Fromer Abia governorship aspirant, CHIEF NDUKWE IKO, makes stunning revelation about ORJI KALU, NDIGBO
PARIS, DECEMBER 2, 2016: (DGW) FORMER Abia State governorship aspirant, Chief Ndukwe Iko , has made a stunning revelation about the former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu and the Ndigbo in an interview with the THE SUN newspapers.
While answering questions in the interview, Mr. Ndukwe Iko , amid other thing gave reasons why the former Abia governor defected to the governing All Progressives Congress. One of the reasons was to give a voice to the Igbo people in the southeast of Nigeria.
He also complained of acute marginalization of the Igbo people in other parts of Nigeria which he identified as the major reason for the ongoing separatist feelings and agitations in the southeast.
The marginalization in question does not border solely on the dearth of infrastructures in the region but oppression and outright disdain of Igbo people in other parts of the country. He gave many examples in this regard in the interview below headlined, ''KALU MOVED TO APC TO GIVE A VOICE TO NDIGB'' published by THE SUN newspapers on December 2, 2016:
You have been a chieftain of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) for a long time, but recently, the party’s founder, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC). What is your reaction to this?
I would want to be very realistic by saying that those who have that impression that Orji moved to APC because of his EFCC case are just speculating. If you know the character of Kalu, and you have been close to him, you would understand that he is a very courageous person and can to face up any challenge that comes his way. In fact, that is one of his best attributes. The EFCC case, on the other hand, has been on for almost 11 years, yet, Orji did not chicken out; he is a very strong-spirited individual that is able to handle any situation that comes his way.
On his movement from PPA to APC, I will say, you will get the best answer from him on why he did it and not through speculation. Orji is very emotional about the Igbo and their lack of voice that has been on throughout the third republic. He has not played the role he had always wanted to play – being the voice of the Igbo people. He is very passionate about it and he has always wanted to be at the centre. So, moving to APC is for him to be able to fight for the rights of Ndigbo.
Orji has been in the opposition facing the EFCC for close to eleven years, and the agency has EFCC has not come out to say Orji’s trial has commenced and we’ve found him guilty and all that. Of course EFCC is not a court. Can he go to a political party because the EFCC will take him to court and the court will influence the judgement that will come out of such trial? No! So let us remove our mindset from all those things. Orji went in because he wanted to play at the centre of Nigerian politics. He has governed the state; he has been a two-time governor. He would have gone to the Senate but the Senate didn’t come his way because of the infraction in Abia state.
We know of what befell him in the state, and how his prodigy, T.A. Orji in connivance with a lot of forces are bent on making him irrelevant. Several meetings were held with former President Goodluck Jonathan for him to return to the PDP, but these meetings at every point were frustrated by Patience Jonathan and T.A. Orji. That is the clear story.
People are saying that since he formed the PPA, he should have remained…
There is no political party in Nigeria that was founded by anybody that is standing, that is the truth. The APC, PDP, were all founded by a group of people, but PPA is still standing today. Kalu is the only living Nigerian that founded a political party that still exists, so that should be a credit to him.
Nigeria is a very complex country, so you cannot start a party in a region and expect it to play a national role. Take back your minds to the history of Nigeria. Even the great NCNC, the great Action Group, could not form a government at the centre without a merger. So it should be a credit to Kalu for having a party that is still relevant. You can’t mention ten political parties in Nigeria today without mentioning PPA. I will tell you the role of PPA as against the major political parties if you ask me.
You talked about Kalu being the voice of the Igbo, do you think they are marginalized?
Of course, the Igbo are greatly marginalized. One of the things you people look at when you mention the issue of marginalization is infrastructure and psychological marginalization. There are places you go, you can’t declare to be Igbo except you have the courage to do so.
Even in the Southern part of Nigeria, people still refer to rogues as ‘Omo Igbo’ (Igbo person) you know. I don’t know if you experience it, but when law enforcement officers apprehend you and you can’t speak the local language, they assume you are an Igbo guy. Then the penalty is usually heavier, so that is marginalization on itself.
So because they are Igbo, they are likely to pay a heavier fine?
Of course! They will tell you to pay all the fines. They do fine for such offences or even more at times. But, if you speak a certain language, somebody will tell you okay, go, don’t do it again or just give us something to do what we want to do. That is marginalization; it is even deeper than what you see physically. Even those of us that married from outside our tribe, you still see that attitude in your in-laws. You go the extra mile trying to please them because you don’t want them to call you by your tribe. So that is marginalization.