2011: Don’t betray Abians, Ojukwu tells Orji

All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, at the weekend urged Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, not to leave his people in the lurch as he considers his options for 2011.

Ojukwu made the plea as he left Nigeria with his family for medical check up in the United States

It was learnt that before he travelled, he called Orji on the telephone and told him not to fall for the “shameless” tactics of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has been trying to get him back in its fold.

A source recounted that he told him to “think of what will be his legacy when he leaves office and not just what joining PDP will benefit him.

“He told Orji not to be moved by the antics of the PDP and to focus on delivering services and good governance to the people of Abia State to reciprocate their solidarity for him.”

Orji had concluded plans to defect to the PDP on July 23 but was dissuaded at the last minute by Ojukwu, as confirmed by PDP National Chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo.

Nwodo said the issue also called into question Orji’s integrity, moral standing and the need for him to consult his primary constituency, as well as members of the state House of Assembly.

Orji left the PDP for the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in 2006, only to quit it for the APGA on June 28, 2010.

He had agreed to rejoin the PDP before its delegation visited him on July 23, but Ojukwu called him to ask why he was leaving the APGA, a question he could not satisfactorily answer.

Daily Independent reported on July 28 that the PDP has told Orji not to expect an automatic ticket for the ballot next year, and gave him an ultimatum of one week to decide if he wants to return to the fold.

Investigation showed that one of the two APGA Governors in the South East provided funds for the medical trip of Ojukwu, the party’s Presidential candidate in 2003 and 2007.

A member of the APGA, who did not want his name in print, lamented Ojukwu’s medical check up in the U.S. has again brought to the fore the failure of the Federal Government, led by the PDP, to provide medical services to Nigerians.

“Imagine, we have two teaching hospitals in the South East and three medical centres, and yet none could cater for the medical needs of the people.

“It is unfortunate that just for a medical check, a person like Ojukwu will travel to U.S. because of the failure of our health system under the supervision of the PDP,” the source said.

Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, recently sued the Federal Government for failing to equip public hospitals.

In a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, Falana is seeking to compel Abuja to “ensure that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons in the country; and to take the necessary measures to protect the health of the people and ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick.”

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