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2023: I Am Competent But Not Desperate To Lead Nigeria – Orji Kalu

Soonest Nathaniel  
Updated January 20, 2022
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu briefing the press after the visit to Buhari. Credit: Facebook/Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

 

Chief Whip of the Senate and a former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has declared ahead of the 2023 general elections that though he is ready for the campaigns and capable of leading the country, he is not desperate to become president.

While fielding questions from journalists at the National Assembly on Wednesday, a day after he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the Senate Chief Whip emphasised that the presidential contest will be the collective decision of Nigerians and the zoning arrangement of the political parties, particularly the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The former governor, however, maintained that the Southeast region was overdue to produce the next president of the country, adding that there were only two zones yet to produce the president which are the Southeast and Northeast geo-political zones.

 

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu briefing the press after the visit to Buhari. Credit: Facebook/Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

 

READ ALSO: APC Releases Timetable For Convention, Says No Position Yet On Zoning

Kalu stressed that his visit to Buhari was a usual one, adding that their relationship has spanned for years before he became president.

He disclosed that their discussions were centered on national issues with regards to security, electoral laws, and the welfare of the country.

“This is not the first time I’m going to see the President. People usually go in the afternoon but I went in the night to avoid the press,” he said.

“I go there regularly. It’s a family affair and I went there to discuss national issues with regards to security, the wellbeing of our country, and the issue of the electoral law, and the discussion was very fruitful.”

When asked if he informed the president of his ambition, he responded: “Has the party zoned the ticket to the Southeast? It’s only when the party zone it officially to the South. I have said before that there are only two zones that have not been president: the Southeast and the Northeast. Once it’s zoned to the Southeast, I have the capacity and the capability will roll out my campaign and rock like a hurricane.

“It’s overdue for an Igbo man to become a Nigerian president; I believe the Southeast should produce the next President and it’s going to happen.”

Kalu said those against the Igbos from producing the next president of Nigeria were not being fair to the Southeast and Northeast geopolitical zones which had never produced the president since 1999.

He said those already pushing are not being fair to the feelings of Nigerians.
“They are not serious. A serious-minded person will like to be fair to Nigeria, to be fair to society, and be fair to the atmosphere because this party is not owned by me or by you the press people.

“It is only APC people that can decide where the party ticket will go, if they zone it to the Southeast I have all it takes to make a good president”.

The Abia North Senator said that he would pursue his presidential ambition with other geopolitical zones of the nation while stressing that he will commence nationwide consultation at the right time.

Responding to questions on the APC’s forthcoming convention, Kalu expressed optimism that the exercise will be raucous free saying that the outcome will make Nigerians proud.

When asked about President Buhari’s body language to the contentious Electoral Act and 2023, Kalu said, “his body language is where other Nigerians are. His body language is for Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Recall that Kalu’s declaration came barely 24 hours after former Governor of Lagos State and chieftain of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with President Buhari to express his interest in the top job. The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, had also met with Buhari to declare his ambition to take over from him in 2023.