July 13, 2010

Mixed reactions greet Kalu’s return to PDP

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor with Agency reports
LAGOS – SINCE the return of former Abia State governor, Orji Kalu to the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, from the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, where he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions to the move.
Reacting, Chief Victor  Umeh, APGA national chairman said, “Chief Orji has never been in opposition politics. He has always been an associate of former military bigwigs and therefore has always been a part of the establishment. He was a member of the PDP from 1999 to 2007.

Following his disagreement with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, he formed the PPA to pursue his political interests out of PDP which was in firm grip of Obasanjo.

When PPA governors left the party based on their sordid experience, Chief Orji Kalu had no business remaining in PPA, So he had to return to PDP. With the exit of Gov T.A Orji from the PPA, with his numerous aupporters, there was nothing left in the PPA for Orji Kalu to continue with.

So his return to PDP was a wise decision on his part to cover his emptiness. APGA is not worried about his return to PDP. The unprecedented show of solidarity that followed Gov TA Orji exit from PPA by people of Abia state shows that Orji will be more of a burden to PDP in Abia in the forthcoming elections than an asset.

To buttress that he would be a liability to PDP, his home chapter in  Bende LGA of Abia State has rejected his return to the party. So we are surprised that PDP described his return as return of a gallant general even when he returned without his troops.

So we are waiting for them in elections.

Also reacting to Orji’Kalu’s return to PDP , Abia State Governor, T A  Orji who has also left PPA FOR All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA, said: “Orji Uzor Kalu is free to go any party he likes; but it is very unfortunate that he is running away from the party he helped build, to run to another party.

The same man few weeks ago was busy criticising PDP that the party lacks internal democracy and vowed not to go back to PDP that has finally swallowed his words and join PDP. He should have remained in PPA and continue the struggle than jumping ship.

Orji Uzor Kalu should be a man; that his claim that he left PPA out of circumstances does not hold water.

I, TA Orji, am the one that can say I left PPA out of circumstances because I was pushed to thee wall. So my exit from the party and its subsequent collapse shows I was in control of PPA in Abia State.”

The PDP in Lagos yesterday, however applauded the former governor of Abia, Chief Orji Kalu for returning to the party.
Mr Olatunji Shelle, the Lagos State Secretary of the PDP, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Kalu had exhibited the courage in him to be back to the fold.

Kalu on Monday led some members of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) back to the PDP.

Kalu, former Chairman, Board of Trustees, PPA, said the move was to fulfill his promise of cooperating with the PDP in delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“Kalu is a man with lots of energy and a politician of note and there is no place he can maintain the status quo except in the PDP,’’ he said

Shelle said the PDP was a party that could no be missed or ignored by the people who built it, adding that even when they defected to other parties they would still come back.
“There is an attraction in the PDP,’’ he said