Senate Chief Whip and Senator representing Abia North Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has been disowned by his constituents for asking the All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, to pick a fellow Muslim as his running mate.
Kalu who insisted that there was nothing wrong if Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, runs a Muslim-Muslim ticket, said that it would be politically naive for Tinubu, a minority Muslim from the South-West to choose a minority Christian from the North as his running mate.
But in a swift response, his constituents dismissed Kalu’s remarks as “shameful and disappointing”, saying he only spoke for himself and his pocket.
Responding, the paramount traditional ruler of Abiriba ancient kingdom, HRM Eze Kalu Kalu Ogbu (Enachoken), said the comment by the former Governor if truly he made such a remark was “strange, unbelievable and illogical”.
He argued that the religious plurality of Nigeria did not favour a joint ticket of same religion, hence, anybody suggesting otherwise should be disregarded.
” The ideas is strange. I don’t think he made such advocacy but if he did, he didn’t speak for Abia North, he didn’t speak for Ndigbo because such a comment doesn’t make sense at all. It’s very inappropriate.”
Similarly, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia North, Dr Isaac Nkole, said that Kalu had since, lost political steam and was only trying to warm his way to Tinubu’s camp after opposing his presidential ambition.
Dr Nkole said “it is very embarrassing for a supposed Senator in Kalu’s ranking to advocate Muslim/Muslim or even Christian/Christian ticket in a religious sensitive and plural state like Nigeria.”
He argued that “religion and ethnicity have unfortunately remained Nigeria’s fault lines which must not be dismissed with a wave of the hand in the interest of peace and national cohesion.”
The PDP chieftain reminded Kalu that “no amount of hypocritical remarks” would make Tinubu and his camp to forget that he supported and worked for Ahmed Lawan against Tinubu before and during the APC presidential primary.
He dismissed Kalu as “a disappointment and enemy” to Abia North, Christianity and Ndigbo, vowing that “the 2019 mistake” that brought him to power would never be repeated.
”Abia North will never again be represented by a political rolling stone ready to sell our future for a pot of porridge. The other time somebody said he brought RUGA to Lokpanta which is today a source of constant sorrow to the state. Today, somebody is championing Muslim/Muslim ticket. Is this part of lawmaking? How many bills has he sponsorsed? Must he always be in the news for the wrong reason?
”How did Abia North get to this point? Should Kalu not be ashamed that Tinubu who was Governor same time with him is today miles ahead of him politically? Should he keep advertising greed and shortsightedness?
”When Tinubu was busy building people Kalu was building Camp Neya. Both of them were in the presidential race but Kalu suddenly pulled out and began to shout Lawan and Northern presidency even against his fellow Igbo aspirants.
” Today, because he saw that his Lawan has been swept away by the Jagaban force that is why he has become Tinubu’s self-appointed adviser. What is he afraid of? Could that be a smart way of stopping a possible re-opening of his EFCC case by an eventual Tinubu administation?
“At the time he was supporting Lawan ,his party was saying that power should shift to South. How many of his Northern colleagues can do same for the South the way he is shamelessly doing?”
Speaking also the former Chairman, Umuahia North Council of Traditional Rulers and the monarch of Oriendu Autonomous community, HRM Eze Philip Ajomuiwe, said that the opinion of the former Governor on the matter was fault, and and invitation to anarchy.
He asked him to withdraw the position which, according to him is unbefitting of a Senator like him.
The monarch who described Kalu as a personal friend expressed disappointment over the suggestion, saying he would call him to tell him how he felt.
“I lack adjectives to qualify Senator Kalu for what he said. How can that work in Nigeria? Muslim/Muslim ticket is an invitation to anarchy. We can’t even suggest Christian/Christian ticket. There has to be a balance because Nigeria is highly sensitive to religion.”