Former Governor of Abia State and leader of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, is gradually regaining his political influence in Abia State after years of being sent aground by his successor, erstwhile Governor Theodore Orji.
Apparently, in the buildup to the March 5, 2015 rerun election in Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Kalu is beginning to regain popular support from the grassroots within the political clime. Kalu, candidate of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), it was gathered, has been having successful campaign, getting wide endorsement from several communities visited.
The campaign train of Kalu railed into several communities at the weekend which included Ndi Uduma Awoke, Abia and Akanu in Ohafia Local Government; Eziama, Obulo, Obeleikpa Umuobi and Aro Ikpa, in Nneato, Umunneochi Local Government. Other communities visited by the PPA candidate included Achara, Akpukpa/Ndudu, Isunabo and Nvurunvu Umumara in Uturu, Isuikwuato Local Government.
The former governor was said to have received heroic reception in these communities. Elderly men and women, youths and school children were said to have trooped out en-mass to host Kalu to highly colourful events. The former governor was celebrated for making life better for the people through provision of free education and free healthcare when he was in office.
At Abia and Akanu Ohafia, where the campaign train arrived at about 8.30pm, the people eulogized Kalu for what he did for them when he was governor. His past performance encouraged them to wait for him from 9.00am till the time he arrived.
At the political wards that made up Nneato in Umunneochi Local Government, the people said they have decided the former governor would become their senator in the March 5 election.
The celebrated past achievements include construction of the Leru/Lomara/ Nneato Road, which they said opened up the area. Another striking thing they said Kalu did for them while he was governor, for which they will give him their votes, was provision of electricity to virtually all the communities in the area.
At the Uturu axis, the people praised Kalu for his visionary leadership when in office which they said made it possible for him to give their children free education and free healthcare. They promised to vote for him en masse during the election.
Addressing the people of Umunneochi, former Commissioner for Information and Strategy under Chief Theodore Orji, Chief Eze Chikamnanyo, who is a son of the soil, said it was Kalu who created some political wards and autonomous communities in the area when he was governor.
He also said it was Kalu who constructed the Leru/ Nneata Road but regretted that those who took over from him could not extend the road to Owerre Ezikala in Anambra State which was in its original plan.
“Whatever good that came to Nneata, politically, more than 90 per cent came through Kalu,” Chikamnanyo said, urging the people to vote for him.
Kalu emphasized that for the reason of coming to tell the people he is still in the race, to prove mischief makers wrong who were saying he has withdrawn, and for the respect he has for the people, he may not have been there for campaign; believing that what he did when he was governor is sufficient to speak for him. He assured them of quality representation in the National Assembly and better days ahead.