Monday, October 15, 2007

Vice President Orji Kalu; Angling for Second Class Citizenship?

Vice President Orji Kalu; Angling for Second Class Citizenship?

Saturday, 15 April 2006

Governor Orji Kalu wants to be a vice with Atiku Abubakar. This was perhaps Kalu’s original plan, all along! The gathering, the other day of which Mr. Atiku Abubakar was the arrowhead, has unfurled many concealed plans and the characters behind them. Why was Kalu attending an event, essentially by Atiku, during which Atiku sought to enhance his own political visibility?

Why has the third term debates subsumed everything? Where are public policy ideas? Where are the debates of the issues affecting Nigerians and Nigeria ? Is the debates about third term, the only game in town? Where are Nigerians with personality? Good personality imbued with ideas and principles?

We should all be asking the candidates, what would you to do for Nigeria and how?

The events of last week are ominously very revealing of the political psyche of some, in Nigeria . There are no scruples involved in the mad dash for public office. There are clearly no principles or ideologies at play, or expected. We are witnessing admixtures of opportunists and opportunism, coupled with extraordinary marketing of distractions.

Governor Orji Kalu who has not done a good job of clearing the garbage heap in the great city of Aba , after nearly seven years as governor of Abia State , is now parading and positioning himself to run as vice president with Atiku Abubakar as top of the ticket.

Lest we forget, it was this same governor of Abia State , who during the past several years, animated World Igbo Congress, Ohaneze Ndiigbo and other Igbo social-political-cultural groups every where, more particularly in the United States , as he pretended to advocate Ndiigbo’s cause. He told everyone who cared to listen to him that his agitations were on the behalf of Ndiigbo ascension to the presidency of Nigeria come 2007.

Governor Kalu created the impressions that he identified with a common cause for Ndiigbo, to wit, producing a president of Nigeria of Ndiigbo extraction in 2007. But whatever happened to that lofty goal of project? It was Kalu’s pet project. He adopted it!

It is now becoming clear that Orji Kalu have engaged in grandstanding loud-talk, just in order to leverage himself into vice presidential candidate position with Mr. Atiku Abubakar or Mr. Ibrahim Babangida. Kalu only sought publicity and attention to, himself to appear attractive and visible for the number two position.

It is becoming glaringly clear that Kalu never really had a strong conviction. He never had any beliefs regarding Ndiigbo’s pride of place in Nigeria , he never believed in Ndiigbo person as president of Nigeria come 2007.

We should all ask Kalu, whether he believes in power shift, and if he does, where should the shift in the center tilt? Should the power shift, to the East, which Kalu advocated in the past, (with his now apparent false pretense) still be expected or is it that Kalu is now part of the new power shift, to the North, which some others have advocated, in view of the fact that presidency has been in the south for these preceding two terms?

Whatever happened to Kalu’s marketing plan that included his posturing as the voice of the East and Ndiigbo’s political aspirations?

Clearly, Kalu was engaged in fraudulent marketing, loaded with his false pretenses, when he represented himself in pursuit of Ndiigbo’s genuine political aspirations within Nigeria . Some had reckoned that Kalu’s championing Ndiigbo’s genuine political aspirations within Nigeria would work quite nicely and act as a counterweight, against the continued agitation for a separation from Nigeria by MASSOB.

MASSOB seeks to reignite the republic of Biafra , a forlorn dream. Let us now be very clear, Governor Kalu cares only for his personal ambition. He also realizes that he is not to be taken seriously as a presidential material. He does not have the strength of character for that. And so, he has marketed himself suavely, for a possible run as a vice presidential candidate. He is just another unscrupulous political opportunist in pursuit of personal ambitions.

We must now ask; where is Ohaneze, where is World Igbo Congress? Where are the South East agitators? Why are they not asking governor Kalu questions? Why is no one asking him to account? Why is no one asking him to explain the sudden change of directions? Or was his plan always to secure his personal ambitions, regardless?

History does repeat itself frequently in Nigeria , does it not? Late Dr. Okadigbo, formerly of PDP joined General Buhari of APP which morphed to ANPP, as Okadigbo became a running mate to Buhari, which in itself, resulted from the withdrawals of some ANPP candidates in favor of Buhari; subsequent to the walking out by some other ANPP primary attendees from the South-East, South-South and South-West. Okadigbo reneged in his agreement with the others to be part of the walkout. That betrayal of his friends earned Okadigbo the running mate position in ANPP under Buhari.

Governor Kalu has been an enfant-terrible in the PDP as well as a torn in the flesh of President Obasanjo. It will be recalled that Kalu repeatedly made grave allegations; But without ever producing facts or evidences to substantiate his frequent allegations against victims of his flippant accusations. And just like Okadigbo did, Kalu now hope to have his bread buttered across the aisle from the PDP, even as Kalu will soon enough be looking askance, at the genuine political aspirations of Ndiigbo, aspirations with which Kalu garnered our attention and marketed himself. Only now for Kalu to abandon that project to which he repeatedly claimed passion, false passion.

