Tag Archives: Njiko Igbo

Igbo presidency will end Nigeria’s economic woes, says Orji Kalu

Orji Kalu says, “Igbos are the salt of the nation. Anywhere you don’t see Ndigbo, the economy is incomplete.”

Former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, has predicted that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction would provide a turnaround leadership that will halt the country’s decades of economic failings.

Mr. Kalu said given the opportunity at the next presidential polls in 2015, the Igbos will provide “qualitative and dynamic leadership” that can turn around the economy.

“Igbos are the salt of the nation,” he said. “Anywhere you don’t see Ndigbo, the economy is incomplete.”

The former governor spoke at a dinner with the Nigerian community in Belgium at Speidemberger Hotel Resort, Brussels on Friday. He was at the meeting as the Coordinator of a new Igbo socio-cultural group, Njiko Igbo.

Mr. Kalu said he spoke for any “candidate” that might emerge from the region as president. He did not say whether he will seek the office which he has run for and lost twice since leaving office as governor in 2007.

But the clearly politically-themed remarks would appear a subtle introduction of Mr. Kalu’s renewed bid for the top job come 2015.

And as he concluded his address, Mr. Kalu was immediately implored by a former school mate at the University of Maiduguri, Nuhu Tadeh, to run for the office. Mr. Tadeh, at the event, described Mr. Kalu as detribalized.

The former governor has faced a long-running corruption case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. His tenure as governor was rated amongst the poorest around the country.

Mr. Kalu decried the alleged unfair treatment by the federal government of the people of the South-East when compared to other regions.

He argued that the Igbos, having excelled in various fields of endeavour, with qualified people who can bring their experiences in the private and public sectors to governance if given the chance to lead the nation, should be given the nod to rule the country.

Mr. Kalu said Njiko Igbo, in partnership with other similar groups, was preparing a policy paper anchored on three focal areas – internal security, infrastructure and agriculture – for the nation.

The document, he said, would serve as a manifesto for any Igbo presidential candidate in 2015.

“We absolutely believe in pragmatic strategies for rebuilding the nation,” Mr. Kalu said.

The former governor lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for de-registering some political parties.

He tasked the chairman of INEC, Attairu Jega, to conduct all elections in a day and ban government officials from the collation centres in future elections.

Mr. Kalu said his new group, Njiko Igbo, was a non partisan and apolitical movement conceptualized to correct the anomalies Ndigbo has suffered over the years.

He said the group was not in competition with other groups but playing a complimentary role to other established social, economic and political and cultural bodies, with the collective interest of Igbo sons and daughters at home and in Diaspora in mind.

Why Igbos cannot produce president with five states, By Emmanuel Onwe

Emmanuel Onwe

The theoretical case for the emergence of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction has been eloquently established beyond any reasonable doubt. The economic case is persuasive; the legal case, which is a derivate of the constitutional principle of federal character, is incontrovertible; the political case is self-evident and the moral case is utterly compelling.

But the establishment of the case at the intellectual and theoretical plane is quite clearly insufficient to meet the rigorous demands of our ambition. Genuine ambition is contingent upon action.

Ndigbo have, for decades, expressed the desire and the thirst for the prime political office in this country. We have clearly shown, by oral advocacy, why we have that desire and thirst. Now we must take the forward steps in the direction of the oasis from which we hope to quench our thirst for justice and our desire for equity in Nigeria.

The next step is the crusade that will take our case to the other three cardinal points of our nation – west, south and north. The legwork and mobilisation that must underpin the theoretical case has been commenced by Njiko Igbo. Igbos should crave, plead and obtain – rather than presume, expect or demand – the support and solidarity of ALL Nigerians.

The component tribal groups that make up the Nigerian republic have unique experiences arising from their history of participation in the union; but none is quite as unique as the Igbo experience, made so by being the only tribe to have pledged allegiance to two different nations within the same territorial borders – first to Nigeria and then to the Republic of Biafra and then back to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In between this shifting citizenship have occurred pogrom/genocide, starvation and conquest.

This history and experience place us in a complex category in our union. And no Igbo citizen should be in any doubt that our quest for the presidency has remained a mirage precisely because of this unique experiential history – and nothing to do with the popular myth about disunity amongst us. Accordingly, our challenge in attaining the prime office in this land remains herculean and requires efforts of corresponding proportions to prevail.

No authentic Igbo citizen should fold his or her arms and wait to be recruited into, or consulted about, this dream. Instead, our recruitment efforts and consultations should be directed at non-Igbo Nigerians. The focus of our pleas and arguments should be firmly directed at those who remain unpersuaded or unsympathetic to the justice of our cause.

This crusade is an Igbo one, the staff and the rod is Njiko Igbo. But Njiko is not claiming an exclusive right to arms. Other warriors are welcome and, in fact, encouraged to rise to the occasion. Our job is to motivate, consult, mobilise and persuade both Igbos and non-Igbos alike. Additionally, Njiko Igbo is a platform for debate and exploration of deeper ideas about the place of Ndigbo in the Nigerian federation.

