Lawyers, social critics, Aba residents and civil society groups on Thursday lauded the 12-year prison sentence handed down to ex-Governor Orji Kalu of Abia by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

A coalition of Abia North Community Youths Organizations, (ANCYO), has warned the Ohanaeze Youths Council (OYC) and the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, (AYCF) to steer clear of the politics of Abia North or be prepared for a showdown.

The warning is coming on the heels of a recent statement by the National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYC), Shettima Yerima, that the current ordeals of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, representing Abia North, now serving a jail term, was a political witch-hunt.

In a statement in Umuahia on Tuesday, the Director General of ANCYO, Comrade Udensi Ukpai cited another release by the Deputy President General, Comrade Obinna Achionye, that asserted that enemies of Kalu are within and that they were the people behind his incarceration.

Ukpai therefore describing the positions of the two youth bodies as a wrong judgment.

The DG, while dismissing the suggestions that Kalu’s present ordeal came from his political enemies, insisted that the Senator’s travails “have nothing to do with politics”, adding that the former governor is in jail because of his conviction over a corruption charge.

He accused OYC and AYC of “championing Kalu’s cause for pecuniary gains against the interest of the people of Abia North”, saying that their description of the Senator as the “Mandela of Nigeria is inappropriate”.

It will be recalled that the leadership of both OYC and AYC have in two different events called on the political enemies of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to retrace their steps or brace up for the wrath of some Nigerians.

While the Arewa Youths helmsman, Shettima solicited for the support of the northern elites to secure release of Kalu who was in December 2019 jailed for 12 years by a Federal High Court in Lagos following his conviction on a N7.2 billion financial fraud committed while as governor of Abia State, Achionye, the Deputy President General of Ohanaeze said Igbo youths would always queue behind the former Abia governor.

ANCYO which maintained that nobody or group outside Abia North senatorial district had the locus to decide on the shape the politics of the zone should take then cautioned both pan ethnic youth bodies not to dabble into matters outside their scope.

Senator Kalu was until his conviction, the Chief Whip of the Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber.

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