2019: Sickness Takes Kalu Out of Buhari’s Campaign Train

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 and former military President to seek support for Buhari.  He may have known  that Buhari, on his own may not want to visit the former military President to seek his support because of the frosty relationship between him and the retired Army Generals including Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president.  

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 south east. Atiku, the PDP,  flag bearer may be said to be on ground in the region, as  Peter Obi, a business mogul and a former governor of Anambra state is his Vice Presidential Candidate.

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