Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Tuesday slammed critics of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and declared that the President deserves another term of four years.
Kalu said Nigerians should not be swayed by the criticisms and verbal attacks on Buhari from some quarters, maintaining that the President needs to continue beyond 2019 in order to complete the good work he started in 2015.
The former governor, who said the person championing vitriolic attacks against the Buhari-led administration never tolerated such criticism while in office, remarked that no amount of criticism and writing of letters can stop Buhari in 2019.
Kalu spoke during a courtesy visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, in his Ake, Abeokuta palace.
Briefing the monarch and members of the Egba Traditional Council on the purpose of his visit, the former governor said he brought message of love, peace and understanding to the monarch.
He added he was also in the palace to propagate the National Movement for Re-election of President Buhari.
According to him, Nigeria’s unity remained non negotiable, saying his strong belief in the oneness of Nigeria and good leadership had informed his decision to tour the South West states.
While lauding the Alake for his sterling military career and quality traditional leadership, Kalu urged the monarch not to be distracted by those criticising Buhari, imploring him to maintain his close relationship with the President, whom he described as the right leader Nigeria needs at present.
Kalu, who said Nigeria had been befuddled with challenges of leaders who never obeyed the laws, wondered how such leaders after leaving office engage in criticising leaders who obey the laws.
He said: “We have brought you love from the National Movement for Re-election of President Buhari.
“That association is bringing you love that we are in a democracy, there must be people for and against.
“We are for Buhari.
“Some people are against and we wish them well.
“And we want to thank you for the key role of peace that you and other traditional rulers have been playing.
“Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.
“We are for oneness of this country.
“We are for leaders who are sincere to lead us well.
“We are for leaders who are equally committed to the rules and tenets of democracy.
“The greatest challenge of our country is leaders not obeying the law.
“When they are leaders, they don’t want to obey the law.
“When they go out of leadership, they criticise everybody who wants to obey the law.
“This is the problem of the country.
“We have had leaders who disobeyed every law of the land.
“We’ve also had leaders who were reckless when they were leaders and when they go out, they call people all kinds of name.
“We have also seen leaders that have never seen anything good in other people’s leadership, they only know about themselves.
“So, we want to thank you for the support.
“This is out of respect to come and see you.
“We could have come to Ogun State, see few people, the governor and we go back, but there is no way we can come here without coming to greet you, without coming to pay our respect to you and show the love we have.
“I know you are a close friend of President Muhammadu Buhari and I want you to maintain that friendship.
“Don’t allow anybody to distract you, whether people from here or from my area, stay on course.
“President Buhari has not finished the job he came to do.
“If God gives him good health and long life, he has not finished.
“He has to go for another four years to be able to finish.
“Despite people who are criticising and these people also took no criticism when they were in office, despite people who are writing letters, these people we also wrote letters to them, they didn’t reply to our own letters.
“So, I want to thank you for the chance and understanding you have given to us.
“I want to, from the deepest part of my heart, thank you with all your royal highnesses and other chiefs of the palace who are here to welcome us and pray God to give you good health and long life to continue to do this job that you’re selected by God to do.
“You were a brilliant soldier, brilliant officer of the Nigerian Army.
“I was very close to you when you were a brilliant soldier and you have paid big price for the country.
“Only countries that recognise the importance of its military will survive any occasion.
“So, I want to thank you for the services to your nation, the Nigerian Army, Nigeria as a country and also for the services to this community.”
In his remarks, Oba Gbadebo commended Kalu for his message of love and strong belief in Buhari’s capacity to deliver good governance.
He further described Kalu as a detribalised and great Nigerian, whose tenure as Abia State governor was marked with socio-economic development of the state.
According to the monarch, Kalu’s gesture indicated that Nigeria has a great hope for the future, declaring his readiness to team up with the former governor’s advocacy for the re-election of President Buhari next year.
The Alake, who noted that presidency or the country’s headship is a birthright of every Nigerian, however, expressed optimism that whenever the nation beckons on Kalu to run for presidency, Nigerians would go around to garner support for him.
Alake’s words: “For somebody coming from the East to campaign for the President who is from the North to campaign in the South West, that shows that Nigeria will be a great country in future.
“And you are coming from Abia State where I have spent so many days and nights.
“I welcome you and I know the great work you did in Abia State, a very young state during your time.
“To campaign to me about General Buhari, anyway you have already mentioned that you knew that I was close to him, he was my boss in Dodan Barracks.
“So, I am part of your team in campaigning that he be given a chance for another four years because those who made the tenure to be four by two, know that while you are formulating your policies, while you are thinking of what to do, you need time to now expect everything you have put in place in the first four years to now germinate and to bring benefits to the people.
“And we know what happens in Nigeria: there is always policy somersault.
“If a person goes after four years, virtually everything he has done will be turned over by virtually whoever comes after.
“He won’t want the person that has come to get the credit for what he is going to sit upon.
“So, he would rather have it killed than to go ahead and implement.
“So, as you are going around the country, we pray that God will be with you.
“That this effort you are putting in for the greatness of Nigeria, some other people will do the same thing for you because the headship and presidency of this country is the birthright of every Nigerian and I pray that in your own time too, people will go round and solicit support for you.
“You have proved to be a great Nigerian totally devoid of tribal sentiment when you were there as governor.
“I am aware of many things that you did, some of which you may not know that I know, including assisting people even from this town.
“I pray that God will be with you.
“That all you are planning for this great country will come to fruition and that you will be in a place to still do so many things for this country.
“Thank you for the very inspiring gift that you have given me.
“As a key stakeholder of the Nigerian project, your patriotic contributions to nation building are commendable.”