By Nwangwu Uba
There had been rumors over the last three months that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a former governor of Abia state and President Muhammadu Buhari close political ally from the southeast was dead. The rumor became pronounced that the family had to come out to disabuse people’s mind that the former Abia state governor was still alive.
Unknown to people, Kalu had been suffering from an undisclosed and life threatening sickness, forcing him to be frequenting an unknown Hospital in Germany over the last four months.Prior to his resorts to visits to the Germany hospital for medical treatment he had championed Buhari’s re-election bid by traversing the nooks and crannies of the country to reach out to influential Nigerians believed could help the All Progressive Congress’ APC, Presidential Candidate win the 2019 election.
He was said to have met Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General
Until he resorted to the oversea medical treatment , the former Abia state governor had created much awareness about Buhari’s re-election bid and the need for Nigerians to vote him in the 2019 Presidential election to continue his good work. The underground Campaigns had started even when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had not given the nod for Candidates seeking elective offices to flag off their electioneering Campaigns.
The situation was worrisome that Buhari had to cry out by calling those he described as ”zealous supporters” who have engaged in such subtle Campaigns to stop. That may have forced the ailing Kalu and other APC Presidential Candidate supporters to lie low.
The former governor, who is asthmatic, may have seen it as an opportunity to take care of his falling health which had taken him out of the said German Hospital” in and out” in the last few months. It was therefore not surprising why Buhari and other Chieftains of APC heaved a sigh of relief when information filtered out last Wednesday that the Abia born politician has regained consciousness after undergoing a major surgery operation. He was said to have arrived the Hospital for the umpteenth time on Monday, December 17, 2018 but was admitted to the operating theatre for a major operation on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
Kalu may have given Buhari, hope of full participation in his Presidential Campaign but his wife , Ifunanya fears that he may not be strong enough to withstand the rigours of the Campaigns . ”Although the surgery was successful, Kalu will still have to be monitored closely by a medical team for at least the next four months in order to prevent complications”.
Ifunanya is optimistic that the former governor will be fine, if he could keep to the Doctor’s advice by taking his drugs as at when due. This is an indication that he may not join the APC supporters to Campaign for the re-election of Buhari in the 2019 Presidential election.
The plea by the for first lady of Abia state that the family will appreciate the prayers and kind support from friends , political associates, well -wishers and other well-meaning Nigerians to get the former Abia governor out of Hospital was a pointer that he may not be fit to Campaign for Buhari’s re-election bid for now.
This is a big blow to the Buhari Campaign Organisation who had expected to use him to penetrate the south east. The Katsina state born Nigerian President, may have seen Kalu, as one of his major links in south east to win the people’s votes in the 2019 Presidential election.
Indeed, the Ibo politician had not hesitated in assuring the APC, Presidential Candidate that the” Igbos will vote massively for him in the election that could give him an edge over Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Candidate, in the region.
Given the state of Health of Kalu, party sources told the Value News that Buhari may be working more closely with Chris Ngige, a former governor of Anambra state and now minister of Labour and Productivity, to penetrate the
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