The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. Ike Oye has described former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu as a rare gem whose extraordinary qualities will continue to stand out. The academic and politician made these remarks on Monday during Kalu’s visit to his Awawbia country home in Anambra State. Oye who served as Special Adviser on Special Duties in Kalu’s days as Abia State governor from 1999 to 2007,recalled the achievements of the government. He noted that despite the slim federal allocation, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo christened Kalu “Action Governor” owing to the aggressive road construction embarked upon by Kalu’s administration. Acknowledging the free health scheme, free education initiative, regular payment of workers salaries and pensions and improved working conditions for civil servants as remarkable accomplishments of the Kalu-led government, Oye emphasised that Kalu brought to bear his experience in the business world while serving as governor. He said: ” My relationship with my boss, brother and friend, Kalu dates back to 1989 and since then, we have sustained our friendship. “We have never quarreled nor had any misunderstanding. People who are not close to Dr. Kalu wouldn’t know how humble, intelligent and accommodating he is. Having worked closely with him, I say boldly that he is a patriotic statesman and a selfless leader. He is also a silent achiever in the private and public spheres of life. In the business world, he has his hands in virtually all sectors of the economy and as such, he is a major employer of labour beyond the shores of Nigeria. Dr. Orji Kalu served the people of Abia State diligently and passionately during his tenure as Governor. His bottom-up approach to governance made him a successful governor. In all facets of life, Kalu has created a niche for himself and his name will remain evergreen in the minds of the people”. The APGA boss further said,”Kalu has empowered many including my good self. Although some people that he made have betrayed him but still he is always ready to uplift people.” Oye used the occasion to applaud the vision of the former governor in establishing the University of Igbere, adding that the citadel of learning will stand out when it is officially opened. He said, “I was part of the team that designed the concept of the University of Igbere. “Although, the last administration in Abia State frustrated efforts to open the higher institution, but the founder of the school has again demonstrated his capacity by bringing on board an affiliate body to collaborate with the school in its vision” om response, Kalu equally praised Prof. Oye as loyal to his friends. He said, “Many people don’t know how close myself and Oye are. “The APGA chair is a man of good character. He is hard working, humble, forthright and dependable. “I have known him for more than 25 years and he has not for once disappointed me.” Kalu used the occasion to sue for peace in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State. According to the APC chieftain, politicians should embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in their pursuits. He said,” we are proud of Oye’s political maturity as he could have decided not to host me based on political differences but because he knows friendship is beyond party affiliation, he not only opened his doors but gave me a warm reception.”
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Author: Nigeria Today