A former aide of Orji Uzor Kalu, the ex governor of Abia State has told Naijiant.com how Kalu and former president Olusegun Obasanjo fell out as both battled for influence in Nigeria.
The source said Kalu, from his days at Government College Umuahia, was involved in the occult. He would spend most nights in the dormitory burning incense and chanting incantations. After leaving education, Kalu made a lot of money before becoming governor in 1999 through contracts shifted his way during the military era from the likes of then Education Minister Jibrin Aminu. He also became close to all military top brass, including former Heads of State Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha.
Kalu, according to the source, was wealthy enough to be a major backer of Olusegun Obasanjo’s successful presidential campaign in 1999 with a donation of 500m naira. Kalu then belonged to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Obasanjo, but that would end towards the end of both men’s second terms as governor and president.
Kalu opposed Obasanjo’s plans to amend the constitution to allow the president to continue for a third term and the then outgoing governor had presidential ambitions of himself. The source said that world leaders such as then French president Jacques Chirac and former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali asked Obasanjo to back Kalu’s bid for the presidency. But Obasanjo wouldn’t have it.
Instead, the former president set the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Kalu’s case. Kalu was said to be livid that Obasanjo, whom he had funded his presidential campaign, had the nerve to try to charge him with corruption. What drove Kalu even madder, according to the former aide, was that his boss knew Obasanjo was even more fraudulent than the Abia State governor. He accused Obasanjo of “stealing Nigeria dry”.
Kalu is currently on trial on corruption charges in a Federal High Court in Lagos. But the source claims his former boss is not bothered as he believes he will beat the charges and his confidence is based on his closeness to the likes of President Buhari and Babangida, both of whom the source said used to spend time in Kalu’s house in his village of Igbere in Abia State.