Open Letter To Chief Orji Uzor Kalu – By Prince Emeka Obasi
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?
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 timeâ€ hotel now). I am still the real Governor of Abia State!
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!â€ 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.