A former governor of Abia State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Orji Uzor Kalu, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo punished him for refusing to support his ‘third term’ agenda.
Kalu said Obasanjo, in retaliation of his opposition, ordered withdrawal of licence of his companies – Hallmark Bank and Slok Airline.
In a chat with Daily Independent, Kalu was asked what he was doing to bring back his businesses to Nigeria to help boost the economy and also lift the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He replied: “The 9,000 workers I mentioned are all here in Nigeria and we could have been a larger group if Hallmark Bank was not closed and its license withdrawn.
“A bank with 5,000 workers and 33 branches and someone cancelled the license in one day for political reasons and that takes us to where we are now in Africa. Somebody cancelled the license of an airline with 14 aircraft in a day and nobody asked questions.
“How do you convince people to come and invest in your country when a president (Obasanjo) can wake up and order the Central Bank and the Ministry of Aviation to cancel licenses without due process? I am in court with the Federal Government. So, I won’t dwell more on the issue.
“The whole process was totally flawed. There was no offence committed, just because we disagreed on third term and that was the price I paid. It was uncalled for to take such action without considering the many families that would be affected.
“So, these are the major factors that discourage investors from having long term businesses in the country. When politicians quarrel in America, they quarrel as politicians, they don’t go about attacking each other’s businesses.
“They talk about politics face to face; they agree and disagree; they quarrel based on politics and they agree and disagree on issues. These are what our political leaders engaged in which is not fair at all. They should not channel their grievances to businesses which people make their living from.”