The Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has reacted to the allegation by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark that he (Kalu) betray the South-Easterners following his decision to support the presidential ambition of a Northerner, insisting that the First Republic Commissioner for Information is the real betrayal of Igbos.
The senator representing Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly in a post on his Facebook page said though he has great respect for Chief Clark as an elder statesman and a patriotic Nigerian that he must make it clear that his action (in supporting the aspiration of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan should be seen as doing his best to reintegrate Igbos into mainstream politics.
“In the last two years, I have been at the forefront agitating for a Nigerian President of South-East extraction, when most of them were all saying “Southern Presidency”. None of these actors openly said the South-East geo-political zone should have it. I was shocked that even the zone the entire South-East supported in unity including myself in 2011 and 2015 respectively, has the highest number of contestants without thinking of their brothers, knowing fully well that the South-East zone has remained the only zone in Southern Nigeria that has not produced the nation’s president since the rotation convention dispensation that began in 1999.
“Coming to this late hour to support the South-East is rather suspicious to me if they couldn’t do it two years ago. The truth is, Chief Edwin Clark, knows the South-East cannot get the ticket of any party in an open contest as it is today without a gentleman agreement to concede it to the South-East”, the post titled: “Edwin Clark: You And Others Betrayed South-East”, read in part.
The former governor of Abia State further said that: “If all the aspirants from the South-West and South-South cannot support their brothers from the South-East, It is only politically correct to support the North-East geo-political zone, which to me is the shortest route for the South-East geopolitical zone to produce the president after their 8 years instead of waiting for another 16 years.”
Chief Kalu said he is surprised that Chief Clark didn’t call the majority of other Southerners including governors working against the South-East to order or the names he called him.
“What did you say or do when all the aspirants from South-South and South-West were buying forms to run against South-Easterners who have always supported them.
“I know some people want us to keep quiet and then allow other Southerners to take the turn of the South-East. If you meant well for the South-East, you could have discouraged other aspirants from running for President. Nothing stops the South from supporting only presidential aspirants from the South-East. The betrayers are those who don’t care about the South-East. We are wiser.
“Let me also inform the elder statesman that the majority of the Southerners in his party (PDP) are secretly supporting a North-Easterner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The senator stressed that the welfare of Igbos is his driving force. “I am not doing anything to advance my personal interest or seek personal glorification. I also lost my businesses fighting for the political interest of the Igbos. I cannot betray them now if I didn’t do it yesterday”, he concluded.