The Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has tackled both his one time Deputy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and the incumbent Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, over their recent attacks on him.
Kalu last weekend had lambasted the state government for laying claims to World Bank/NEMAP, NNDC and Federal Government projects in Abia as state government funded projects.
Speaking to a crowd in Igwebuike Hall in Aba South, Kalu had said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria is responsible for the N27 billion Ngwa Road and not the state government. A government that is owing over 23 months to Abia Polytechnic, 22 months to Abia Teaching hospital, 18 months to Health Management Board, 27 months to Technical School in AroChukwu, amounting over N29 billion as arrears of salaries, excluding pension, cannot embark on a N27 billion road job. You cannot give what you don’t have.
Ikpeazu and Abaribe in their reactions had stated that Kalu’s suggestion that road projects in Aba are funded by the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Federal Government is a clear pointer that something was wrong with him.
“It is either he is yet to fully recover from the effects of his several months of incarceration at the Kuje prisons or he is just plain ignorant,” the governor said in a statement.
But in a reaction, Kalu told a mammoth crowd in Aba that Abaribe was little minded to think he was ashamed of his prison experience. He said he picked Abaribe from the gutters and made him Deputy Governor, but he was now busy supplying petitions to his conspirators because they thought he would be president in 2023.
Kalu spoke on Monday night in Aba North Ward 1 during his ward to ward campaign for the All Progressives Congress candidate, Chief Mascot Uzor Kalu, for the Aba North/South Federal Constituency by-election scheduled to hold on March 27.
He said he does not regret the issues that led to his being sent to prison, a charge already overruled by the Supreme Court, which ordered for a fresh trial. He revealed that God allowed the conspiracy of his enemies because it was part of his life script.
“My conspirators thought I would be president in 2023 so they decided to cut my journey short at all cost. Abaribe continued to supply petitions. But you see, these people are not God. They think I am ashamed to have gone to prison.
“The only road the state is constructing is the 600 meters road in Eziukwu, which they have been building in the last six years. That’s one year, 100 meters. Compare my village and these people’s village and you will see how shameless they are. If you can’t build your own village, is it my own you will build?
“This is 10pm and I am here with you. Can the Governor or Abaribe come here? That is why in leadership you have to be with the people you are leading. But they don’t understand this simple technique. All the projects they claim to be doing are all on radio. Nothing on ground.
“Joseph went to Prison. Even (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo went to prison. My going to prison is part of my life script and I am thankful God allowed it.”
“The senator representing you in the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has been in the Senate for 16 years and has done no single project in Abia South. He is busy speaking English as if English is what you need. You need infrastructure, you need good roads, you need schools and hospitals. Go to Abia North, just a year in the Senate, I have given them 19 roads, renovated schools, built hospitals with a lot of empowerment. Abaribe is so shameless that he doesn’t even have a road leading to his village in Umuekwensu.”
Meanwhile, a social cultural group, OUK Movement, has given explanation on Kalu’s claim on the projects in Abia State. In a statement signed by the state Chairman of the movement Ndukwe Agu Agu Orji, the movement noted that Abia State Government cannot execute a job of N27 billion with only N500 million and wants Abians to be hoodwinked into praising it.
Orji said: “Governance is not only about resurfacing 400 to 600 meters of road or commissioning NNDC projects as state government projects. The responsibility of securing the N27 billion term loans from the World Bank was fully undertaken by the Federal Government. The resolution authorising the borrowing is sourced and approved by the National Assembly and the final loan agreement signed by the Federal Ministry of Finance for onward lending to the states.
“These loans are covered by the sovereign guarantee of the Federal Government hence the Federal Government is 100 per cent responsible for the projects. The state government should stop telling lies. They should pay salaries first.”