Despite the seeming frosty relationship between him and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a member of the African Union (AU) Election Observer Mission for the general election in Zimbabwe and former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Kalu, has maintained that the former Nigerian ruler is the leader of the team.
The clarification is coming on the heels of a similar re-affirmation by Obasanjo that he is going to lead the AU Observer Mission for the Zimbabwean general elections slated for July 31, 2013, despite wide spread reports that his choice as leader has been rejected.
Kalu, who was speaking on Thursday morning at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, Harare, Zimbabwe, shortly after the induction session for members of the team presided over by Dr Nkosazana Zuma, the chairperson of the AU Commission, said:
“President Obasanjo has the mandate of the AU to lead the mission and nobody has the right to stop him.
“I know Obasanjo is a strong-willed and courageous leader, who will not be discouraged by the falsehood spreading in some quarters,” Kalu affirmed.
He also noted that the choice of the leader and members of the mission was adopted after a rigorous process of selection based on certain criteria and added that there could not have been a better team.
Kalu spoke on the essence of the Election Observer Mission which he said was to act as impartial observer of the presidential and legislative elections based on well-defined terms of reference.
While assuring members of the mission that Chief Obasanjo would join them latest by Saturday (tomorrow), the former governor appealed to the electorate, politicians and political parties to adhere strictly to the rules of the game.