2023: APC Does Not Belong To Tinubu Or Anyone Else, Not Even Me – Kalu
Chief Whip of the Senate Orji Uzor Kalu on Thursday declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) does not belong to the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, saying the party is owned by the people of Nigeria.
Kalu, who is eyeing the presidency, also said that he did not snub President Muhammadu Buhari by not going to inform him about his presidential bid at the Aso Rock Villa like other aspirants had done.
He spoke during an interview on ‘The Morning Show’ programme of the Arise News Television on Thursday.
Tinubu had on Monday visited Buhari and told him of his ambition to contest the presidency in the 2023 general elections, a development that may have narrowed the chances of the South East.
But the former governor of Abia State, shortly after Tinubu’s declaration, stated that the time was ripe for the south east to produce the next president of the country and that he has all it takes to match the APC national leader.
Kalu, in the interview, said there was no need for him to inform Buhari about his presidential ambition as it was not yet clear if the APC National Convention Committee would zone the party’s presidential ticket to the South East.
He said, “I don’t own the party, neither does Bola Tinubu or any other person in the party. The party is owned by the Nigerian people and they are the only people; in a democratic set up, majority always have their way.
“Unless the party zone this thing (ticket) directly to us (South East), if we go by majority in our next convention, if it’s not properly settled and agreed upon, none of us will get it. This is why I said there is no need going to talk (with the president) that I want to contest or not until the APC National Convention Committee says this is going to South, probably South East.
“I cannot snub the president, he is the leader of the party. You cannot snub a man that sits at the right side of the chair. What I’m just trying to do is to be careful in informing him. If I go to tell him I want to run for president and the party does not zone it to South East, it will not be nice to myself.”
According to the senator, it is only the North East and the South East that are yet to produce president in the country.
When asked what the priorities of his administration would be if he emerged the APC flag bearer and wins the presidential polls, Kalu listed security, restoration of confidence of the citizenry and electricity as some of the major planks of his policy drive.
He said, “My first priority will be to give Nigerian people freedom from terrorism, banditry, anything you call it from Sahara Desert to the Atlantic Ocean. I will like to give them freedom to go anywhere they want to go because that is the freedom everybody needs. And I’m capable of doing that. My first priority will be security of lives and property.
“Secondly, I will restore Nigerian people’s confidence. I will give them confidence. The youths, elderly, men and women need the confidence to go to the United States, United Kingdom and anywhere in the world and proudly say they are Nigerians. Confidence is everything. We have lost confidence from where we are coming from.
“Number three is to go back to re-commercialize electricity, to make sure that we restore electricity to our people. Once we have electricity, everything will follow. I don’t want to talk about roads. I will create economic miracle for Nigerians.”
Kalu also alleged that some persons “who want to be president” were bent on destroying him, stressing that there was jealousy in the Nigerian system.
Responding to a question on those pursuing him in apparent reference to his legal travails, the senator said, “They are Nigerians who want to be president, they are Nigerians who want to set me aside, they are Nigerians who just want to destroy me.
“A lot of jealousy in the system. People think I became successful at early age; why must I have money and power? These people carelessly put me in prison for six months for doing nothing. I’m not bitter about it.