I really had hoped and wished that Nigerians were presented with credible Ndiigbo candidates for president of Nigeria in 2007. Let the end result be that such credible Ndiigbo aspirants were out-maneuvered by the third term arrangements or by the power-shift agitators and or the Atiku opportunism

Ndiigbo have not effectively joined the race for the presidency of Nigeria , unless you count Kalu and except you think he is credible.

Too many Nigerians have been deceived by those who are still distracting some of us with their opposition to third term for President Obasanjo and current state governors.

I think that some Nigerians have been hoodwinked and hypnotized by the opposition! As some are now transfixed with debates about third term, as they exclude everything else!

The opposition and political opponents of President Obasanjo are scared and afraid, so we are told and that is why they have no manifestoes, no campaigns with the issues, or about ideas.

They should focus on the issues and great ideas. They should be bold and should have courage to market themselves to the electorate. After all, even in Zimbabwe , Uganda , Egypt etc opponents let the public know them and their manifestoes, or where they stand on the issues and public policies.

At least, Governor Kalu is certainly not afraid or even respectful of President Obasanjo, Kalu makes grave accusations and allegations against the president so frequently! Kalu should have been promoting his manifestoes, his public policy ideas instead of his focus those baseless allegations upon accusations.

Less than one year to the general elections in Nigeria in 2007, why is it, the candidates are not campaigning and educating the electorate with manifestoes, policies and programs

We should be asking the candidates, what are their plans are for our infrastructures, plans for employment, plans for well equipped and efficient hospitals, improved schools for better education, plans for generation and transmission electricity and plans to make water available for domestic and industrial consumption, where are your manifestoes for better life in Nigeria and better domestic and foreign policies?

Why don’t political opponents concentrate on selling themselves as good candidates?

Why won’t anyone, interested in public office in Nigeria concentrate in promoting ideas, issues, policies and programs? Why won’t candidates with strength of character, credibility and integrity promote their passion for public service? Why won’t they convince the electorate that they are suitable and even better alternatives, best alternatives compared to past and present crop of public office holders?

A manufacturer or seller of a good and better soap, a soap with greater lather, a soap that cleans my clothes best, must promote that soap to me, the end user, the judge, instead of talking of he other guy’s soap, or that the other guy makes terrible soap! A smart manufacturer or seller should not talk-down to consumers… and a smart politician should not talk-down or distract the electorate.

A smart politician should show respect to the electorate, concentrate on the issues, also concentrate on educating the electorate about ideas, the issues, the policies and programs. But instead, some politicians are busily focusing on the third term debate exclusively and at the expense of educating the electorate with concrete plans, policies and programs.

Nigerians politicians should convince the electorate of their passions, ideas, policies and programs which are essentially their products, which is what they must convince the electorate to buy into. Nigerian politicians must do this and leave it to the electorate to do the comparative analyses between past, present office holders and the aspirant.

Let the electorate be convinced that you are a suitable replacement for what they already have or have had, convince the electorate that you are suitable and superbly better than, the other guy, the incumbent. An incumbent can be defeated, third term or not!

The third term bogey or distractions have become the only selling point for politicians who have nothing to say by way of ideas, policies and programs. The other guy or the incumbent should not be our politicians’ only rallying cry, Incumbents should not be our politicians major selling point, the other guy, (the incumbents) if anything, should only be a point of reference, by the way of contrasting aspirants to current office holders.

Political campaigns and electioneering is akin to selling or marketing products. Let say, I have a product, it is a good product, this soap produces better lather per cubic feet and it is better value for your Naira and by the way, it is better than that nameless soap that you currently use….

Sadly, what we have now is, a new soap seller in the community or country, who is intent on telling us, harping, harping and harping on it, that the soap we have been using, the soap that we are used to, and still purchasing, about which we have had some complaints, is the worst soap. But perhaps we already know that! In any case, let us be the judge.

Now, it is as if someone is compelled to watch the same advertisement or commercial on television over and over again, and repeatedly being told how product “A”, but the sponsor never say anything about the product “B” that he is trying to promote. Product “B” which the sponsor hopes we will accept as a replacement of product “A” but the sponsor of the advertisements or commercials. He keeps on harping on the lack of quality or lack of endearing attributes in a competing product “A”. And after months and months of hearing these sorts of adverts, I expect reasonably intelligent listeners to be bored stiff and tired and sick of the monotonous monologue and debate about the other guy’s bad product, without the sponsor of the adverts ever, introducing the competing brand “B” product. And without trying to demonstrate convincingly, how the new product “B” is a better product.

Political opponent and opposition to Nigeria current government at all levels must begin scheduled demonstrations in words and actions, in campaigns and in manifestoes which must establish why they are better alternatives or hope to be better alternatives. The Nigerian electorate knows what there is currently. The unknowns and never before mentioned alternatives, have not been explained to the Nigerian electorate. Harping on and repeatedly asserting that your competitors are bad, does not promote your ideas or products. We must learn to promote the ideas and the issues and the policies and programs that will make the lives of Nigerians better than it is now and make Nigeria great for the benefit of all of Nigerians.

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