2023 Presidential Race, Kalu's Withdrawal And Igbo Interest - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

2023 Presidential Race, Kalu's Withdrawal And Igbo Interest


The Daily Crucible | Wednesday, May 11, 2022

By Onwuasoanya Jones

Orji Uzor Kalu's withdrawal from the presidential race shouldn't have come to anyone as a surprise. The former Abia governor wasn't mentally prepared for the race from the onset. A man who is fortunate to come out of prison and seriously burdened by a Supreme Court ordered retrial of his case, is definitely not the right kind of candidate for us to put forward at this moment.

Orji Uzor Kalu like another former governor of a Southeast State is supposed to be a big force in this election, but his wings have been clipped by his own doings, hence, he is entirely focused on negotiating some soft landing for himself. He is looking for a way to get out of the corruption trial hanging on his neck and to do that, he couldn't afford to take any political decision that goes against the interest of the cabal.

For some context: Orji Uzor Kalu was diligently tried by the EFCC for corrupt acts perpetrated during his time as governor. Evidences were presented and accepted and he was found guilty. The Supreme Court decision on which the FG curiously relied to free him was in favour of his co-defendant and not him. That Supreme Court decision did not also acquit him of wrongdoing, but ordered a retrial on the technical ground that the trial judge had been elevated to the Appeal Court by the time he read out the judgement, hence, by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, he flouted a practice directive.

Orji Uzor Kalu understands that the only thing that can keep him from jail is servitude to those he believes owns Nigeria. He doesn't seem to have any strong defense and is therefore relying wholly on political protection.

I will however want to advise him to continue these negotiations with personal funds and political influence and not try to use the Igbo interest to negotiate for his political safety. Making himself available to be used as a running mate to a Northern candidate or negotiating for the Senate presidency against the Southeast interest of producing the next President of Nigeria, will be an unforgivable act of sabotage. Not just himself, but his entire generation and everyone connected to him will answer for this betrayal, not just now, but till the end of time.

Onwuasoanya FCC Jones is a member of the Ohanaeze Think Tank on Southeast Presidency.

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