Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, said he changed his mind about contesting the 2023 presidential election after due consultations and request by prominent national elders to join the contest.
Kalu said political leaders like the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, persuaded him to contest.
Speaking in an interview with Silverbird Television on Friday, monitored by this newspaper, Kalu said the leaders cited his capability and experience.
He expressed the belief that he has the capacity and experience to turn around the economy of the country and fight insecurity.
He said: “I didn’t want to join this contest before. When I met with Senator Tinubu, I told him I was not running. When I met with Governor Umahi, I told him I was not running. When I also met with Senator Pius Anyim, I told him I wasn’t contesting. A couple of days after my discussion with them, elders from the West, elders from the North, the South-East and Niger Delta came to see me on the 5th of January (2022) and I also went to see a couple of them.
“I flew from my village to tour some places and I met with them in the North, West and somewhere in Lagos and Warri and I returned on the 8th back to Igbere, my home town, and also met with the elders of my community and they said that it’s a possibility. And that is why I have not gone back to tell these people who I initially told that I will not run that I am now going to run. I will still have a meeting with them and tell them formally that I am going to run for the president.”