Northern stakeholders and political leaders must not allow themselves to be pushed further into betraying Forbes rated Billionaire Senator and the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Hon. Jimoh Adewunmi Babafemi has said.
Babafemi, who stated this in a chat with newsmen on Friday in Transcorp Hilton Abuja was reacting to the recent outburst by the National Coordinator, Buhari/Osinbajo Support Group, Ebunola Martins, who said that the next Nigerian President to succeed Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 should come from the South-East region.
During the Morning Show of Arise TV on Tuesday, Ebunola Martins spoke on issues ahead of the 2023 Presidential election.
According to Martins, the two major political parties in the country should produce their candidates from Igboland as it was done in 1999 when the South-West fielded former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Peoples Party (APP) respectively.
Responding to questions from newsmen, Babafemi said neither the All Progressive Congress (APC) nor the President must turn their back on Senator Orji Uzor Kalu in 2023 in view of his immense sacrifices to the unity of Nigeria.
He said Kalu is a good and large-hearted man who has been serially betrayed in the past by Northern leaders despite being tested and trusted by the North.
Babafemi stressed that any further betrayal will also justify the insinuation that the North cannot be trusted. A whole lot of questions against the North will be thrown open before the 2023 election. If they don’t trust Bola Tinubu and they don’t trust Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Ighoho. Don’t they also trust Orji Kalu their own person?
Babafemi added that the former Governor won many enemies for no reason other than supporting the North at all times.
According to him, “The same people he is defending and showing loyalty are the same people I think are killing him. In 2007, they promised him President but gave it to his close ally, late Musa Yaradua. They cannot continue to pretend they love him and yet they betray him behind. They killed some of his businesses and sponsored his six months imprisonment; turned around to accuse Obasanjo and Tinubu of being behind his ordeals. We know everything!
Speaking further, he said, ” What I am saying is that the North should come open by supporting Orji Kalu as their choice for 2023. Look at Ebunola Martins, despite being a Yoruba man he openly declared support for a Nigerian president of South-East extraction. Why can’t the Northerns do the same? Must they perpetually remain in power? Behind the scene, they would tell you Kalu is the best for Nigeria. They would tell you that in the entire Southern region it’s only Kalu that has the reach, capacity, political and economic experience to lead Nigeria. It is time to support Kalu openly. Let the North champion South East’s agenda in 2023. They should support him to become the President and stop betraying him. Kalu’s presidency would shun tribal, religious, regional, and parochial interests and that’s what we need at the moment
Babafemi further noted that Kalu is a trusted and reliable leader who is loved by all, saying he must not be subjected to the “current unjust attacks by those who see him as a threat to their personal ambition.”
He warned that Kalu has a massive following and admirers across all the regions and further betraying him will naturally lead to the betrayal of his large followers.