Nigerian Looters: Kalu Tells U.K, U.S Governments

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu

Eminent businessman and former Governor of Abia State has
challenged the governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America,
Germany and other developed nations to support the anti- corruption war of the
President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration by exposing Nigerians who have
looted the nation’s resources, adding that previous administrations
 paid lip-service to the war against corruption.
According to the former governor, the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) which was established by President Olusegun Obasanjo
in 2003 to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalize economic and financial
crimes, became an instrument of political witch-hunt and victimization, noting
that the pioneer chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, allowed
himself to be used by former President Obasanjo for unpatriotic motives.

Kalu made these remarks on Tuesday while hosting a group of
graduate African students of the National War College at Four Seasons Hotel in
Washington, D.C.
The businessman-cum-politician, who has a pending case with the
EFCC said, “Before venturing into politics I was an accomplished businessman
beyond the shores of Nigeria having built a conglomerate with vast business
interests in trading, aviation, publishing and oil and gas.
“During my stint as Governor of Abia State, despite the slim
resources then, I improved the lives of the people through the execution of a
wide range of projects including free medical and educational schemes across
the 17 local government areas
  in the state.
“In less than six months into my first tenure of office, the then
 Obasanjo, who was on a working visit to the
state named me “Action Governor” based on the massive rehabilitation
and construction of roads embarked upon by my administration.
“It is unfortunate that due to my campaign against the 3rd term bid of former President Obasanjo, he used the federal might
against me. He directed Mr. Ribadu, former EFCC boss to clamp down on my
businesses (including SLOK Airline, SLOK oil, Southgate and Hallmark banks).
“It is saddening to note that Obasanjo who was using the EFCC to
crush his enemies spent $16 billion on power without any significant
improvement in electricity supply in Nigeria. What about the $74 million
Halliburton bribe to Obasanjo and his cohorts. It is only in Nigeria that a
corrupt person can label another person corrupt.
“In 2005, President Obasanjo wrote to the UK and US authorities to
indict me of financial crime but I was cleared innocent by former British Prime
Minister, Tony Blair and former US President George Bush.
“I am a victim of political blackmail as I ruled Abia State with
my conscience and the fear of God.
“However, I am happy that the current leadership of the anti-graft
agency under the new Nigerian government has been focused on delivering on its
mandate without fear or favour.
“I wish to appeal to the western world to help Nigeria by exposing
those Nigerians who have looted the country’s resources to invest and buy
choice properties in Europe, USA, UAE, Asia and Middle East.
“The international intelligence agencies have a critical role to
play in fishing out those that have stolen the common wealth of Nigerians”
On the issue of Boko- Haram insurgency, Kalu applauded President
Buhari for keeping to his promise of restoring peace in the North East of
Nigeria. The President used his experience as retired General to devise
combatant means to crush the terrorists. The Nigerian military deserves
commendation for their gallant strides in the devoted fight against terrorism.
“I salute the courage, boldness and patriotism of the military
personnel who have contributed to the success of the anti-terrorism war.
 “I want
to admonish the federal government to reconstruct the villages that were wiped
out by the deadly boko haram insurgents through the provision of special
intervention fund for the North East and Plateau State.
Speaking on the pro-Biafra agitators, Kalu lamented the
marginalization of the South East in all ramifications noting that 46 years
after the civil war, the region has not been fully integrated into the Nigerian
nation, adding that the poor state of federal roads and other social amenities
in the south east is alarming and disturbing.
He said, The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement
for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are borne out of
the grievances of Ndigbo. Even though there is a law in the United Nations that
recognizes the right to self- determination, as I have mentioned in the past,
the approach of the IPOB and MASSOB are faulty as dialogue is a better medium
for the people to express their concerns to appropriate authorities.
On President Buhari’s incessant visits abroad, the former governor
said, “No country can exist without the support of others. Mr. President’s
visits to different parts of the world are in best the interest of Nigeria.
“In the area of investment, the President has been able to woo
foreign investors to Nigeria by giving them confidence. Image is key and Mr.
President has done well in redeeming the damaged reputation Nigeria had in the
global community.
“Just recently, The Nigerian government signed agreement with the
UAE signed to ensure the repatriation of stolen wealth housed in Dubai.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on  President Obama to pay a working visit to Nigeria in order to
further strengthen the bilateral relationships between Nigeria and USA”.
The former governor poured encomiums on the US Ambassador to
Nigeria, Amb. James Entwistle and the former and incumbent British High
Commissioners to Nigeria, Sir Andrew Pocock and Mr. Paul Arkwright respectively
for promoting diplomatic ties between Nigerian and their home countries for the
sake of social, economic and political development of Nigeria.
Kalu who is a big player in the upstream sector of the Nigeria oil
and gas industry said, “In view of the drastic fall in the price of crude
oil globally, the time is now for the Nigerian government to roll out
entrepreneurship programmes in the agricultural industry in order to diversify
the economy.
‘The era
of white collar jobs is over, everyone has to go into farming for the sake of
Nigeria’s ailing economy.
“I personally have diversified into commercial agriculture with
the establishment of a large farm covering over 10,000 hectares of land in
Ugwueke in Bende LGA of Abia State”.
Kalu while decrying the state
of the Nigerian economy, called on the federal government to set up an
independent economic management team in the face of the global economic
challenges to advise government on a road map to reposition the local economy,
adding that government must provide the enabling business environment for local
and foreign investors to invest.
On the Abia North Senatorial rerun poll, Kalu said, ” the
rerun election was marred by widespread irregularities perpetrated by the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it agents.
“The same atrocities that were committed at the March 28, 2015
election was again repeated at the March 5, 2016 rerun poll.
“However, I wouldn’t want to go into further details as I have
protested the controversial result at the tribunal through my legal team”.
Nigeria born Habib Kamil of the prestigious institution who spoke
on behalf of his colleagues expressed appreciation to Kalu for giving them an
insight into the state of affairs in Nigeria with particular reference to
politics and economy.