Abia Governor attacks predecessor, Orji Kalu, as “political failure” who forged school certificate

The incumbent governor says his predecessor is a burden.

A former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, is an embattled and failed politician who lacks even basic academic qualification such as the senior school certificate; his successor, Theodore Orji, said, in a ferocious rejoinder to a week long public row between the two men.

Mr. Orji spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday, in his first response since Mr. Kalu was stripped of a bachelors degree by the Abia State University-a decision Mr. Kalu blames the incumbent governor for.

Many also view the decision as the climax of the political confrontation between the two former allies. Mr. Orji was Mr. Kalu’s Chief of Staff for eight years during the latter’s tenure as governor.

The school said it found out the former governor’s admission and graduation, done while he held office and acted as the visitor to the school, were flawed.

In a reaction weekend, Mr. Kalu said the decision, coming six years after he left office, was induced by his successor, whom he labelled a “political neophyte”, unpopular among his people.

The incumbent governor, Mr. Orji, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Ugo Emezue, said the former governor was attempting to evade a scandal he brought upon himself. He denied instigating the decision to strip Mr. Kalu of the degree.

“We are hesitant to react because that is pure blackmail. Abia State University is a full-fledged institution and its senate has the right to decide anything it likes,” the governor’s spokesperson said via phone.

“Truth is that Abia State Government has nothing to do with that. He should face his certificate scandal alone.”

Mr. Orji denied he was aware, as the Chief of Staff, of the arrangement leading to Mr. Kalu’s enrolment in the school, and his graduation.

“The chief of staff is not involved with his admission. First of all, he wouldn’t tell anybody if he is doing something bad. When you are carrying a woman, will you tell your chief of staff?” he asked.

He rejected the notion of a “neophyte”, and lambasted the former governor as the one lacking in qualification and experience.

“This is an elected governor, graduated from the University of Ibadan, seasoned civil servant for 35 years, worked at INEC, chief of staff for eight years and governor for two terms.

“Compare side by side with a man whose school certificate is even in doubt. In fact that is even the one the world will soon hear. He does not have a school certificate,” the incumbent’s spokesman said.

Mr. Kalu’s dispute with his former trusted aide, and the irony of his post-office experience, have surprised many.

As governor, Mr. Kalu founded the Progressive People Alliance, PPA, and deployed state and party machinery to install Mr. Orji as his successor; even when the new governor was detained over corruption charges.

Both men have since fallen apart, and Mr. Kalu has abandoned the party, seeking to return to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP; years after the incumbent did the same.

The distrust between the two men has been fuelled by more than is known publicly, Mr. Orji’s spokesperson said.

Part of it, he said, was Mr. Kalu’s attempt at perpetuating his influence after he left office.

“In life, when you give birth to a child, you want that child to be greater than you. But in this kind of situation, the father wants to be the greatest forever,” he said.

He said part of Mr. Kalu’s grouse, was the new governor’s refusal to fund his family and their profligate lifestyle.

Once, in the mid of the tense relationship then, Mr. Kalu, issued the current governor a query on the platform of the PPA, accusing him of non-performance.

“Can you imagine giving a sitting governor query?”

“He was more or less like a burden to the governor, milking everything. So what do you expect the man to do? When he’s pushed to the world he said no, enough is enough.

“We cannot continue to cater for your mother, cater for your brother, cater for your family, taking jet to the U.S., the state government will be paying. The people of Abia state said no, this cannot continue. So that is what happened,” he said.


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  • FOLO

    Gov T. Orji wake up; are you just realising that Kalu has no school certificate after serving as his Chief of Staff for eight years? We shall be alive to witness yours when u leave office. Igbo with vendatta

  • countryman

    U don’t bite d finger dat fed u.Wat goes around comes around.

    • Es3

      If the finger that fed you becomes a stink and the truth must be told, then you can bite by telling the truth!

  • EZIOKWU

    Govenor Orji, please tell us the truth…8 years as chief of staff to Orji Kalu and you claim you never knew he had a a fake result. Are you not the one that helped him to “doctor” his qualification for submition at INEC while you were working there after you had collected money form him?. As per his qualification before being granted Addmission; it not important because, so people have graduated with a degree, without having the qualifiying credential to be admittted…Obasanjo and NOUN. stop playing dirty politics, what goes round, will surly come around.

  • Jude Chris

    Thank God for Governor TA Orji for he has brought sanity into Abia polity.

