The national support group of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu has debunked claims by a former member of the House of Representatives, Adamu Garba that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, got only 8,000 votes from Abia State.
The political pressure group known as “OUK Grassroots Movement” in a statement in Abuja, described Garba’s statement as not only erroneous but ignorant.
It clarified that the former Abia governor and Senate President hopeful contributed over 300,000 votes to the victory of the Tinubu.
The group’s national leader Alhaji Murtala Mohammed in a statement yesterday, said apart from his error ridden comment, Garba has no moral standing to advise the party leadership as he had recently dumped the party over selfish reasons only to return a month after.
Explaining further, Murtala emphasised that Orji Kalu gave the president-elect over 300,000 votes rallied by the Movement from across Nigeria during the presidential election held on February 25. 2023
Murtala carpeted the ex House of Reps member’s comment on Channels TV programme Politics Today where he said that members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east did not do enough to give them the right to demand that the office of the Senate President should come to the South-east.
He dismissed the comment as fake news as according to him, Garba spoke out of ignorance because he did not know anything about the level of political structure put in place for the Senate Chief Whip by his numerous supporters across the country who wanted the former Abia Governor to run for president ahead of the 2023 election.
Murtala further noted that the group through Kalu’s support navigated the grassroots communities across the nation to rally votes for the APC president-elect.
Part of the statement read: “For the record, we formed a Movement to mobilise support for the former Abia governor to run for president and we were able to mobilise supporters across all the 36 States of the federation and FCT.
“When it became clear that our principal is not going to run for President we collapsed our structure for Tinubu and eventually we gave Tinubu over 300,000 votes
“What I am saying is that the political structure of Orji Uzor Kalu cuts across the whole country because he has followers and supporters all over the 36 States and FCT Abuja. So it is wrong to use votes from Abia State and the South-east geopolitical zone to judge his contribution to the election of Tinubu as president during February Presidential election.”
Meanwhile, the Abia North stakeholders under the aegis of Abia North Peace Foundation has said a former Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Mao Ohuabunwa is using Senator Orji Kalu’s name to seek relevance after losing the 2023 senatorial election.
Ohuabunwa, who represented Abia North Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly, yesterday, opposed the possible emergence of Kalu as the Senate President for the 10th National Assembly.
Speaking during an interview with Channels TV, Ohuabunwa said Kalu was not competent.
When asked how he would feel should Kalu emerge as the next Senate President, Ohuabunwa said: “I will feel terrible because I don’t believe that he is competent to represent the Senate.
“He has not won the election so I wouldn’t want a Senate President that will be removed tomorrow.”
But the stakeholders in a statement signed by its Director General, Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu said Ohuabunwa was frustrated, following his rejection by Abia North voters in 2019 and 2023, saying he was only seeking relevance.
They said: “As stakeholders of Abia North Senatorial District, we must appreciate Nigerians rallying round Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu—a known performer and a detribalised Nigerian with an impeccable character and charisma.
“We commend Nigerians across board for supporting our son and we assure them that he won’t disappoint when he emerges as the President of the 10th Senate.
“Ohuabunwa’s unfortunate interview on Channels Television is a futile attempt of a frustrated and rejected politician to assess a national figure like Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
“Nigerians must know that our people voted massively for distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to defeat Ohuabunwa consecutively in 2019 and 2023. Hence, his dimensional frustration and bitterness towards sons and daughters of Abia North Senatorial District.
“We also appreciate Mr Ohuabunwa’s frustration arising from his dimming image after his catastrophic outing in 2019 and 2023 and his struggle to accept realities that he is not on the same lane with the current Chief Whip of the Senate having lost his polling unit, ward and local government area to him.
“We are aware that Ohuabunwa is trying to seek relevance using the name of our dynamic son and senator, Orji Uzor Kalu. We urge him to do it with decorum or remain silent as we have not forgotten his infamous frying pan sharing era that brought shame to Abia North Senatorial District.”
The group added that it is laughable that Ohuabunwa said Kalu did not win the Abia North Senatorial election, noting that Ohuabunwa lost his polling unit, ward and local government area to Senator Kalu.
“For the umpteenth time, we advise Ohuabunwa to have some shame and accept his unpopularity in Abia North Senatorial District and move on. How can a man who failed in his polling unit, ward and local government area to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu be talking the way he did on Channels Television?
“We want to urge our President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his vice, Senator Kassim Shettima, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senators-elect, all patriotic sons and daughters of Abia North Senatorial District, Abians and Nigerians in general to remain focused with their eyes on the ball and refuse to be distracted by the attention seeker named Mao Ohuabunwa,” the group said.