I’m ready to challenge Tinubu for APC presidential ticket, says Orji Kalu


Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has said he’s ready to challenge a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for the party’s 2023 presidential ticket.

This is as he stated that the ambition for Nigeria to have a President of Igbo extraction in 2023 is not affected by Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

The Senator said politicians from the South-West, where Tinubu is from, had tasted the Presidency, just as he pointed out that no Igbo man since independence has been democratically elected as President.

Kalu said this during an interview with Channels Television just days after Tinubu declared his intention to contest in the 2023 presidential election.

“I do not see Tinubu’s aspiration having any effect on a President of Nigeria coming from Igbo area.

“It has no effect because we are talking based on what Nigeria should be, based on what people should believe.

“Obasanjo had been President for eight years. Osinbajo is about to conclude eight years as Vice President. Yet, no Igbo man since independence has been democratically elected as President.

“So, it’s always good to think of what is reasonable and what is more sellable.

“That thing is almost like dead on arrival because it is not going to work,” Kalu said.

Asked if he has what it takes to win the APC presidential ticket ahead of Tinubu, he said “I’m the most prepared presidential candidate in Nigeria.

“I’m capable healthwise and as a person, and also capable to face anybody. But the party is supreme. I’m only waiting for the APC.”

He continued, “Contesting for President is not the issue. For me, it is who will lead the country into economic miracle and economic turnaround.

“I’m not against Tinubu. If the presidential ticket is zoned to his area and the party gives him the go-ahead, that’s supreme. I’m only waiting for the party.

“But to run for President, I think I’m the most prepared. I did it in 2007.

“If I consider running, I’ll be the most formidable candidate at Eagles Square. I have everything it takes to face any candidate.”

Asked again if Tinubu’s ambition will deprive the Igbo of the chance to produce a President, Kalu said, “I don’t want to talk about his ambition.

“All I know is that as long as the party is zoning it to the South, the South-East should take preference to anybody that is trying to run. That is what it should be and that is what I will stand for.”

Asked if he will be ready to face Tinubu when he eventually declares his intention to run, Kalu said, “I’ll be ready to face him at Eagles Square for the ticket and I will get it and be President.”