  • James IMO

    God bless TA Orji. I love my Governor
    From Umuahia

  • Orji UzorKalu is a political failure. Not even his Homosexual partners IBB, Atiku, Jubril Aminu and co can save him this time. He has no school certificate but want a degree

  • Amaka Amadi

    Orji Kalu’s thought of schooling as trading in spare parts….Former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu’s degree from the Abia State University was a “moral burden” justifying the school’s decision to withdraw the award is indeed a good one.The state university announced the withdrawal on Saturday saying it found out Mr. Kalu’s admission was flawed. I commend the school for stripping the former governor of the award,the decision was “proper” although it came late.“The award of the certificate to the former governor, who was the incumbent visitor of the university, was patently a clear indication that his admission and graduation violated the institution’s extant rules and regulations,” based on the strength of the findings and recommendations of an ABSU’s investigative panel, the decision of the school was in order.
    He dismissed allegations that the school’s action was politically motivated; but attacked Mr. Kalu as a politically unstable person, the former governor spent only two semesters in the school, “thinking that the university was a political spare parts shop where any dealer in government can ply the trade by using political power to aggrandize his bloated ego.”“All political groups in the country to be wary of associating with Kalu as he portends evil in all his undertakings, and would readily tarnish the image of any sane entity,”

  • Amaka Amadi

    when a man has shown him self not trust worthy, every thing about him becomes questionable, this is not political but facts that OUK’S academical certificates are all questional. TAO is doing his best to fish our all irregularities in Abia both past and present!

  • Ucheoma

    Thank God for this revelation. So many things will still unfold

  • CHINEDU OKEREKE

    It is a mistake to think that just any criticism of those in authority is intended to spur action in the positive direction. Many do not fully understand the unique and complex background from which Abia state recently emerged. it was a failed state in every sense of it . For 8 solid years Abia state remained under the struggle hold of despotism and demagoguery. It was a regime that smacked of inconsistencies in word and action. People like
    ‘yours faithfully’ were hunted down for daring to speak out against
    official malfeasance and unbridled profligate life style at the expense of the public till. There was deliberate policy of state terrorism endorsed with the executive red pen.thuggery was legitimized and it formed an inseparable arm of government .’Yours faithfully’
    and few others who braved the situation to speak out had all the
    paraphernalia of executive incumbency unleashed against us. Communities
    like Idima Abam were almost destroyed on false information to the police in an attempt to arraign ‘disloyal’ on trumped up charges. These and a myriad of other vices were the woes that Abians daily struggled to live with during the eight years of Orji Uzor kalu ‘s rule in Abia state.

  • CHINEDU OKEREKE

    I am not just a living witness but a victim of the misrule and highhandedness that befell Abia state for eight years. The story of what happened in Abia between’ 1999 to
    2007 is one that would require a full time narrative and it should be
    left for another day. My concern today is to draw a contrast between the
    erstwhile regime and the present one, for purposes of utter clarity.

    What would be the yard stick to measure performance in Abia state in terms of good governance to the people, certainly not one offered by the likes of Orji Uzor .

    I am, to say the least, very stunned to note that Orji Uzor has the effrontery to accuse the present Governor Non performance in the administration and management of the state resources. In one
    of his diatribes he accused the Governor and his children of amassing
    so much wealth and even dared to query his source of wealth’.

    The question is what does Governor T.A Orji and his children have that a governor can’t legitimately afford. The
    former governor , within his 8 years of governorship floated an
    airline , a bank in Gambia , acquired hotels and two oceans liners , a
    larger than life property in Potomac, Maryland, united state , etcetera.

    It should be recalled that in Orji Uzor kalu overmastering desires to subjugate the Abia political
    elite , he cultivated a horrendous intolerance of any form of dissent
    between 1999 t0 2007 . This was a period that no well informed Abia is in a hurry to forget.

    It was a period when governance equated to prodigality and ostentation, while vagueness and ambiguity was the norm in virtually every official transaction. Memories of history do not fade away quickly. It is strange as it is amusing to read the former governor of Abia state in his ‘good governance ‘in Abia during
    his 8 years rule. I can only grief for the reading public who might not
    have the facts to effectively situate the two regimes and personalities. For the avoidance of doubt these are two extremes with a marked difference in perception, emphasis, objectives, values and priority.. TAO is the best governor abia has ever had and we are proud of him, we will all join hand to support him!

  • Amaka Amadi

    During
    the period of OUK’s regime , when inclination to malfeasance gained
    ascendancy over reason , and many politicians were cowed made to
    cultivate a slave mentality that consistently crawled for parental
    adoption , there were few of us who had the steely determination to
    call the bluffs.

