Master strategist Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is one of most generous Igbo man living. He is man who makes and keeps friendship, in all parts of Nigeria and beyond. A business mogul of international repute, he towers above many of his peers.
Kalu’s entry into the All Progressives Congress (APC) has changed the political calculation in South East, in particular and Nigeria at large. With his effort to make APC rooted in Igboland, he is consciously laying the foundation for an Igbo man to be president in near future, especially in 2013.
Indeed, Kalu has done so much for APC and Nigeria. He is an outstanding detribalised Nigerian leader. He has received chieftaincy titles from many tribes in the country. He works with Nigerians from different tribes. Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, a Yoruba man, was Managing Director of The Sun. Adesina is an avid supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari. When he wrote articles highlighting Buhari’s goodness, Kalu did not object despite the fact that he was in the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) at that time. Adesina never knew that Buhari read all articles about him and took a liking in him. Today they are working together.
To show Kalu’s nationalism, when Adesina left The Sun, he followed the hierarchy and appointed another non-Igbo as new MD. In The Sun, Nigerians from all tribes are on the employ, just like in other companies owned by Kalu.
It is worthy of note that Kalu gives journalists in his newspaper companies free hand to do their jobs. They have unfettered hands to write whatever they think on anybody, be he Mr. President or Orji Uzor Kalu himself. He does not interfere in the editorial policy or direction of the newspapers.
When Kalu was defecting to APC from PDP, some people thought it was a selfish move. But the former governor of Abia State saw the big picture and knew that the Igbo would only fare better by being at the mainstream of Nigerian politics and governance. Perhaps, it was when former Senate President Ken Nnamani, serving senators, like Dr. Andy Ubah and Hope Uzodinma; former senators, ex-governors; top politicians and technocrats started joining APC that people knew that Kalu saw tomorrow.
In APC, such personalities from South East, as Senator Chris Ngige, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief C.B. Azikiwe (Owelle of Onitsha), who died and was buried on September 12, 2015, had worked assiduously for APC success in South East.
Orji Uzor Kalu, the Ahaejiagamba, has made many feats. When he was governor of Abia State, former President. Olusegun Obasanjo nicknamed him “Action Governor.” He performed wonders in infrastructure, security, wealth creation and education, among others.
To ensure continuity, he supported his former Chief of Staff, Chief Theodore A. Orji as successor. TA Orji was elected governor despite being in detention. The entire Abia never knew T.A. Orji, but Kalu campaigned and successfully made him the governor. T.A. Orji came from the prison to be sworn in as the governor of Abia State, only to turn round to fight Kalu.
With his experience, connection and capacity, Kalu has many more to give Nigeria. He contested for president in 2017 and came third, behind ex-President Umar Yar’Adua and President Buhari. That feat in 2017 shows his acceptance by millions of Nigerians. Kalu is, therefore, one politician we should watch out for in 2023 when the presidency would shift to South East.