By Leonard Okachie
Umuahia, June 7, 2022 Chief Mascot Kalu, former Chief of Staff to former Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia, has emerged the governorship candidate of the Action Peoples Party (APP) for the 2023 general elections.
Kalu, who is the younger brother of the Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, was returned unopposed at the party’s primary election held in Umuahia on Tuesday.
His emergence was affirmed through a voice vote by the party faithful, after the second aspirant, Mr Ndem Chukwu, stepped down from the race.
Announcing his withdrawal at the venue of the election, Chukwu said that he withdrew in order to support Kalu.
In an acceptance speech, the APP governorship hopeful said that he was prepared to help in the onerous task of rebuilding Abia.
He regretted that the ruling-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had failed to develop the state due to alleged ineptitude and gross mismanagement of the enormous human and material resources of the state.
He also berated the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration for “impoverishing the state and its people”.
“This administration has brought untold hardship to Abia people, failed to pay salaries and pensions as and when due.
“It has also abandoned the social infrastructure to dilapidate, making Abia the most undeveloped state in the South-East zone,” he said.
He gave an assurance that workers’ salaries and pensions would be paid latest the 26th of every month.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen at the end of the election, Kalu said that he had an edge over other governorship candidates.
He cited his rich political experience and antecedent as CoS as his greatest selling point.
Kalu defected from the APC after losing the House of Representatives by-election for Aba North and South Federal Constituency in 2020.
He expressed confidence that APP had the capacity to win the 2023 poll in the state.
According to him, the party has great prospects since it could fill all the elective positions for the general elections barely two months of its inception in the state.
“We have nine months to grow the party further, in terms of its membership and capacity,” the governorship hopeful said.
He also expressed the hope that the Electoral Act 2022 would bring substantial improvement into the 2023 polls.
“I have confidence that the Electoral Act will make positive impact in terms of free, fair and credible elections.
“This is because of the experience from the recent elections so far conducted in some parts of the country,” he said.