Former Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu said rather than dissipate energy agitating for secession, IPOB and Igbos should up their political ante and play politics of inclusion, which can earn the Igbo the nation’s president sooner.
He also took a swipe at Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State over his comment in a recent interview that he (Kalu) was misleading the Igbo to embrace the All Progressives Congress, and also on his (Fayose) comments on President Muhammedu Buhari.
Kalu spoke in Lokoja, weekend, while delivering a lecture at an Igbo gathering for the inauguration of Igbo Support Group for Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, which he entitled: “Mainstreaming Igbo into Nigeria Politics.”
He said: “We must fix Nigeria to work. We, Igbo have made progress but it is not yet uhuru for us. This is not the time to pop champagne but a time for conscious reflection on the road we have passed, where we are and where we intend to be in the years ahead.
“We must stop listening to people who say Biafra is possible. If we want Biafra, we must first ensure that referendum is included in the constitution review. “Nigeria should be thinking of annexing other African countries rather than dividing them.
China has two billion people but is not talking about secession. Nigeria with less than 200 million populace is talking about secession.” On quit notice to Igbo On the recent quit notice given to Igbo by the Arewa youths, Kalu said: “Recently, we have witnessed a rise in ethnic activism. A lot of people have expressed fears that Nigeria may be coming to an end.
Well in politics, you have to entertain all manner of fears while working on possibilities. “However, the issues raised have caused some to wonder if the Igbo have leaders. Of course, Igbo leaders are talking and dialoguing. In politics, you often dialogue more than you talk. So, in managing a diverse country like Nigeria, you need to dialogue and communicate rightly.
That way, you will be able to manage tension. “In this regard, I want to specially thank the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo for the mature way it handles the quit notice.” Warns Fayose against hate speech On Governor Fayose, he said: “I call on my friend, Governor Ayodele Fayose, to focus his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari on his performance rather than his health or family issues.
“When I was a governor, I was at loggerheads with former President Olusegun Obasanjo but it was purely on government activities. I never went personal.
Fayose should take a cue too. “His recent interview in the Interview magazine where he said I was deceiving the Igbo into joining APC is uncalled for. I’m taking the Igbo to the central stage of politics and decision taking.” “I advise Fayose to stop hate speeches.
It is distractive, bad, not brotherly and against the spirit of brotherhood. We must not allow our country just like the Rwanda genocide to tread the path of hate speeches.”