What I have said elsewhere bears repetition on these pages: “As an Igbo man, I harbour a deep sense of sadness at the manner in which we, as a people, have been consigned to the peripheral reaches of the Nigerian power structure for more than four decades.

Where is the justice or equity or the idea of equal opportunities in a pluralistic society such as ours? When shall these be accorded Ndigbo in order that we can have the assurance that, yes, we are not Osu (outcasts) in a nation family where we have played a brave and distinguished role to make its history more solid and more enduring? As a Nigerian, observing our unending national degradation, I feel a sense of outrage that the Igbo option appears never to be in contemplation as a legitimate instrumentality through which our national challenges could be finally confronted in a manner that could genuinely yield transformation.”

Of course, it’s self evident that we cannot achieve our goal without first putting our house in order. We must show a unity of purpose which must be demonstrated through the pursuit of this one and irreducible ambition. It will entail the sacrifice of the personal on the altar of the collective – which must be demonstrated through allowing ourselves to be dedicated to a purpose greater than our individual selfish commitments.

The battle spirit of our old struggles must be summoned. A genuine hand of friendship and solidarity must be stretched across and over the Niger to other tribes and tongues. We must summon the courage to take a stand and the stamina to stay the course.

These are some of the ways and means through we can attain the goal of ascending to the presidency. But let me add that the organising principle of our struggle is not founded solely on the capture of power. In the coming days, weeks and months, we shall lead a national debate on what the Igbo option truly means for Nigeria and why our national regression is due in part to our indifference to, or rejection of, this option.

A Nigerian president of Igbo extraction may or may not be able to transform our country into the Singapore of our dream in four or eight years, but how might we know what is possible until we have explored all the options at our disposal? There is one certainty, however. It will place a crown of truth and seriousness on the much trumpeted “No victor nor vanquished” slogan. And it will release us, finally, from the political ghetto-status to which we have been confined for over four decades.

Mr. Onwe is the Director of Operations, Njiko Igbo

We’ll pursue Igbo presidency to logical conclusion – says Orji Kalu’s Njiko Igbo

Orji Kalu says, “Igbos are the salt of the nation. Anywhere you don’t see Ndigbo, the economy is incomplete.”
Njiko Igbo, says its Protem Coordinator, Orji Kalu, and Chairman, Sylvester Anyanwu, are apolitical

Njiko Igbo, a non partisan political movement, led by a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has restated its position of pursuing its objective of the election of a president of Igbo extraction for Nigeria in 2015.

The acting National Publicity Secretary of Njiko Igbo, Brady Chijioke Nwosu, who stated the position of Njiko Igbo, lamented the marginalization of Ndigbo in national leadership positions and reaffirmed the resolve of Ndigbo at home and in the diaspora for the actualisation of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2015.

Mr. Nwosu stated that Njiko Igbo, which stands for unity by mending fences and faces, is apolitical, without bias towards any political party or association.

He said the leadership of Njiko Igbo, including the Protem Coordinator, Orji Kalu, and the Chairman, Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, are apolitical.

He said: “The group is for all Igbo sons and daughters irrespective of age, religion, place of residence, political party, profession, association and economic status amongst others.”

He described it is a common platform initiated to provide a common voice in the repositioning of the South East region in terms of development and leadership positions.

The acting secretary identified the aims and objectives of Njiko Igbo as the name connotes to include harmonisation of diverse interests in the South East zone of Nigeria, promotion of a common South East voice on national issues, rejuvenating the spirit of political participation among the grassroots across the zone as well as channeling commitment to positive national goals, building bridges across political tendencies in the zone and extending such bridges to other geopolitical zones for the full re-integration of the zone, amongst others.

Mr. Nwosu disclosed that the leadership and members of Njiko Igbo are consulting with stakeholders across the geopolitical zones of the country and outside Nigeria “to advocate our position on the Nigerian project.”

He maintained that the Igbos have greatly contributed to the economic development of Nigeria and have also supported other regions in clinching the presidency, adding that this should be a period of compensation for Ndigbo for their patience, sacrifice and national contributions.

Mr. Nwosu disclosed that the project has received the support of Nigerians and promised to strengthen dialogue, consultation, stakeholders’ engagement, advocacy and campaign as key tools in driving the aspiration of Ndigbo.

He called on Ndigbo to be committed, courageous and focused for what he described as a selfless fight, imploring them to use social, print, electronic and other means of communication to share the message of Njiko Igbo globally.

Orji Kalu takes campaign for Igbo presidency to America

Orji Uzor-Kalu

A former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has said his clamour for a president of Igbo origin in Nigeria in 2015 is not based on the platform of any political party.

Mr. Kalu, at different fora in the United States of America last week, said to achieve the lofty aim, it has to be beyond the confines of a political party, hence the formation of a non partisan political movement, the Njiko Igbo.

