By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— A founding chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State, Prince Paul Ikonne, has cautioned a former governor of the state,Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, against comments that could portray the party as incapable of keeping to its words.
Ikonne was speaking against the backdrop of the former governor’s declaration that ailing President Muhammadu Buhari would return before June 12, urging him to refrain from acting as the president’s unofficial spokesman.
“Last time, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu told Nigerians that President Buhari would return soon and he is not the spokesman of the President. Till now, the President is yet to return. He should keep quiet and learn to live like an elder statesman, not trying to take the job of the president’s spokesmen,” he said.
Speaking with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, Ikonne, who was a governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria ACN, said 95 per cent of the people of Abia State are not happy with the way Kalu governed Abia for eight years.
“I plead with him not to scare people away from joining the party because we need a strong party in the state. The real voters are the masses and if they are scared that the deception we witnessed in the past would also be associated with the APC in the state, then they will not come in,” he stated.
Ikonne advised the former governor not to scare members of the party in Abia “with his style of leadership because we need a strong APC in Abia State.”
He said: “If Abia is backward, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu laid the foundation and has taken Abia 16 years backwards. He laid a very wrong foundation for Abia state and as such, he should not be making statements that are false.
“My advice to him will be to keep quiet, be in a sober mood, go in for retreat, and try as much as he can to build a path of peace. He should embark on a mission to reconcile everybody. Let him make peace with his enemies so that we can attract more people to the party.”
On the planned boycott of the Anambra governorship election by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Ikonne said Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the group, was only expressing his personal views.
“That is his personal opinion because there will be an election in Anambra State. Nnamdi Kanu is a young man and I advise him that Ojukwu started this and regretted. A second one is not necessary,” he said.
“That is the stand of every Igbo person. If you say there would be no election in Anambra, then you are calling for a military administrator. So, the call for a boycott of Anambra election is simply a display of ignorance.”