A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, said he did not join the All Progressives Congress because of his travails in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Kalu was responding to questions from reporters after he was received by the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee of the APC in Abuja on Wednesday.
When asked whether he was joining the party because of his travails at the hands of the EFCC, Kalu said, “My family members are here (APC) and I am coming to join them.”
He explained that his decision to join the party was largely due to pressures from his family, friends, political associates and other well wishers who placed a premium on his political value.
The former governor added, “All my friends are here. I am not saying my friends are not in the other party but it’s time to take stock.
“It is important to go along family lines in order to rebrand Nigeria. I am back to join where my family are.
“If I had joined earlier at the time they were forming government, it would look like I am trying to join them to form government. This is the right time for me to join because this is the middle time between now and the next season to do politics. I am joining now to be able to play raw politics.”
He maintained that his decision would help convince his kinsmen especially in the South-East that “the APC is an all inclusive party which has the growth and development of Nigeria as the reason for its existence.”
The entrepreneur, publisher and businessman also announced that since he registered in his ward on Sunday, over 4, 800 others had registered as members of the party.
He announced that there two sitting members of the House of Representatives from Abia would soon make public their decision to join the APC.
The politician dismissed insinuations that the APC would disintegrate before 2019. He expressed confidence that the party had come to stay.
Kalu, who described himself as a complete Nigerian, said he schooled in the North, learnt to do business in the South-West and “by virtue of my birth, I’m an Igbo man.”
“The South-East and other parts of the country will be delivered to the APC in 2019,” he vowed.
Kalu pledged to abide by the party’s rules and regulations as well as carry out any task entrusted to him by the party.
Earlier, in his remarks, Odigie-Oyegun had described the former governor as a leader whose entry into the APC was worth celebrating.