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Kalu Returns to PDP Next Week

The crisis plaguing the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) appears to be sliding deeper as the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Orji Uzor Kalu expected to officially return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) next week. It was gathered that the official declaration would have taken place on yesterday, but for some logistics problems. Reports say that Kalu’s imminent return to the PDP is as a result of the pledge he

 personally made to the new PDP Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo should Nwodo emerge victorious as the national chairman. Nwodo and Kalu left PDP the same day.
“The former governor of Abia state made a pledge to return to PDP if Nwodo is successful as the national chairman. This morning (Wednesday), Orji Kalu called to tell Dr. Nwodo that he is willing to keep to his pledge of returning back to PDP. He told Dr. Nwodo that he would officially declare for the PDP next week.” The source said. 
But when contacted, the National Chairman of PPA, Engr. Larry Esin denied that Orji Kalu would be leaving the PPA for the PDP.
“It is not true that Orji Kalu is leaving the PPA”, he said, but confirmed that there is a merger talk between the leadership of the two parties. He refused to give details of the merger talk.
He said that the electoral act stipulates that for any merger between two political parties, the fusion must take place before six months to the general election, adding however that  if President Goodluck Jonathan would be contesting the presidential election, the party will support him, an implication that the PPA will not field any presidential candidate for the 2011 presidential election.
All attempts to confirm from Orji Kalu that he would be joining the PDP next week proved abortive as his two known telephone lines were switched off.
Sources say Kalu is expected to meet with Nwodo on Monday to discuss the modalities for his return to the PDP.  “That meeting scheduled for Monday will determine the next line of action of Kalu,” the source said last night.
The source confirmed that Kalu did give his word to Nwodo when the issue was broached by the latter before his emergence as the PDP Chairman,  that he will return to the ruling party, but that at this point, what is at stake is the discussion preceding the eventual return.
It was also gathered last night that Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC), Gen. T Y Danjuma (rtd) reached Kalu last month during which he prevailed on him to return to the PDP.
It is not confirmed if Kalu heeded that call to return to the PDP fold, but a source confirmed that Danjuma did indeed ask the former Abia State governor to rejoin the party.
“Danjuma did contact Kalu about a month ago to return to the PDP. I do not know if the former governor had heeded that call. But I can tell you that it may be difficult for him to say no to the respected Danjuma, whom he holds in the highest esteem. You know, Kalu is like a son to Danjuma while the latter considers him as a mentor in both business and politics. It is very difficult for Kalu to decline a request of a man of that stature,” the source said.
The source said that Kalu may eventually, depending on the outcome of the Monday meeting with Nwodo, return to the ruling party.
Kalu was elected governor of Abia State from 1999 to 2007, but later formed the PPA where he contested the presidential election as the paxarty’s presidential candidate in 2007.
He later became the BoT Chairman of the party in 2008.
His eventual exit is coming on the heels of last weekend’s defection of the Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Senator Uche Chukwumereji  and the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Ben Onyechere have also dumped the party. Chukwumerije is yet to declare for any political party.
 Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim had last year declared for the PDP, after dumping the PPA, the party that brought him to power.