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2023 polls: Soludo attacks Obi again, says ex-gov cannot win

Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, has criticized the Labour Party’s presidential nominee Peter Obi, claiming that he cannot win the 2023 presidential election.Information Guide Nigeria

Soludo stated that the LP candidate was playing games with his campaign, and that Obi lacked the necessary structure to win the presidency on the Labour Party platform.

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The governor made these claims in an article titled “History Calls and I Will Not Be Silent (Part 1)” published on Monday.

In an interview on Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ last Thursday, Soludo stated that the investments in Anambra State attributed to Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, were worth “almost nothing.”

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s criticism of his predecessor in Anambra State sparked a number of responses from Obi’s fans, especially on social media.

Obi governed Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance between 2006 and 2014, before defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party and then the Labour Party.

Soludo asserted that some persons, infuriated by his remarks, had attacked him and his family.

Five security officers were killed in an attack on Saturday in his community, Isuofia, in the Aguata Local Government Area of the state, he alleged. He suggested that individuals who were provoked by his remarks about the LP candidate carried out the attack.

While calling the attacks against him as a display of desperation and intolerance, he remarked that the attempt to intimidate anyone who expresses the slightest criticism was abhorrent.

Soludo also mentioned the assault on Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, by Obi’s supporters, also known as ‘Obidients.’

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He labelled as tyranny the attempt to oust individuals who did not support Obi’s presidential ambitions and warned that, if left unchecked, this behaviour could threaten the future political and economic interests of the Igbos.

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While admitting the displeasure of certain millennials in large cities and the Diaspora over the direction of the country or with the main party candidates, the governor lectured his opponents on the principles of democracy, emphasizing that the minority would have its say, but the majority would have its way.

According to him, transforming rage and social media agitation into political outcomes is an enormous undertaking.

Weighing the LP standard bearer’s chances in the forthcoming poll, the governor said, “Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know.

“The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!

“That many Americans may not like the fact that Joe Biden (79 years) and Donald Trump (76 years) are two frontrunners for president in their parties does not remove the fact that if both of them emerge as candidates, definitely one of them will be president in 2024.

“As my brother, I wish him well and even pray for him. I told him during his courtesy call that my prayer is that himself or Prof Umeadi of APGA would win, why not?

“That is from my heart, but I also told him that my head and facts on the ground led me to know that its probability is next to zero (what I cannot say before you, I won’t say behind you).’’

Stating that Obi might not come third in the race, Soludo contended that the LP lacked the structure to win the presidential election in 2023.

He added, “So, I already told him my opinion. As my brother, I wish him well and even pray for him. Indeed, there is no credible pathway for him near the first two positions, and if care is not taken, he won’t even near the third position.

‘’Analysts tell him you don’t need “structure” to win. Fantasy! Of course, LP won governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun on social media and via phantom polls, while getting barely 2,000 votes on ground.’’

The governor conceded that the LP candidate would get some votes in his home state of Anambra, but noted that this would not take him anywhere.

“Of course, Peter Obi will get some votes, and may probably win in Anambra State— as “home boy”. But Anambra is not Nigeria. If he likes, I can even campaign for him but that won’t change much. From internal state-by-state polling available to me, he was on course to get 25 per cent in five states as of August this year. The latest polling shows that it is down to four states, and declining,’’ he submitted.

The governor added, ‘’The same Peter Obi was one of those who told Ndigbo that APGA was the vehicle through which Igbos would organise to engage the rest of Nigeria politically. He was said to have sworn to Ojukwu and publicly that he would quit politics the day he leaves APGA. The rest is history. When he was the vice-presidential candidate under PDP in 2019, the emotive train then dubbed the ticket “the Igbo project”. As then chairman of planning and strategy committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I cautioned for a more pragmatic approach but the emotive blaze of the time held sway. We were vindicated afterwards.

‘’By the way, in 2016, he visited and proposed that I defect to the PDP and contest the 2017 election against the incumbent Willie Obiano, but I declined. After my victory in November 2021, he called to congratulate me as I did to him in 2010. That is the Anambra way: we fight fiercely during campaigns but share drinks at the next social events. After all, it was the great Zik of Africa who taught us that in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies but only permanent interests.’’

The governor noted the failure of the LP to field candidates for the two chambers of the National Assembly in Lagos, adding sarcastically that he would have given Obi money if he were the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, for making his victory easier.

He stated, ‘’Not even in Lagos State (supposed headquarters of urban youths) where the Labour Party could not find candidates to contest for House of Reps or Senate.

“The polls also show that he is taking votes away mostly from the PDP. Indeed, if I were Asiwaju Tinubu, I would even give Peter Obi money as someone heading one of the departments of his campaign because Obi is making Tinubu’s pathway to victory much easier by indirectly pulling down.’’

Soludo advised the leaders of the South-East to strategize and negotiate with the two candidates most likely to win the 2023 general elections in order to resolve the issue plaguing the South-East area.

The economics expert stated that negotiations were required to establish sustainable peace to the region and to achieve the release of Indigenous People of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu, as well as the transformation and restructuring of the South East’s economy.

He noted, ‘’For starters, Ohanaeze should study the report of my committee (planning and strategy) in 2019. It may still be relevant today. Second, Ndigbo should seriously study the MoU signed at the Yar’Adua Centre in 2010. The leader of the Igbo Political Association, Chief Simon Okeke, and our members are still there.

“Thirdly and for me, Ndigbo should strategise and bargain, especially with the two candidates likely to be president on at least four central issues: Lasting peace and security in the South-East, including the release and engagement with Nnamdi Kanu.

“South-East Economic transformation agenda and the FGN’s Marshall Plan for the South East as promised since the end of the Civil War (the post-war ‘reconstruction’). We appreciate the Second Niger Bridge and the recent contract for MTN to reconstruct the Onitsha-Enugu expressway.

‘’But the rail lines to the five state capitals, speedy access to the sea, highways linking South East to the North and South-South, addressing our existential threat as gully erosion capital of Africa, Free Trade and Export Processing Zones, etc.

“Restructuring Agenda for Nigeria that devolves powers/resources to the subnational entities and in which it would no longer matter where the President comes from.

“Leveling the playing field for the unleashing of the private sector and the full participation of Ndigbo in the economic and governance space, etc.’’

Soludo wished Obi goodluck, but cautioned against social media mob action, noting that ‘’a mob action often reflects the character of its leader.’’

‘’No one has a monopoly on social media violence, and no one should play God. Life won’t end by February/March 2023,’’ he concluded.JAMB Result

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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