© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Orji Uzor Kalu: If you ever see me support secession, just know that I’ve gone nuts
Orji Uzor-Kalu, former Governor of Abia State, says he will only support secessionist calls by Nnamdi Kalu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), if he goes nuts.
According to Kalu, who was speaking as a guest on AIT’s ‘People, Politics and Power’, it would be madness to endorse such move.
He said that rather than support the breakup of the country, he would push for the amalgamation of the Republics of Chad and Niger to be joined to Nigeria and called ‘The United States of Nigeria’.
“What I can’t understand is some intellectuals, some people supporting Biafra… It disturbs me because I have gone to the deepest part of the US government and they said they will never allow the country (Nigeria) to disintegrate,” he said.
“I have gone to the deepest part of the UK government and they told me that they will never allow the country to disintegrate. So why are we wasting our time?
“You need a government to back you up on whether you are disintegrating or not. These are world powers; it’s true, it’s world politics, it is true.”
Uzor-Kalu recalled that he predicted that former President Goodluck Jonathan may not win the 2015 election because some western countries didn’t back him. “They can influence anything,” he said.
On the ultimatum by some northern youths for south-easterners to leave the North by October 1, Uzor-Kalu said Nigerians should not take them seriously.
“The quit notice means absolutely nothing because the people that gave the quit notice are just side-by people who don’t know what this country means,” he said.
“Nobody should be disturbed. I am not disturbed. I’m still investing in my farm in Maiduguri till tomorrow morning. So this quit notice is not in agreement with the convention that guides the existence of Nigeria.”
He commended the governors from the northern and the south-eastern states, as well as Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, for their handling of the development.
Uzor-Kalu also pointed out that it was wrong to say that the ultimatum to the Igbo was supported by the northern elders. He insisted that no reputable northern elder endorsed the call, except for a few who were “looking for cheap popularity”.
“No reasonable northern elder will do that,” he said.
“Did Adamu Ciroma do that? Did you question Adamu Ciroma? So I don’t know which people you call northern elders.
“Did Jibril Aminu say so? Did Ibrahim Babangida say so? Did (former) President Abdulsalami (Abubakar) say so?
“Did other young northerners who have a lot to do with the North and the South say so? Will Aliko (Dangote) support that? Nobody, no reasonable man will support that; only people who are looking for cheap popularity.
“It’s just like seeing me supporting secession of the country, you’ll know that from that day, you’ll know that my head has gone nuts. So that is what it means. The unity of the country is not negotiable by anybody.
“So when you say northern elders, I don’t know whether the Sultan, Emir of Kano, Emir of Zazzau are telling you that we should quit. If all these people tomorrow morning come out and ask us to quit, we will quit.
“We are not afraid of quitting and nobody should threaten us with quitting. We can build the best place to live, but Nigeria’s unity is more important.”