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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Open Letter to Chief Orji Uzor Kalu – By Prince Emeka Obasi



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Orji Uzor Kalu enjoying the riches earned from the collective treasury of Abia State
Orji Uzor Kalu enjoying the riches earned from the collective treasury of Abia State

Your Excellency,

 I read with a great deal of embarrassment the article  that was ghosted in the column you allegedly write in  The Sun Newspaper of Sunday 16th August 2014.  It was incredible that you would allow yourself to be  talked into exposing yourself to that embarrassment,  for any reason. I wonder what point you were trying  to make and to whom?

The article and the facts it purported to convey were  written as if you functioned as an island while serving  as the Executive Governor of Abia State. But you did  not. You worked with people, lots of people and  luckily most of those people are still alive. They are  living witnesses to what transpired in Abia State  under your rule, including your relationship with  Governor T.A Orji. Obviously of course, I am one of  such people, having served as your Special Adviser  on Research and Strategy and subsequently as the  Commissioner for Information. I have elected to  respond to the litany of falsehood contained in your  letter firstly as a witness to history, and secondly,  because I am involved. As you well know, the man  you take so much pleasure to lampoon at every turn  is my kinsman, My Dede! It is totallFeature2y  unacceptable for you to leverage on your position as  a Newspaper Publisher to mount incessant attacks on  T.A.Orji. It is an abuse of position. As a reporter, I  also consider it a sacred duty; consistent with my  professional ethos to act as a watchdog against  purveyors of falsehood. .

 The simple truth sir is that you lied in your write up.  Obviously, the write up was meant for the outside  world; the few ignorant people who don’t really know  you. It is certainly not for the millions of Abia  indigenes who had the misfortune of having you as  Governor for eight years. It is also not for any one of  us, your past commissioners and sundry other aides  who worked closely with you and saw through you.  You claim to be a master strategist and an avid  propagandist. So you believe that if you tell a lie long  enough, it will become the truth. Sorry your  Excellency, a lie is a lie, is a lie! Even you, with all  your gamji prowess cannot change a lie to be the  truth: you didn’t make T.A.Orji . At the time you met  him, he was the Administrative Secretary of INEC. As  is your style, your lobbied him excessively. You know  yourself; whenever you want anything or anybody,  you put on your charming front. You struck a  partnership with T.A Orji which facilitated your  emergence as Governor.

Anyone who knows Orji Uzor Kalu knows that he  does nothing for free. T.A became Chief of Staff as a  reward for his assistance in your emergence as  Governor. Unlike you, I can’t claim he made you  Governor. All power comes from God. But he played
his role, a critical role which you know fully well, a  role which made him your partner. As Chief of Staff,  he served you loyally, efficiently and commitedly. He  did his best, as some of us also did to manage your  exuberant excesses. With due respect sir, you stand  truth on its head when you alleged that, he was in  charge of almost everything in Government house- from the management of security vote to routine administration. I, working with one of your closest aides then, Victor Oye. Oga! Haba!!! Which closest  aide? Victor Oye? And so what happened to Chuka  Odom? We all know what Oye did (and still does for  you!) Ha, hmmm, don’t let us expose and disgrace  ourselves o! I find it interesting that you didn’t bring  Chuka Odom into the discussion. Why, if I may ask?  And your all-powerful mother, Oduko? So if T.A was  in charge of everything, what happened to the-great-

SHE-who-must-be-obeyed? Mother Excellency,  defacto 1st Lady and Associate Governor of Abia  state?

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Oga, why do you behave as if everyone is suffering  from amnesia? Or do you still believe the myth that  you are a guy man while the rest of Abia are Jew  guys?

You ran Abia State as a fiefdom. The only real powers  were you, your mother and that your brother, who  you elected to the Federal House of Reps. The  records will stand whether he even opened his mouth  or raised a finger, for the entire duration of his  membership of the House. But of course, you claimed  to be the Abia equivalent of the Kennedys, the three of  you  Orji, Nnanna and Mascot. So you also made  Mascot Chief of Staff to T.A and designated him, heir-  apparent.

You allege that you don’t know what you did t T.A? Are you sure? Search your conscience.

 You wanted T.A. to be Governor only in name while  you and your mother continued to rule. So you  appointed your brother as the Chief of Staff, gave T.A.  only one commissionership slot which he filled with  Okey Amaechi (SAN) as Attorney General and shared  the entire 17 local Government Chairman with your  mummy.

T.A aides pleaded with you to allow him produce  the chairman of his LGA, but you declined. You  appointed ASP Okoro, your former orderly as his ADC,  and appointed one of your former drivers as his Chief  Driver. You also tried to appoint the Government  House cooks. When his wife, Chief Mrs Odochi Orji  refused, and insisted that she had always cooked for  her husband, you reluctantly conceded to her. You  nominated companies fronting for you to be the main  contractors of the Government and with your cousin  and kinsman as Commissioner for Finance, their  payments were always prompt. Your Excellency sir,  the truth is as you boasted to a group of us in your  house at Adeleke Adedoyin Street, Victoria Island,  Lagos, (yes the same one which I hear you have  turned into a bed and breakfast or short time†hotel  now). I am still the real Governor of Abia State!

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You were sir. And for a season, T.A. was willing to oblige you. But Abia indigenes were not. They had suffered grievously under your yoke for 8 years and refused to  continue in bondage.  Many of them were outraged by your boast that my  family will rule Abia for 25 years! If you can recall,  Chuka Odom and i advised you against making that  boast. But as usual, you didn’t listen. Even some of  your friends, like Dr. Steve Ihedigbo, privately chaffed  over that claim. It is true that Abia indigenes can be  tolerant, but even you know that there is a limit to  human tolerance. With due respect sir, you crossed  the line. You treated T.A. with unacceptable  disrespect and in fact levity. Chuka Odom, told me  that he once asked you in Abuja: Sir, do you realize  that this man is a sitting Governor? Do you recall  your answer? It was quite telling:

In Abia, there are  only two Powers, REALITY ORGANIZATION and the  ORJI UZOR KALU FAMILY!†If you permit sir, i would  call that hubris. Now, the facts have not borne you  out. There is clearly another power in Abia “ Peoples  Power. No one can be bigger than his people. And as  the Igbo say, whereas one man can cook for the  community, the community can’t cook for one man.   You are no doubt a very successful man, a true  master strategist, if you may. You are rich, influential  and powerful. But still, you are not bigger than Abia  State. You challenged Governor Orji to use any  medium to tell you what you did wrong to him. Well,  let me also give you a different kind of challenge.  Please sir, mention two, okay, let be fair, mention  just one prominent Abia indigene who holds you in  any esteem!

Is it Ebitu Ukiwe, Ike Nwachukwu,  Adolphus Wabara, Ndubusi Kanu, Anya O. Anya, Joe  Irukwu, Ojo Maduekwe, Enyinnaya Abanibe. Vin  Ogbulafor, Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala, Emeka Wogu,  Nkechi Nwaogu, Mark Wabara, Onyema Ugochukwu,  Hon Nnenna Ukeje, Ndubusi Kanu, Mazi Sam  Ohuabunwa and his Brother Mao, Senator Uche  Chukwumerije, Dr J. C Ogbonnaya; the list is endless.  You can see sir, T.A. is not really your problem. Your  real problem is Abia State and her people. You have  desecrated the land and so it is angry with you. As  your former strategist, my advice is that you should  propitiate the land and seek forgiveness. That is the  culture of our people.

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