Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said he gave ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo N100m to run his campaign in 1999.
He said he gave another N100m to the Peoples Democratic Party prior to the 1999 elections.
The former governor said this as ‘Guest of the Week’ on a Kaduna-based Liberty FMradio programme on Saturday.
He said, “I made millions before joining politics. I was doing business between Maiduguri and the East. I carried fish from Maiduguri to the East and palm oil from the East to Maiduguri. So, I had money and invested so much in the PDP.
“If the party is a company, I would have been a major shareholder. I and (Saminu) Turaki spent more on the party than any other Nigerian. How much did (President Goodluck) Jonathan have before he became the President? I was the first to give the party N100m to register. I was also the first to give Obasanjo N100m to campaign during the 1999 election.”
On the frosty relationship between him and Obasanjo, Kalu said things fell apart between him and the former leader when he discovered that Obasanjo was deceiving Nigerians.
Kalu said, “I fell apart with Obasanjo on the issue of third term. He wanted to be a life President. Nobody can tell me that Obasanjo was not interested in a third term. Huge money was involved in the project. Two senators from my state came with the money and I asked them to return it.
“It was the then President of America, George Bush, who genuinely derailed the third term agenda. I told Bush about it and that is why Obasanjo hates me. Bush told him that it was not possible in a constitutional democracy. I try to avoid him (Obasanjo) at public functions.”
On the 2015 election, Kalu said, “People should stop imposing the President on Nigerians. Let the people chose their President.
“Igbo are going to vote for Igbo in 2015. Jonathan has the constitutional right to run but he is not an Igbo man. There are many qualified Igbo men. I am not saying I’m running for President now but there are possibilities that other Igbo men are thinking about that. Northerners should support us for the presidency in 2015 because we supported (Shehu) Shagari. We supported (Umaru) Yar’Adau, (Yakubu) Gowon and Tafawa Balewa,” Kalu added.
He said his return to PDP was to give the party a second chance and to see if he could make positive changes in the party.
On the state of emergency declared by the President on three North-East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, Kalu said the declaration was nothing but a movement of troops from one place to another, adding that the security chiefs did not advise the President properly.
He said the President should have allowed the amnesty committee to work for at least three months before declaring the state of emergency.
The former governor said, “I am for amnesty. The President should have allowed the amnesty committee at least three months. He shouldn’t have made any announcement. There is nothing like state of emergency but just a movement of troops. Jonathan is not that wicked to be playing politics with human life. Let’s remove politics or 2015 from this thing.”
However, Obasanjo’s Media Assistant, Vitalis Ortese, said the former President would not join issues with “Kalu who has credibility and integrity deficit.”
He said, “This is a man who is known to have stuffed paper as money in a bag and donated it at a public function in Maiduguri. He has no credibility and integrity. So, we will not like to join issues with him.
“He is only trying to cover his lack of credibility by seeking to join issues with someone, who clearly is not in his level or class. He is only seeking relevance. Good luck to him.”
Okey Goodluck Nwankwo