How N100 million campaign fund widened Abia APC crisis
• I stayed away from rally to avoid trouble, says Kalu
The disagreement over the management of the N100 million voted for recent All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign rally in Abia State has widened the division between two main factions in the state chapter of the party.
By ranking, the incumbent Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, is the highest current political office holder in the state, as such, was expected to be the rallying point for the campaign, especially given the dispute over the governorship ticket between Dr. Uche Ogah and Chief Ikechi Emenike.
But The Guardian gathered that it was the decision by the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to recognise Emenike as the state leader, instead of Kalu, that angered his supporters, leading to their boycott of the event that held at Umuahia Township Stadium.
When contacted, Kalu explained that he was on his way to a campaign rally, stressing that every family experiences disagreement, but expressed hope that the crisis in the party would be resolved expeditiously before the general elections.
On his absence from the rally, despite his perceived closeness to the APC presidential candidate, Kalu disclosed that the blood of Abia people is more precious to him than attending the rally, noting that he decided to stay away to avoid blood shed.
Kalu said: “For what happened, yesterday, at the campaign rally in Umuahia, I would commend the Governor of Imo State for accompanying our incoming president to Umuahia. I want to also commend the organisers, because it was smooth, despite skirmishes. I congratulate Tinubu, our incoming commander-in-chief.
“On my arrival on Saturday night, I called him and convinced him that Abia is safe despite that some people advised him against coming to the state. I was in Igbere yesterday; if I had gone there, it would have been a different story. Rallies do not win elections; it is on February 25 that we will know who will win or lose his polling booth.”
“I decided to stay away to preserve the blood of innocent Abians. Tinubu knows that I am fully with him; I wish him well, but life of Abia people is more important than going to a rally. I decided to be peaceful and as wise as my grandmother by staying away. I congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for the attention he has given to Abia State, and we believe Tinubu will also give us similar attention so that after infrastructure we will move to Agriculture to save our people.”