Can An ex-Convict Like Orji Uzor Kalu Represent The Interest of Ndi Igbo?


One of the foremost qualities of a leader is
dignity. It is expected that the ideal leader who should rule a people or who
should be elected to represent their interest should be a form of guiding
light. A leader becomes an example for the younger generation of people to
follow. In fact, the kind of leaders a people elect is an indication of what
path the society is headed and what might become of their young people. History
has shown us that when a nation advances into the right path of progress, it
assumes a trend of electing good leaders after good leaders. On the other hand,
a country like Nigeria is where it is today because looking at its roll-call of
leaders since 1960, there is almost nothing to write home about the litany the
corrupt and inefficient people.

For some time, Ndi Igbo have been undergoing a form of political renaissance. More than ever since 1970, there has been a question of the place of the Igbo man in Nigeria. There is the question of Biafra and the question of Igbo presidency which is partly the topic for this essay. It is clear now that many Igbo politicians are interested in the Igbo presidency as I wrote in my last essay. The widespread interest is not my concern. My interest is the crop of people who have arisen and shown interest in the Igbo Presidency. One of them is the former Governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who currently represents Abia North Senatorial district in the House of Senate.

What would be said of the Igbo people, if eventually such a man is actually elected to represent the interest of Ndi Igbo? The sins of Orji Uzor Kalu as a fantastically corrupt politician and a man who is loyal to the Fulani caliphate to the detriment of his own people is loud as it is public. It is of course, no doubt that Igbo governors of the past two decades have been, except for a very few, nothing to write home about. And people like Orji Uzor Kalu top the list of inefficiency and corruption. On Thursday, 5th December 2019, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7. 65 billion fraud. He was convicted for defrauding the government of Abia State where he was a governor for 8 years using his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.

Read Also: Countdown To 2023: What Is in For Ndi Igbo | Gaius Chibueze

While Orji Uzor Kalu might be, like many other Igbo men, a very successful businessman, who has done well for himself, outside the field of politics, as a politician, there is a very big dent on whether he is fit to represent Ndi Igbo. The Igbo people face a very dicey kind of problem today in Nigeria. And part of the problem is that their interests are not being taken seriously. In the current administration, Ndi Igbo have continuously found themselves in a position where they have had to defend themselves, particularly from the Fulanisation agenda, which Orji Uzor Kalu appears to support. Sometime in 2019, the Nigerian government came with a rural grazing settlement scheme which they called Ruga, for which every state in Nigeria was required to provide the Fulani Cattle herders with a piece of land with which to rear their cattle. It was something that did not sit well, with not just bulk of the Igbo people, but with all other non-Fulani ethnicities in Nigeria, in the light of the unceasing killings wrecked upon people in their very homes by Fulani Herdsmen. Orji Uzor Kalu is the only known Igbo politician who openly supported the scheme.

Lastly, what value does a politician of Orji Uzor Kalu’s repute aim to impact on the Igbo nation? What example would an ex-convict be to the young Igbo people? If corrupt politicians who have stolen the ordinary masses dry and used the money that ought to be used for the welfare and development of the people to enrich themselves are rewarded with better political positions, what message would it leave behind for the next generation of officeholders? It is very necessary for us to ponder upon these points.

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