Immediate past Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to bow to the antics of those pressurizing him to drop Vice President Namani Sambo as his running mate, ahead of his anticipated formal declaration to seek re-election in 2015.
Kalu, who disclosed that he had picked nomination form to run contest the Abia North Senatorial seat under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described those angling for Sambo’s removal from the 2015 presidential ticket as political jobbers who were only out to create disaffection between the president and his deputy.
He said those throwing up the names of other persons as the running mate of President Jonathan were the enemies of the ruling party, adding that dropping Sambo would amount to a disincentive for the loyalty the vice-president had demonstrated as a good deputy and ally, who was not ambitious to rock the boat.
The former governor spoke yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as he made to fly out of the country.
He was reacting to insinuations making the rounds that Jonathan was buckling under pressure to consider the Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Muazu or the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido as his running mate.
Kalu said: “Considering the good working relationship between the duo of President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo, the wise thing is to allow the same team fly the party flag. Not only that Sambo has been loyal to the President, he has also supported and added value to the transformation agenda of the present administration.
“In order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in government, the President gave a mandate for the Vice President to oversee some government agencies and technical committees for which, Sambo has performed credibly well. In addition, he has also contributed to the party by maintaining peace and unity in PDP especially in the North. Forget what anyone says, give it to Sambo, he remains a seasoned professional and a consummate politician”.
On the insinuation that Jonathan was considering Muazu and others as possible running mate, Kalu said, “I see that as a rumour. Our national chairman, Muazu is busy running the affairs of the party ahead of the forthcoming general elections. Remember, PDP remains the largest party and as such, Muazu has a lot on his table. I know he is not thinking in the direction of political jobbers.
“Anyone proposing Muazu as running mate to President Jonathan is an enemy of PDP. Jonathan/Sambo ticket remains the best. I urge perpetrators of such rumour not to cause confusion between trio of Jonathan, Sambo and Muazu. God has placed everyone in his rightful position”.
On his ambition to vie for the Abia North Senatorial District seat, he said, “Last week I picked my nomination form at Wadata Plaza. I decided to run for Senate after several calls by the good people of Abia North for a better representation. I and Governor Theodor Orji are from different senatorial zones and more so, the mandate belongs to the people”.
Kalu said no one has monopoly of power to make anyone Senator except God and the aspirant’s constituents, saying that he believed that the beauty of democracy was fair play and President Jonathan had assured all aspirants of a level playing ground.
“Before venturing into politics I had been empowering my people; same when I was in public office, so based on this, I am assured of victory in the forthcoming election”, Kalu said.