By Leonard Okachie
Chief Senate Whip Senator Orji Kalu said the use of thugs during the elections portended great danger to the country’s democracy.
Kalu said this on Friday, while inspecting the ongoing construction of the two-kilometer Akama and Ugwuavor road in Arochukwu.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the road was one of 19 constituency road projects that the lawmaker drew in the senatorial district of Abia North.
He spoke in the context of last Saturday’s by-election in the federal constituency of Aba North / Aba South, which was reportedly marred by brutality and violence.
He called on Nigerians of good conscience and supporters of democracy to condemn the violence in its entirety in the country’s political system.
“What happened in Aba was a shame for our democracy because brutality is not part of democracy.
“It should not be tolerated. He should be condemned by any well-meaning Nigerian. It is not the right thing to do in a democracy.
“Even the security guards were overwhelmed by what happened,” he said.
He said he had never resorted to brutality during his administration as governor of the state.
He said, however, that the party had learned from this experience and would not allow it to happen again.
The former governor (1999 – 2007) also denounced the post-election demonstration of a representative sample of the Ukwa / Ngwa nationality of Abia against his political influence in the region.
Reacting to the protest, Kalu said: “They should instead protest against the poor condition of the roads, the inability of the government to pay workers’ wages and pensions.
“When I was governor, I never owed a salary or a pension.
“People should demonstrate against the government’s failure to deliver the dividend of democracy to citizens.”
He recalled that as governor, he provided free education and health care to the people.
He claimed that the roads built in Aba by his administration had deteriorated due to lack of maintenance.
“I challenge the state government and state politicians to show proof of what they have done for their people.
Senator Chris Adighije, who was part of the project tour, paid a glowing tribute to Kalu for the “many” constituency projects he had attracted to his people in just two years in office.
Adighije said: “It is unusual and unprecedented for a senator to build roads. I wish people didn’t take this for granted.
“I have been in the National Assembly once and never in the history of Nigeria has a senator been able to attract this level of infrastructure to his constituency.
Prominent indigenous people in the region, including Dr Mike Ukoha, representing Arochukwu State Constituency, AITEO Group Director General, Mr. Ike Okoronkwo, and renowned politician, Mr. Nnanna Ugwu, thanked Kalu and the federal government led by APC for highway projects.
Kalu was received by visibly excited and grateful natives, especially young people, who accompanied him throughout the tour, dancing and rejoicing.
NAN reports that Kalu has also inspected the ongoing construction work on the two-kilometer Itumbuzo-Bende road. (NOPE)