Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, has stepped out in staunch defence of the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, against the unsparing criticism of Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo.
The News Room recalls that the incumbent Anambra State Chief Executive Officer had, in a recent Channels TV interview via Zoom, criticised the tenure of Obi, who was a two-term Anambra State Governor before Soludo’s immediate predecessor in office, Chief Willie Obiano, who had also served the maximum eight-year tenure in that South-Eastern Nigeria state that prides herself as the Light of the Nation.
It would further be recalled that, in the wake of the controversy generated by that his interview, Soludo followed up the Channels TV session with an opinion piece titled: History Beckons and I will not be Silent (Part 1).
The article by the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor consequently threw the already pulsating Nigerian polity ahead of the 2023 General Elections into overdrive.
Joining issues with Soludo, unequivocally on the side of Obi, Kalu had published an article that sought to dismiss Soludo’s weighty words against the LP Presidential Candidate.
The respected economist’s opinion piece, a copy of which was sighted by The News Room, had opened with a quote extracted from the lengthy published article by Soludo thus: ” ‘We noted that we were in opposing political parties and in response to my direct question as to how I might help him, he requested that I should just ensure a level playing field and let the people decide.’ (Charles Chukwuma Soludo)”
Then Kalu robustly piled his argument, layer upon layer thus: “After begging him to come to your party and collect the Presidential ticket and he refused, you then asked him how you can help him.
“He didn’t ask you to fund his campaign .
“He didn’t ask you to campaign for him.
“He didn’t ask you to rig for him.
“He didn’t ask you to hide his secret.
“He only asked you to ensure a level playing ground.
“This is exactly the character that has endeared millions of Nigerians to Mr. Peter Obi.
“This is why your boss Olusegun obasanjo is behind him.
“This is why Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is behind him.
“This is why Obiageli Oby Ezekwesili is behind him.
“This is why Pat Utomi is behind him.
“This is why the Afenifere, the oldest political organisation headed by a 94 years old man is behind him.
“This is why the Northern Elders Forum is behind him.
“This is why the Middle Belt Forum is behind him.
“This is why the Southern Professionals are behind him.
“This is why Professor Uzodinma’s Alaigbo Development Foundation is behind him.
“This why Ohaneze is behind him.
“This is why the Zana Goni-led North East Elders for Peace and Development are behind him.
“This is why the Prof. Abdulkadir Mohammed Gummi-led Coalition of Northern Elders For Peace and National Unity are behind him.
“This is why the Muhammed Gwadabe-led Coalition for Arewa youths are behind him.
“This is why a billionaire northern youth from Borno state Isaac Balami will come out and say, ‘I have sold my majority stake in my aircraft hangar as well as my airline, to join my fellow Nigerians in the Obidient movement, just so I can more dedicatedly fight this struggle to rescue the soul of this great nation.’
“This is why northern youths will chant Obi kererenke inside the bowels of Arewa House.
“This is why the revered Oba of Benin almost broke his official neutrality tradition by making very positive statements about Obi in his palace.
“This is why he receives standing ovations from the NBA to the ICAN conferences, from churches to mosques, from the youths to the aged.
“He has spoken at Harvard. He has spoken at Oxford . Today he will be speaking at the president Lagos Business School.
“Saying the same things; I won’t steal a penny of public money. I had opportunity for eight years and I didn’t steal any. I had the opportunity to acquire land and I didn’t. I reduced the cost of governance and made sure nobody stole. I gave priority to education. I was number one in health care. I was number one in security. I won an award on critical infrastructure. I left 50 million dollars each in three banks. I invested money in several companies. Nobody, including Soludo has been able to dispute these.
“Hate him or love him, Peter Obi has become the new standard for public officers and political conduct in Africa.
“There will always be counter revolutionaries in every revolution, but the revolution will come.”
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