Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday visited Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) in his country home in Minna, Niger state.
Addressing journalists after meeting IBB behind closed door, Kalu said they spoke about 2019 presidential elections.
According to him, they agreed that even if President Muhammadu Buhari will not contest in 2019, the north should produce the next President.
He, however, stated that after the north Presidency, the next President in 2023 should come from other part of the country to forge cohesion, stressing that he would not mind to be a President.
The Former Governor also defended his earlier position on the disclosure that IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu has gone to London through Malaysia.
Kalu when asked if he wants to contest the 2019 Presidency if Buhari did not run, said: “I am a Nigerian, I am entitled to it but like I will always say and I maintain my position that northerners should be allowed to complete their second term.
“If Buhari is not contesting even though he is entitled to second term, the north should still present a candidate. This is the turn of the north”.
“Other zones should be ready for 2023, but for now I still maintain my position and I am not afraid of anybody. This is the turn of the north. Anybody can take me for what I say.
“Whoever that is castigating me over this my position is wasting his time. I live by the truth and I will be ready to speak the truth always. Opinion is an entitlement, and that is my opinion given to me by God”, he added.
On his comment on Nnamdi Kanu, he stated that “I did not say anything bad on IPOB, they have the right to carry their flags around and agitate but they don’t have the right to separate Nigeria”.
What I said, and it is clear, Nnamdi Kalu’s brother told me that he has left the country and I was not looking for him for any bad intention, I was looking for him to be able to call federal authority that he is with me and no Army or Police can take him away from me, so that we can discuss the way forward”, he added.
According him “People misunderstood my intention. I was just after peace because burning down our state (Abia state) wouldn’t have been the best. And again the lives of the over 15 million Igbos that are living in the north are more important than one person. That is the issue. So, we need to take control of the situation”.
He stated that agitations were often fueled by lack of Justice and fairness especially in providing basic amenities which was not peculiar to any region adding that “absence of all these amenities is responsible for whatever agitation you are seeing. Not only IPOB is being marginalized, every part of this country is being marginalized”.
He said “When I was coming I passed through the Minna-Suleja Road, I now concluded that not only the Eastern part of the country are being marginalized. All parts of the country are being marginalized. Nigeria and Nigerians need new orientation from A to Z, that is the only solution”.
Asked why he was in Minna, Kalu added “I am in Minna because it is one of my homes and also this is one of my regular visits to Minna. So, my visit has no political undertone. I come here regularly”.