Leopards can never change their spots, so goes the old saying. And the truth of this adage is plain from the antics of one man who has continued to constitute himself a political distraction in Abia State. On Wednesday, November 19, a horrendous news item was planted in some dailies, including that owned by the former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, just to deceive and cause commotion in the polity.
According to the report, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was to issue a special waiver to the founder of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, to clear him to contest the 2015 senatorial election for Abia North Senatorial District. Quite expectedly the report must have jolted members of the PDP, especially those from Abia. And in less than 24 hours, the PDP in the South East led by no less a person than its Vice Chairman for the zone, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), issued a strong disclaimer on Kalu.
In the words of Akobundu whose lot it is to give clearance to Kalu’s desperate return bid, “no one can talk about waiver for Kalu when he is not a member of the PDP. Yes, we give waivers but such is only a privilege extended to members of the party, and Kalu is not a member of the PDP. If he claims otherwise, let him show you his membership card or still let him produce the so-called waiver”.
That was a straight gauntlet. Knowing Kalu and his antics, it is as easy as asking a Christian to prove that God exists or a Moslem to prove there is Allah. Has Kalu any waiver from the PDP, and given his desperation to return to its fold, notwithstanding his false impression of himself as the alpha and omega of Abia politics, such waiver would have been splashed as a wrap-round in his media outfits. So where did the news stories emanate from? Or better still, who planted same at an auspicious time when the party was about to screen its candidates for National Assembly elections? Your guess is as good as mine.
I recall how the media had in the past been hoodwinked unknowingly into watering the ground for him. In the wake of his fallout with the PDP (when he could not control the state machinery as he wanted), and when he took on the the party’s Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih by accusing him (Anenih) of a plot to kill him, his outfit doing its master’s bidding had done a similar yeoman’s job when it went to town with several misleading headlines such as “PDP begs Kalu”, “I will expose Anenih”. This was mere propaganda tool to give hope to those gullible followers then whereas Kalu was daily losing sleep on how to save his neck from Golgotha.
Every careful observer will see that Kalu in the past few years has been living and reigning only on the pages of newspapers and social media. If he is not posing half naked in a swimming trunk or tying a towel, he is seen posing inside the aircraft holding a newspaper or beaming with smiles in a group photograph with Chinese artisans. It is common knowledge that such a man is living an isolated life and is desperate to return to what used to be public glamour. Where all measures fail, his “newspaper column” gets dedicated to one mission- attacking the person and family of the incumbent governor of the state. Where he has not delivered enough salvos to pursue his cause, his numerous aides writing as columnists in his media outfits have converted demonizing Abia under the incumbent governor as an editorial target
But why would it be such a humiliating process for a supposed political high flier like Kalu to secure membership at a time most parties are hunting for membership for electoral fortunes. I was privy to a gathering of the stakeholders from Abia and the issue of Kalu’s return bid was the topic. There is so much disdain for his bid. The consensus is that once admitted, the relative peace being enjoyed in the party, nay the state, will take a flight. They have envisaged a scenario, given his antecedent where he will come with a motive to either attempt to hijack the party or create factionalism which was all the party suffered under him as a governor before he finally dumped it to found his own party. Simply put, he has no electoral value.
And given his constant bragging behind closed doors, there is reason to fear that Kalu is on a mission to DESTROY the relative peace in the state chapter of the PDP. Even from the attacks on the Governor by his megaphone, all they have dwelt on in the past few weeks is to provide him with a smokescreen via their daily prophesy of a likelihood of division in the state chapter of the PDP or an impending implosion. Kalu once admitted that he thrives in crisis and it is obvious that business is no longer moving since the season upon which he thrives is now alien to the politics of the state, hence this desperation.
Notwithstanding what anyone may say or think, no wise man would want to administer the same drug that killed his mother on his sister. No way. And contrary to the views expressed by Kalu’s aides, Abia PDP stakeholders are not afraid of him. His perceived power then was in his office which he used oppressively not knowing that a day like this will come when he will be given the treatment of a political leper. The fear of the stakeholders can be likened to that for the dreaded Ebola virus which is capable of killing both the carrier or/and any person/s that come in contact with him.
Kingsley Emereuwa, a lawyer and public commentator, wrote from Umuahia, Abia State