February 24, 2009

Atiku is a chameleon –Kalu

Former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu,

Former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday, took a swipe at ex-vice-president Abubakar Atiku, describing him as inconsistent and a chameleon. Atiku had in a national newspaper, cast aspersions on Kalu, reportedly calling him a “political liability and unfit to question his controversial visit to discredited former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, Kalu questioned the ex-vice-president’s record in office, as well as his credentials for his much desired presidential seat.

Reacting to what he called “Atiku’s unguarded comments” Kalu regretted that the ex-VP’s unstable, and self-serving approach to leadership casts a slur on his suitability for the seat of the president, adding that it was regrettable that Atiku, who lives in the proverbial glass house, is the one throwing stones when he should actually be burying his face in shame and ignominy.

The former governor alleged that on several occasions, Atiku had abandoned the collective cause of the people, and his followers midstream to go cozy with the common enemy.
Explaining further, Kalu said: “Atiku cannot keep to promises. That was why I refused to follow him to the Action Congress (AC). He is always changing and changing again like a chameleon.

I knew he would abandon the AC cause midstream, just like he abandoned some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, prior to the 2003 presidential elections. Many of us had stuck out our necks for him. Projected him ahead of Obasanjo and attracted the wrath of the vindictive president but he struck his on deal and abandoned all of us to our fate.”
Insisting that the Turakin Adamawa has a penchant for betrayal, Kalu, who is the chairman of the board of Trustees (BOT) of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, (PPA) challenged him to a debate on national television.

On Atiku’s accusation of Kalu saying he was in charge of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) in the newspaper report, Kalu said Atiku was just being smart by half. “He merely dressed it up as an arsenal against him, as he knew the truth of the matter. Even Atiku knows that I know he was not in charge of EFCC. He just raised the non-existent issue to find something to talk about.”

Advising the former VP to chart a straight line in his dealings with people and politics, he said many people, including him, have incurred monumental losses from his several reversals at ethical points. This he said, Atiku was fully aware of.
He further took on the ex-vice-president over his allegation that he, Kalu, aborted the formation of a mega party because of his vaulting ambition, and his alleged description of him as a political featherweight and jester.
The PPA chief said: “How can a “political featherweight” and “jester” abort the formation of a mega party? If I am truly what you said I am, then, why did you rely on me to form a mega party? It is illogical.”

Kalu said it was left for Nigerians to choose between him and Atiku, who is more credible and acceptable.
Dismissing Atiku’s description of him as a political liability, he raised posers: “Now that Atiku is a political asset, how come he did not begin by winning his state, Adamawa? Why is PDP controlling his state of Adamawa, down to the wards, while me, a political featherweight, according to him, I am able to help put together a party that is now controlling two states. A totally new party! Incidentally the same PDP that Atiku claims manipulated him out of Adamawa deployed even more intimidating machinery to Abia and we, withstood them.

Kalu also joined issues with him on his claims that he (Atiku) is undergoing trial and therefore not qualified to comment on the issue.
Again, he said: “Atiku should be the last person to comment on such issues like trials. What about his Customs records? If standing trial is a disqualification, how come h e still ran for political office in 2007?”
He is talking about corruption, here is a man who is being investigated by several foreign agencies for money laundering. What about the Potomac house, the PTDF and so on? Apart from working in Customs, he never did much to earn money. Let him tell us the source of his money. Let him even tell Nigerians the circumstances that led to his exit from the Customs.”

He continued: “Nigerian youths are jobless. The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) report is with the Senate. Atiku knows he impoverished this nation. I never said he used the EFCC against me. What I said was that Obasanjo used EFCC to fight me, because he felt strongly that I supported Atiku.
Kalu prayed Atiku to ask Nigerians for forgiveness, affirming that his new romance with his former boss and tormentor is only a furtherance of his cycle of inconsistencies and self-serving politics.

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