A former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has defied the “no entry” statement of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, as his Peace Advocacy Tour moved to Ekiti on Sunday.
Mr Kalu said the statement credited to Mr. Fayose that he was not welcomed to Ekiti, State amounted to a manifestation of “thuggery.”
The former governor who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Sunday, also took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for his stand against the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He described Mr Obasanjo as “the most incompetent former president and so had no locus standi to describe any government as being corrupt in the country.”
He also said Mr Obasanjo did not have any moral right to ask Mr. Buhari not to seek a second term in office.
A statement from the Ekiti State government on Saturday had warned Mr. Kalu and his Peace Advocacy Tour to stay away from the state.
The government had urged the former Abia governor to visit other troubled states of Benue, Taraba and other sections of the country in dire need of peace.
Mr Kalu, who is the acting chairman of the advisory board for the National Movement for the Reelection of President Buhari, led his team to Ekiti in continuation of the tour to garner support for the President.
He was received by an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant and former speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Femi Bamisile.
Addressing the APC members at the premises of Mr Bamisile’s house at GRAin Ado Ekiti, Mr. Kalu told the gathering that President Buhari was desirous to contest for second term and that no effort would be spared to stop Mr. Obasanjo from thwarting that ambition.
“Nigerians should tell former President Obasanjo to stop writing frivolous letters,” he said.
“It was sad that some who behaved badly while in government by not listeningto advice could talk like this.
“Let me tell you emphatically that President Buhari will contest again, don’t listen to letter writers like Obasanjo. Obasanjo has been president twice, so he should keep his letter in Otta for himself.
“If anyone will caution President Buhari, it should not be Obasanjo. If you check your records very well, he remains the most corrupt president ever.
“He came into office with less than N20,000 and he later built multi billion naira Otta Farm, Library Project and the Hilltop Mansion.
“That is why somebody like me is in Ekiti to tell our people not to listen to Obasanjo.
“The economy was in comatose when this government came on board, today President
Buhari has raised the foreign reserve from $23 billion to as much as $47 billion while the menace of Boko Haram has been defeated.
“So, some people are out to destabilise his government. We want Nigerians to embrace love, peace and show understanding.”
On the Ekiti July 14 governorship poll, Mr Kalu urged Ekiti delegates to vote wisely, by voting an aspirant who had the political network and dexterity to defeat Mr Fayose.
“You need to work very hard because President Buhari doesn’t believe in rigging,” he said.
“I am ready to support whoever you bring up as candidate here in Ekiti for the July 14 election, because I am part of you.
“If I am to choose for you, I will choose Hon Bamisile, but this lies on Ekiti delegates. However, as a national leader of APC, I am ready to support whoever you bring up.
“My attention was called from Ondo State on Saturday that Governor Fayose said I should not come to Ekiti , Fayose is my boy, he can’t stop me from coming. He is my boy and he knows he can’t stop me on anything.
“Governor Fayose was in my house for 90 days after he was impeached, he is my friend but he has gone beyond his limit by saying a bonafide elder statesman like me should not come to Ekiti.
“Fayose was in my state, Abia last week, nobody said he should not come, so I have declared war on him. Even if I sleep on the floor, I will still defeat Fayose on any issue.”
He promised to work hard to ensure that APC emerged victorious at the 2018 governorship poll, so that the battle could be easier for the party in the 2019 presidential election.