    A person‘s true
    greatness does not fully surface until he vacates the scene, otherwise
    the private and public life of the present governor of Abia state would bear true of an ancient injunction that ‘honour be given to whom it is due; understandably, this injunction has evolved to a nascent political axiom which canvasses ‘honour’ as the function and product of the performance ethics that bother on selfless sacrifice for collective good.

    In the thinking of the ancient, honour’ becomes the group recognition of the relevance of character and action to the development of human collective.

    It insults the sensibilities of Abians to read Orji Uzor trying unsuccessfully to inflict dent on the character and integrity of Governor T.A Orji, perhaps in vexed protest to the expose of his moral ills as then governor, by the sterling qualities of his successor.

    It is not the fault of Governor T.A Orji that Orji Uzor chose to fritter away 8 solid years on thealtar of
    prodigality and ostentation an embraced actions that were visibly
    inimical to the objectives and logic of collective development . The
    spoilsport propensities in which the Abiaexecutive
    arm thrived under his regime left much to be desired and riled many of
    us whom he hunted down with all the war chest available to him as governor. The bestial reign of Orji Uzor’sregime was anchored on vile propaganda and cruelty that surpassed those of the roman emperors.

    Contrariwise, the conscientious, considerate spirit with which Governor T.A Orji has marked his dealing with people has earned him the respect and admiration of people like me and we are in the greater majority of the Abia populace. He has, by consistent moral uprightness, struck a note on the imperatives of selfless service of Abians , considering public good greater than his personal convenience –a clear departure from what it was under Orji Uzor Kalu .

    According to melford okilo,’Honour is the practice of right actions’. This statement bears true of the character and persons of chief T.A Orji, who merely endured Orji Uzor for 8 years , being a career civil servant at the time

  • CHINEDU OKEREKE

    The
    former Governor has no moral standing to utter a word against Governor
    Orji, or any member of his family because what stands sure behind
    Governor T.A Orji is priceless andtimeless. It is beyond the mundane, and radiates transcendent values.
    It is the beauty of his humble but firm spirit which daily seeks to
    practice prestige conferred by wealth and the material privileges
    bestowed by class that engulfed the former governor while in office.

    Governor T.A Orji cannot condescend so low to join issues with him. Those who quite understand Orji Uzor’s antics and unbridled cruelty will defeat him in his own game on his own turf when the time comes.

  • Amaka Amadi

    If it takes a pause to inform us of the liberation of Abia state
    from the grips of sinister demonic in oath-taking of all practical
    office holders as stand practice of that regime while it lasted ;
    the tatic deployment of silent elimination by hook or of all those who
    failed to succumb to the evil order. Or those who were found to have
    breached the oath ; the sudden decimation of personalities through hire
    and fire , using the air waves as the preferred medium of communication
    to inflict maximum injury on the targeted personalities ; the trumped-up charges
    usually ever available to hound opponents of the regime,
    notwithstanding their membership of the same political party ; the
    solicited hero worship of sorts savored by both mother and son; the celebration of mediocrity in governance ; the near total disrespect to elders and hunting of those who
    would not mortgage their conscience ; corruption in the highest order
    with direct debit on public treasury into private companies ; the hide
    and seek strategy as state craft; intimidation and extra judicial killings , etcetera, etcetera .

    The victims and near victims of these social ills and criminality, some of who are still around,can testify. I am one of such people. In the period, prominent sons of Abia in the capacities of ministers of the Federal Republic, National secretary and Republic, legal luminaries of note –some of who wear the silk today, were causalities’ of the despotism and cruelty that held court in that regime and would easily attest to the veracity of these piece . The investigative machinery of the EFFC equally testifies to that. EFCC should follow up OUK immediately for proper examination,…

  • Eze Obioma

    Abians have been librated and we have no apologies to anybody. we
    rather have vowed to remain grateful to God for his infinite wisdom and
    mercy that saw to the emergence to Governor T.A Orji , who came in the
    caste of Moses-serving in the court of pharaohs’ to receive the requisite training for the arduous task of liberation . it is history replayed in Abia . Just as Mosesendured the stench of injustice against all odds, to fit the man God required for the job. He hasnever failed to inform all who cares to hear, that he did not perform this feat by sheer strength or sophistication of his own, but by the Devine mandate entrusted on him by God

  • Eze Obioma

    For me, it is the freedom of speech and after the speech, the restoration of the dignity of all Abia politicians to operate without fear that makes all the difference. The provision of infrastructure by T.A Orji’s administration, which is veritably littered all over the state, becomes secondary.The Arab spring is a testimony that freedom is a basic need of all humans, Irrespective of creed or race. If all these are acknowledged, I would need to know what else makes Orji Kalu’s definition of good governance – and let all who love justice and freedom say Amen.