living in Lagos. Chief Philip Asiodu even served in the Federal
Government inspite of the loss of his brother, Sidney, to the bullets of
Nigerian troops. Tony Igwe was busy playing soccer and Obisia Nwankpa
sweated out in the gym. At the same time, Prof. Vincent Ike’s wife, a
Yoruba, was part of the Biafran war efforts. Even the daughter of Lagos Oba
Adeyinka Oyekan, was married to a Biafran naval officer, Ohiaeri-Duru. To
cap it all, one of the gallant Yoruba officers who saw the war, Lt. General
Alani Akinrinade, had since condemned it as unnecessary. That is why the
Yoruba stand out.

Conversely, it is a radiating nuisance the debasement by the Nigerian state
not to allow this long handshake across the Niger always initiated by the
Igbo to the rest of Nigerians to have direction, just as Americans
expressed in the born-African Barack Obama. Kalu has been crying that the
South-west, for example, will prove their love for the South-east in 2015,
seeing this as the best way to bury all the accumulated suspicion between
both groups.

Kalu says he knows that Yoruba could stand up and be counted. According to
him, the war years showed it. He explicates that there was this Yoruba
soldier who applied the brakes of his army truck to save the life of an
Igbo pedestrian near Orlu at the end of the war in January 1970. An
accompanying officer was so furious that he took control of the vehicle,
drove for about 10 kilometers and forced the driver out into the dark. Time
was 1.00 a.m. ’Ejoo oo, ejoo oo’ [please, please] the soldier pleaded. All
to no avail. Fortunately, the drop zone was in Isu right in front of the
house of the first Igbo Dental-Sur

geon who had worked in Ibadan before the
crisis. And he took the soldier in. Kalu lectures that the lesson is that
there are more Yoruba out there who cannot kill Igbo dreams in 2015.

Kalu has always been asking when the cry of Ndigbo would come to an end in
Nigeria. Today, Africans in America are happy because one of them is
allowed the number one seat in the White House, after years of humiliations
and abuse. Ndigbo are suffering what these Africans in America once
suffered. Kalu has been twice a presidential candidate and, was
suspiciously frustrated. He gave President Jonathan his support by stepping
down owing to the view of the Igbo that they all must support Jonathan in
the 2011 presidential elections. And they did. Kalu advertised this
stepping down for Jonathan during the 2011 presidential elections in many
of the national newspapers paid advertorials.

He has always made his effort to bring many Igbo leaders together, but most
especially the likes of Senator Annie Okonkwo, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, Victor
Umeh, Chekwas Okorie and other Igbo sons, so that they can produce an Igbo
president. Kalu is not doing politics now. He is doing this for Ndigbo.

Due to Kalu’s unwavering love for Ndigbo an observer captured his ability
thus: “I have the confidence that Orji Uzor Kalu can do it. Everybody has
his own God-given talent. Orji Uzor Kalu is an illustrious Igbo son.
Please, let’s criticize objectively, those who are wasting their time
saying that they are fighting Kalu…Orji Uzor Kalu is one of the few Ndigbo
that have the courage, the charisma and every other thing required to unite
or to fight for the Ndigbo. Anybody facing any type of suppression, watch
out, that person has a talent. Name them – Orji Uzor Kalu, Chekwas Okorie,
Chris Ngige. Etcetera.”

Nevertheless, all that Kalu requires is to remain focused just as he
advised President Obama to remain focused and committed to his good work.
For this reason, Ndigbo should come together so that they can cure this
symptom of a waiting presidential scuffle once and for all.

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