A recent article on page 14 of THISDAY Newspaper, November 13, 2012, was highly revealing. It showed that the thick fog enshrouding Dr Orji Uzo Kalu’s foxy lifestyle and make-believe political prowess is gradually lifting. Recent posturing of the former Governor of Abia Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu in reclaiming his chequered political image is laughable. I was actually taken aback as I wondered if the Igbos can accept the twice-told-tales of OUK. His recent antic is his Njiko-Ndi Igbo group which he claims will improve the lot of Ndi-Igbo. The piece by one Eustace Amanwandi which opined that Orji Uzo’s presence in Nollywood would have made Mr Ibu, (John Okarfor) and Osuofia (Nkem Owoh), nonstarters in clowning is no exaggeration. The former governor of Abia State has a career waiting and can assume this anytime. In truth, Amanwandi’s piece has emboldened me, and I do not hesitate to support her as most of our men have kept quiet.
The question people keep asking is, ‘How did OUK make it to such a revered position?’ The truth remains that he would not have gone this far without the gullibility of Abians in particular and Nigerians in general.
He was historically elected the Governor of God’s Own State Abia and spent eight years in a quizzical rigmarole. What did he not indulge in? He, rather than feed Abians, long thirsty for good leadership, fed them with cataclysmic falsehood. This is a classical example of a father giving stones in place of bread to a famished child. He knows Abia’s penchant for veracity but went to the complete opposite, busy publishing audited accounts and fabricated documents to fool Abians and Nigerians of his honesty and stewardship.
It could be recalled that Orji spent the first few years of his first tenure defending a certificate scandal. Soon after, he added MON to his name making people believe that he was actually awarded the Member Order of the Niger. When the searchlight was turned on him, he hastily changed to “Madu Oha Nile, a ruse title which means ‘man of the people’ in Igbo Language. His doctorate degree and university education in Maidugiri opened another can of worms. As a cover-up, he shamelessly registered as an undergraduate at Abia State University- explaining to those who cared to listen that he was showing example to Abia drop-outs to go back to school- drop out indeed. Only God knows if his admission went through Jamb and if he graduated. Do we talk about the fake currencies he donated in an occasion in Adamawa some years gone? He claims to be so rich yet he plundered Abia treasury like a vandal, a case he is yet to be off the EFCC’s hook.
In his tenure as Governor, there was a quick succession of commissioners, some actually lasting a few months like Omri in the Bible, including the ones he recruited from USA. Possibly because of the joker in him, everything was a joke. Revered statesmen were insulted at will with all ease. Abia was in endless controversies from oracular Anini to ageless Obasanjo. Most times when he said yes, his close aids knew he meant no. Most of them fondly called him Gamji Man. Only God knows what they mean. Government is continuity but our man had his definitions. Most times we saw him adapting the Idi Amin personality. ‘Amin knows how to appoint them and remove them.’ The Executive council was vacant for months, a strategy that allowed people to fall over each other, lobbying for appointments, kowtowing for recognition, genuflecting and dropping gifts, money and all to the one called Odi Uko for the spoils of office. Check his passport, you will realize that he was at best a globe trotter, somewhat beating Ajala’s record as he jumped in and out of USA and Europe, forgetting that he had a mandate from Abia people.
He has an unmatched flair for different jobs when he hardly completes any. Could he be the Jack of all trades that masters none? He loves journalism and once interviewed a South Africa leader. In his religious classification, he is known as a Christian but you will be shocked when you see him dressed as a Muslim and pretends to mime the Koran. He dabbles into issues he knows little about. The column he runs in the Sun newspaper is alleged to be a well syndicated piece. It was in a national daily once where he apologized to the Northerners for the Biafran War. What does Kalu know about the war to render apologies on behalf of the Igbos he has serially deceived? He has a big dream of being in the hearts of the people but no genuine efforts thereto. For instance, during his tenure, he labeled buildings, the Abia Stadium, Ehimiri Housing Estate and Abia House in Abuja after himself. His overnight Igbo irredentism did not tell him to name one of these after any Igbo monument. All these have been reverted. What did Orji Leave as a legacy for Abia? Is it in roads, estates or mere buildings? The tragedy of OUk’s political gamble is that he knows the right thing to do, but he irredeemably and constantly embarks on the opposite.
He has now taken on a big one of negotiating with Boko Haram for the Federal Government. Let us watch, he may be part of them as he is known to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.
Saying much on OUK may be mistaken as a sign that we are taking him seriously but no, there is need to guide the people so that we are not fooled all over again.
His Local Government the Bende Local Government in a Caucus meeting of the PDP has shut the door on him, and the totality of Abia PDP marched to WADATA house a few weeks ago to protest his entry into PDP. What a persona non grata?
According to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of United States of America, ‘you can fool some of the people all the time; you can fool all the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time.’
Kalu should tell us another story as we watch out for his next bag of tricks.