A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu has openly thrown his weight behind the re-election of two All Progressives Congress, APC, governors in Ekiti and Osun State.
Kalu last week visited Governors Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State during which he asked the indigenes of the states to return the governors because of their excellent performances in the governorship election slated for June 21 and August 9 respectively.
Kalu’s endorsement of Aregbesola appeared particularly shocking as he did so the same day the PDP primary election was holding in Osun State in which a former deputy governor of the state and former senator, Iyiola Omisore, emerged the governorship candidate of the PDP.
While attending the 15th edition of the Walk of Love in Ipetumodu, Osun State, Kalu said though he was a friend to both Messrs Aregbesola and Omisore, there was no need to replace the governor because he had worked for the people of the state.
“I am a statesman and PDP man. I made a promise a month ago to honour this Walk to Love event,” the former governor said. Omisore is a personal friend of mine. Aregbesola is my friend as well. Governor Aregbesola has worked for the people of Osun. You don’t need to change a winning team. I also wish to express my support for our president, he is trying. Let’s pray for President Jonathan and let’s pray for Aregbesola.
“I want to thank the governor for making today’s Walk Exercise in a way I have never done before. Governor Aregbesola has done well. I am not here on party basis. I am a bonafide member of my Party (PDP). When someone has worked, we should learn to recognise performance in Nigeria. Governor Aregbesola has worked.”
“There are few Governors that can walk as we have walked today, without pure water being thrown at them. If what I have seen today is a test of popularity, then Aregbesola is indeed popular. God Bless you!” he said.
During a visit to Fayemi at the governor’s official residence last Wednesday, Kalu also asked the people of Ekiti State to rally round him (Fayemi) because he had delivered on the promises to them.
He said he was impressed by the diligence and commitment with which Fayemi delivered the dividends of democracy to the people and that he had got reports from the people that the governor was doing well.
The former governor said Fayemi had provided the people access to good roads, quality education and health among others, in his developmental agenda.
“Ekiti people should rally round the governor,” Kalu said, adding that “According to what Ekiti people said, the governor has done very well. He has put in the mechanism and software for the job. Everything will not come in one day. You will start from somewhere and operate it.
“He is giving them access to good roads, access to education and health and there is no doubt that I have been impressed since I have gone through the southwest based on what I saw on ground.”
The former governor, who said he was on tour of the country to preach national unity, stated that though he was sure the PDP would battle Fayemi in the election, he was convinced the governor would win.
While describing the position of governor as a burden of service, Kalu asked all the parties in the contest to play politics with decency and honour and avoid shedding of blood in the coming elections.
According to him, all hands must be on deck to ensure the survival of the country’s democracy.
The former governor advocated a two-party system, saying that this would further strengthen democracy and give it more meaning.
Earlier, Fayemi had lauded Kalu for the patriotic step he was taking towards the sustenance of the unity of Nigeria. He said the step transcended political and religious affiliations.
He assured that he would never engage in the politics of bitterness even though people would want to take sides during elections.
He stressed that his administration would never mix politics and governance as he was committed to banishing poverty from the State.