Kalu’s Brother, Mascot, Quits Orji’s Govt

Lawmakers in Abia State passed a vote of confidence in Governor Theodore Orji on Tuesday, the day after he ditched the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) over his conflict with its Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Orji Uzor Kalu, his predecessor who wants to remain the power broker.

In the mix in the intrigue was the resignation on Tuesday of Kalu’s younger brother, Mascot, as Orji’s Chief of Staff.

Mascot was retained by Orji as Chief of Staff in 2007, a carry over from his appointment by Kalu back in 1999.

His resignation, which came on the heels of the dissolution of the State Executive Council by Orji on Monday, is seen as a response to the Governor’s decision to quit the PPA.

Sources noted that with the frosty relationship between Orji and Kalu, “it would have been difficult for Mascot to remain as Chief of Staff.

“The battle line is now drawn because those who ought to take sides have done so. The Deputy Chief of Staff has resigned from the PPA as the Governor has done, and the Chief of Staff has resigned from the administration to side with his brother. The battle line is finally drawn.”

Mascot is said to nurse Governorship ambition, which has made him to attend meetings in the United States to hone strategies with Abia indigenes in the Diaspora.

Orji, regardless, still has some backing, particularly from the House of Assembly, which passed a vote of confidence in him on Tuesday, and warned that it would not condone political or ethnic clashes in the state.

The lawmakers, members of the PPA and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he has discharged his duties with accountability and probity, even with the thin resources available.

They charged Orji not to lose faith in his ability to take the state to the next level, because, no matter what the opponents say, “the people of Abia have seen what he has done and are happy with him.”

A member of the Assembly, Chidiebere Nwoko, argued during debate at plenary that Orji has done very well on all scores, “especially when you take into account the many problems such as meagre resources from the Federation Account, the deduction at source, and the unnecessary court cases.”

Another lawmaker, Uche Akwukwuegbu, described security as not too bad particularly since the Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo, posted about 1,000 policemen to complement those on the ground.

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