By Yuccee O. Uwah (The Korea Post Nigeria Bureau chief)
The 2023 Nigerian presidential election will be held on February 18, 2023 to elect the President and Vice President. Incumbent APC President Muhammadu Buhari is term-limited and cannot seek re-election to a third term. The primaries will be scheduled for late 2022 or early 2023. The winners of the election will be inaugurated on 29 May 2023, the former date of Democracy Day.
With the tenure of the Buhari administration winding down, another set of politicians is being positioned as the country’s saviors come 2023.
To steady the ship of the Nigerian state, Nigerians must elect a candidate who has the capacity and demonstrated ability to deliver as president in 2023.
The tales of godfatherism, personal ambitions, greed, “who’s turn is next”, and similar vices have been some of the biggest roadblocks to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development since Independence.
Unfortunately, these have always been at the detriment of a nation with a population of over 200 million people – most of who strive daily to make ends meet.
If Nigerians must start to reap the benefit of democracy, they must pay utmost attention to the presidential ambition of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who is also the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate.
Senator Kalu is a detribalized Nigerian, international businessman, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist per excellence. He has been endorsed to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari by different professionals, students, women and youth groups including Nigerians in the diaspora.
Recently, a group of Nigerian professionals in South Korea under the auspices of Progressive Nigerians Initiative (PNI), adopted him as their consensus candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
It is imperative to educate Nigerians especially those in Korea while Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was adopted by the group of professionals. Senator Kalu is a result oriented leader, a consummate businessman and manager of resources that will help the relationship between South Korea and Nigeria to flourish. Being a businessman, Kalu will bring his ideas and vast contacts with the Koreans into fruition as Senator Kalu have been visiting Korea since early Ninties for business.
Kalu, as Nigeria's president will initiate, undertake, and strengthen the existing warm bilateral relations and enhance political, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.
His presidency would make Korea become increasingly attractive to Nigeria as a source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, as well as the sharing of knowledge and expertise, leading to significant contributions towards ongoing economic development between the two countries.
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is someone that can easily unite the nation. He is a pan Nigerian whose love for Nigeria knows no bound. This is someone that reconciled incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari with former Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida as far back as 2005. He equally reconciled the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, leader of defunct Biafra state with others. He loves Nigeria and would do anything that will promote peace, unity and progress.
Who is Orji Uzor Kalu?
Orji Uzor Kalu is a well-known Nigeria politician and wealthy businessman. He is the CEO of SLOK Holdings, a conglomerate that has many interests in shipping, banking, oil trading, and more. He is also the owner of two newspapers: the daily sun and the new telegraph. Orji Uzor Kalu has vast experience in building successful businesses, as well as leadership in the political sector.
Biography and Education
Born 21 April 1960, Orji Uzor Kalu hails from Abia state. He was born to the family of Mr. Johnson Uzor Nesiegbe Kalu and Mrs Eunice Kalu.
Orji Uzor Kalu had his primary and secondary school education at Christ the King School Aba and Government College Umuahia and Barewa College, Zaria respectively. Completing his secondary school education, he enrolled at the prestigious University of Maiduguri where he studied Political Science.
For a period of time, he left school to begin his own business. After some time, he proceeded to obtain a degree from Abia State University. His desire for business propelled him to study Business Administration at Harvard University. Orji Uzor Kalu is a member of various professional bodies including the Institute of Directors amongst others.
Orji Uzor Kalu entrepreneurship journey started when borrowed a sum of about 5,000 NGN from his mother, Orji Uzor Kalu started trading in palm oil. He would buy palm oil from Aba and sell it to buyers in Maiduguri at a profit.
Being a young man who recognized and seized opportunities, Orji Uzor Kalu saw a business opportunity in the furniture space. Hence, he began buying and reselling furniture, particularly to the northern regions of Nigeria on a large scale and earned huge profits.
His big break in business happened in the early 1980s when he won a contract to supply arms and ammunition to the Nigerian military. Orji Uzor Kalu made so much money from this business venture that he decided to begin his own company which he called SLOK Holdings.
SLOK Holdings is a West African conglomerate with interests in shipping, banking, oil trading, and more. The conglomerate consists of various thriving companies including the Ojialex Furniture Company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, SLOK United Kingdom Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited, SLOK Vegetable Oil, Aba, SLOK Paper Factory, Aba, SLOK United States Incorporated, SLOK Ghana, Togo, Cotonou, Guinea, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, , Supreme Oil Limited, SLOK Airlines, Sun Publishing Limited, and First International Bank Limited.
SLOK Holdings is a member of various high-profile institutions including Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Nigeria-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Orji Uzor Kalu Politics
Orji Uzor Kalu political escapades began when he was in the University. He was an active member of the Student Union Government and spoke up against unfavourable policies and leadership. He was part of the active protesters in the “Ali Must Go’ riot against the unfavourable policy in his University.
From 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007, Orji Uzor Kalu served as the Governor of Abia state. He was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the House of Rep in 1991. In April 2007, Orji Uzor Kalu was the presidential candidate for the general elections.
He is currently a member of the All Progressive Congress. Orji Uzor Kalu contested in the 2019 Nigerian general election to represent the people of Abia North in the senate. He is currently a senator in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Orji Uzor Kalu Notable Achievements
He became the chairman of Borno water Board at age 25.
He was appointed the chairman of The Imo State Marketing and Supply Agency.
At age 27, Orji Kalu became the Chairman of Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited.
In 1986, he was awarded the National Merit Award by General Ibrahim Babangida.
He is a philanthropist and runs a foundation that provides scholarships for Nigerian students. The foundation also provides anti-malarial treatments.
While he was the governor of Abia state, he came up with a scheme to eradicate poverty in Abia. He also built major roads in Abia state.