The former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has floated a group, Njiko Igbo, which he says is aimed at fostering unity among the Igbos to enable them speak with one voice with regard to the election of an Igbo the President of Nigeria in 2015.
Under the auspices of the organization, Chief Kalu has toured Imo and Anambra States where he met with top traditional rulers, politicians, top clergy and businessmen to spread his message of Igbo Unity.
Chief Kalu had sometime ago announced that he had resigned from active politics and had no interest in contesting for the presidency but was keen to promote a viable Igbo element for the presidency in 2015.
To underscore this, he resigned the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) in a dramatic move having founded the party under which the platform he had contested the 2007 presidential election.
He was literally forced out of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which he reportedly financed during its foundation, bythe perceived domineering and autocratic style of ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Both had such an open bitter disagreement that reconciliation between the two had become impossible and is reported to have done all in his power to ruin Kalu’s political and economic careers.
In his crusade against Kalu, Obasanjo had a willing ally in the incumbent Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, a former Kalu protégé who served as his chief of staff for eight years in Kalu’s two-term tenure.
Chief Orji was elected Governor under the PPA and Kalu had to wage a grim battle to recover Orjis mandate as he was in prison when he was elected to succeed Kalu as Abia State governor in 2007.
In a case very similar to what transpired in Enugu State between Senator Jim Nwobodo who literally installed Chimaroke Nnamani Governor in 2003, but later became irreconciliable enemies, Orji Uzor Kalu and Theodore Orji got turn apart by a vehement row to the extent that Governor Orji has publicly declared that his election marked the liberation of Abia State from slavery by Kalu’s family.
However, some analysts have interpreted Chief Kalu’s latest move as a subtle move to test the waters in view of his resurgent presidential ambition.
This view is further strengthened by the fact that in his latest swing across the Southeast, Kalu has not visited any of the State Governors who could offer meaningful opposition should any of them have similar presidential ambitions.
Yet other analysts suspect that Kalu might succumb to the desperate campign by the incumbent PDP hierarchy to woo back some of the founding members that left the party although the former Abia Governor had repeatedly asserted that he would never go back to the PDP.
But a formidable obstacle to Kalu’s prospective ambition is EFCC’s treat to arraign him, among others, before the court on charges of financial mismanagement. Otherwise, should Kalu throw his hat into the ring for 2015, the Igbos together with other aspirants might have a formidable team.