He said it has thus become imperative for all Igbo sons and daughters, home and abroad, to unite behind the Njiko Igbo for the realization of the objective of having, for the first time in Nigeria, an elected president of South-East origin.

A statement by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, quoted Mr. Kalu as saying: “I am playing the role of protem coordinator of Njiko Igbo for the unity of our region in particular and Nigeria as a whole, using this platform to bring Igbo sons and daughters together irrespective of their political affiliations and associations.”

Mr. Kalu, who spoke first at a dinner in his honour by Yoruba professionals at the residence of Chris Ogunrinde in Charlotte, North Carolina, added that as a person charged with the noble role of coordinating the aspirations of the Igbo and reaching out to others regions, he needed to be neutral by not associating with any political party at this point.

Mr. Kalu said: “I need to be neutral at all levels in achieving a unifying platform for this laudable project.

“However, we are ready to support any political party that zones its presidential ticket to the South East, which is in line with our cardinal objective.

“We have many qualified and dynamic people who have both the technical expertise and wealth of experience in the private and public sectors that are fit to occupy the position of Nigeria’s president.

“We have people who have excelled in the academia, business, politics and philanthropic areas of life among others and have contributed positively to economic growth of the country.

“Those are the people we need to look at and put forward our best foot in 2015.”

Responding, Mr. Ogunrinde applauded the commitment of Kalu in promoting unity in Nigeria.

Mr. Ogunrinde described him as a bridge builder with network of contacts beyond boundaries.

He acknowledged the support of Igbos in voting en masse for the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1993 and 1999/2003 presidential elections, promising to mobilize Nigerians in the USA to support the move for a president of South East origin.

At another parley with a cross section of Igbos in the USA, Kalu passed across the same message, soliciting for support for the project.

A. Eze, a Consultant Surgeon, who spoke on behalf of others, pledged their unalloyed support to the Igbo cause.

Mr. Eze stated that Igbos have contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria in all ramifications and deserve to be given the opportunity to lead the country.

Also commenting at the event, Abdullahi Umar, poured encomiums on Orji Kalu.

Mr. Umar went down memory lane on the selfless fight of Mr. Kalu when he held sway as the president, Student Union Government of the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

He commended him for declining the offer by the school authority to pardon him alone during the protest of the SUG that led to the rustication of the students’ leaders unless everyone involved was pardoned.

Drawing from his actions from his school days to his experience in the private and public sectors, Mr. Umar admonished Mr. Kalu to contest the presidency in 2015.

He acknowledged his role in building the PDP with the likes of Alex Ekwueme, Ibrahim Babangida, Atiku Abubakar, late S.M. Afolabi and Aliyu Gwarzo among others and also the Progressive Peoples Alliance, which have both produced political office holders.

In another development, Mr. Kalu was a guest at the anniversary dinner of the North Carolina chapter of the Jewish National Association, where he thanked them for their support and sought for the strengthening of cordial relationship with Nigerians.

Orji Kalu stated that by identifying the challenges, developing responses and delivering support and strength, both could make the world a better place for us all.

The association said it was delighted to have Nigerians grace this year’s anniversary dinner and promised to extend the same invite next year.



2015: Kalu takes campaign to Igbo land

Orji Uzor-Kalu

The controversial former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, on Monday, clamoured for the Igbo’s to unite before the 2015 presidential election.

Mr. Kalu, who has been consulting with leaders across Nigeria, including the Oni of Ife, Okunade Sjuade, for his presidential ambition, held consultations with prominent Igbo leaders in Anambra.

Addressing the leaders in Onitsha, Mr. Kalu said that the primary objective of the meeting is to unite all Igbo groups for the major tasks ahead including the 2015 Presidential Election.

The former governor appealed to the Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe, to get involved in the project to unite the Igbos.

“My message is Igbo unity (Njiko Igbo). We are not preventing other Igbo groups like MASSOB, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Aka-Ikenga, among others,
from carrying out their own objectives.

“We do not belong to any political party; what we are doing is to unite Ndigbo (the Igbo’s) and make them a bundle of broom,” Mr. Kalu

Earlier, in her remark, a senator representing Okigwe Senatorial District of Imo State, Chris Anyanwu, said Ndigbo needs someone who
could champion Igbo unity successfully, adding that Mr. Kalu is a suitable material.

She hinted that that Mr. Kalu had been called upon to lead a movement to get an Igbo President come 2015. She said he initially resisted the
offer on the grounds that he had retired from politics adding that he decided to make the move for the good of the Igbo race.

Ms. Anyanwu disclosed that the group would soon meet with all the existing political parties in Igbo land, and also hold talks with the
South East Governors’ Forum.

The group would equally have audience with religious leaders, traditional institutions, and various interests groups, she said.

In his remark, Mr. Achebe said the unity of Ndigbo would enable the Igbo people to achieve their aspirations. The monarch also lamented
that majority of investments owned by Ndigbo were outside Igbo land.

He said if the government could stop armed robbery and kidnapping in the zone, and provide jobs for the youth, Ndigbo could bring their
investments back home.