Delivering a paper titled ‘Mainstreaming Igbo in Nigeria’ during the inauguration of the Igbo Support group for Governor Yahaya Bello in Lokoja, the former governor chided Fayose for his “constant unwarranted verbal attacks” on the President.
While describing Fayose’s utterances as “unbecoming of a governor” Orji Uzor Kalu urged Fayose to be constructive and fair in his criticisms.
Noting that he is still friends with Fayose, Kalu, however, condemned the Ekiti governor for saying that he was deceiving the Igbos for defecting to the APC.
“My friend, Governor Ayo Fayose should focus his criticisms of Buhari on performance, not on his family, not on his health, not on personal basis.
“While I was governor, we focused our criticisms on former President, Obasanjo, on performance and the interest of our people. Politics is about interest; it is not about damage to families or personal interest,” Kalu said.
Kalu further urged Fayose to steer off criticizing President Buhari over his health and focus on making his state a better place.
“Fayose should endeavour to show the people of Ekiti the essence of good governance rather than engaging himself on unnecessary criticism of Mr. President and others perceived as arch enemies”, he said.
Kalu also underscored the need to make Nigeria work for all, adding that the Igbos will not support any move that will disintegrate Nigeria.
“I see a more united country rising from the ashes of hate and fear. Those who fear that the Igbos do not have leaders should first try to find out how Igbo people manage their affairs. Yes, Igbo people have their leaders and when their leaders speak, those they lead take cue. And of course, Igbo leaders are talking,” Kalu said.
He called on the Igbos to align properly and seek strategic partnership of other interest groups and political blocs to achieve developmental ideas.
“The Igbos cannot do it alone. I agree that the development of Igbo land is a task that must be done; but it cannot be done in isolation,” he said.
Kalu also argued that if the Igbos found a very strategic political partner, while not putting all their eggs in one basket, they could achieve their goals.
“We can however not do that if we remain antagonistic to one another. We cannot achieve it if we scare everyone with hate. We cannot achieve it if we think it is Igbo and Igbo alone. No, we must build necessary network. We must build alliances across the political divide. If we don’t build such alliances, we may not be able to market our demand,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Bello stressed that the unity of Nigeria was non-negotiable, adding that his administration deliberately appointed non-indigenes, particularly the Igbos, to occupy strategic positions in his government as part of plans to make Kogi a unifying factor in Nigeria.