Friday, 26 June 2015

I was never rescued by any soldier during Biafra War – Orji Kalu | Says “Pa Ayeni’s claim is mischievous”

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Sequel to our story published on Friday June 12, 2015 titled “World Exclusive: How I rescued Orji Uzor Kalu during Biafra War” by one Pa David Ayeni, a 68 years old war veteran who hails from Ikole Ekiti--Ekiti state in present day South West Nigeria, the first executive Governor of Abia state His Excellency Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who is the subject of the story has denied ever coming in contact with Pa David Ayeni either during or after the thirty months civil war.

Reacting to Asabeafrika on the emotions raised by Pa Ayeni who claimed that OUK (As Kalu is fondly addressed) was one of the victims of the war and equally lived with him for a period of time after the war, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who is also a globally respected business man and chairman of SLOK Group of companies denied the whole tale of ever living with any soldier after the Biafran war.
The founder of The Sun Newspaper equally denied ever washing clothes for soldiers in the barrack for a fee after the war.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu with Asabeafrika's Gbenga Dan Asabe few weeks after OUK's 50th birthday inside his Abuja mansion

In the story published on this blog and re-published in the current edition of City People Magazine, Pa Ayeni described the Forbes Magazine rated Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu as a cool headed young man who was only a victim of the sordid 30 months Nigerian civil war. 

“The former governor never came in contact with any Pa David Ayeni let alone living or serving the soldier in any capacity. We wish to use this medium to inform the public that the claims of the sexagenarian are not only false and misleading but mischievous” 

Old Soldier’s “dossier” on OUK
Speaking on his relationship with Dr. Kalu whom he described as a humble servant, Pa Ayeni while speaking to Asabeafrika described the founder of SLOK Air Line as a good boy “No, no, he is gentle. He is cool headed and he is very respectful to everyone not just to me alone and I like him because the way we lived together was quite unique. He served me as a servant and I served him as a master because if he calls me, he will say ‘My master’ and I always call him “Orji-Orji” that is the language I use to address him in those days, I will say “Orji-Orji” and he will say “My Master”. He was a cool headed young man”.
The Very young and innocent Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu @ 13 in 1973 while leaving with Pa Ayeni
The Rebuttal by OUK
But in a one page letter signed by his Special Adviser, Prince Kunle Oyewunmi, Dr. Kalu described Pa Ayeni’s claim as a ruse. The letter dated June 22nd and directed to this blog with the headline “RE: HOW I RESCUED ORJI KALU DURING BIAFRA WAR” went thus
“Eminent business mogul and former Governor of Abia state has reacted to claims of Lance Corporal David Ayeni (retired) in an interview with Gbenga Dan Asabe of Asabeafrika”. The letter stated further “The retired soldier had in the said interview (Published in the current edition of CITY PEOPLE Magazine and other online platforms) alleged that Kalu had health challenges after the civil war. Pa Ayeni stated that Kalu who was then 13 years did not only lived with him in Abriba but served as his house boy after the war. He also claimed Kalu rendered laundry to soldiers for a fee after the war”

Lance Corpral David Ayeni; Baba in his younger days as an officer

The Denial!
The letter denied in strong terms the entire claim of Pa Ayeni describing it as a figment of the imagination of the sexagenarian. It added “For the records, we wish to state categorically that Dr. Orji Kalu lived with his parents in Igbere, Abia state all through the civil war era and after the war”
“The former governor never came in contact with any Pa David Ayeni let alone living or serving the soldier in any capacity. We wish to use this medium to inform the public that the claims of the sexagenarian are not only false and misleading but mischievous”
“We however advise Pa Ayeni not to use Kalu’s name to seek relevance and cheap popularity” the letter advised
(Find full copy of the letter attached)

Pa Ayeni to Asabeafrika.....'My relationship with Orji Uzor Kalu was that of a servant-son to a master

Pa Ayeni’s family reacts
Meanwhile when we contacted the family of Pa David Ayeni this morning (June 26th) over the development, one of his daughters who spoke on behalf of the family said the family is ready to abide by Dr. Orji Kalu’s submission “Our father did not grant you this interview so as to draw sympathy or anything.  He only did it as someone offering his own history. Baba is not a trouble maker, he is a genuine Christian and I am sure he was perfect in his recollection of the activities of the war era and that is why he backed it with a picture. Maybe the Orji Kalu in that picture is a wrong one. We sincerely abide with the position of Dr. Orji Kalu and we have no intention to join words with him as we hold him in great esteem as a credible Nigerian”
The lady who pleaded anonymity declared.
Baba, Pa David Ayeni with his children and grand children

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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