On Monday, Governor Charles Soludo Anambra Stateraised dust in the political space when he released a long statement in response to the verbal attacks of his supporters. Labor Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Mr. Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, is a leading candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
Days before the controversial diatribe against the LP candidate, Mr. Soludo, while appearing as a guest on Channels TV’s Politics Today program on Thursday, said the value of Mr. Obi’s investments while he was governor of the state “is worth it”. nothing”.
Several people believed to be supporters of the LP candidate attacked Mr. Soludo for his comments.
However, in a speech on Monday, the governor, apparently angered by the attacks, said he stood by his words.
He criticized Mr. Obi for ignoring pleas for his return All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and receive the party’s 2023 presidential ticket.
He then announced that the LP candidate would not win the 2023 election.
Mr Soludo accused Obi’s supporters of “harassing anyone who expresses the slightest dissent”.
The LP candidate has since he answered to the attacks against Mr. Soludo.
Apart from Mr. Soludo predicting that Mr. Obi will not win the election, here are some other highlights of the diatribe:
Soludo, despite being sympathetic to Atiku, predicts victory for Tinubu
A key point in Mr. Soludo’s statement was his prediction All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate Bola Tinubu would win the 2023 general election.
APGA candidate Peter Umeadi has remained silent on his chances in the election.
He expressed anger that Mr. Obi’s growing popularity would negatively affect support for the South-East. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Mr. Soludo expressed sympathy for the PDP candidate, Mr. Atiku. Apparently, he is hoping that in the next election the PDP can reward the support of the region with an “Igbo ticket”.
The governor is worried that Mr. Obi’s popularity will not win him victory but will only “waste” his chance to take a shot at the presidency of the South-East.
He believes Mr. Obi’s candidacy distracts the South-East from supporting the PDP, and would cut off votes that might go to Mr. Atiku, thus paving the way for Mr. Tinubu to win the election.
Obi shaking the Nigerian political space
Even if Mr. Obi he is not the only presidential candidate in the southeast, he has recently become the target of attacks by opposition political party supporters and candidates.
His reputation for prudence and prudent management of the state’s resources seems to have attracted many supporters of the former governor ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Mr. Obi’s opponents are worried that the growing popularity of the LP candidate could pose a major threat to his victory in the 2023 polls.
He has undoubtedly become the most talked about presidential candidate in Nigeria today.
Soludo’s romp with Obi?
Mr. Soludo did not hide his frustration with Mr. Obi’s refusal to return to APGA to fly the party’s flag for the 2023 presidential election.
Mr. Obi said he left APGA despite his oath to Biafra warlord Odumegwu Ojukwu that he would not leave the party.
The governor said the LP candidate also told the Igbos that APGA was the vehicle to realize the Igbo dream of producing a president in Nigeria.
The big question here is, if Mr. Obi were the 2023 presidential candidate of APGA, would he have the political support of Governor Soludo?
Despite his latent anger against Mr. Obi, the governor expressed his willingness to welcome the LP candidate into APGA after the presidential election, perhaps as the only condition to atone for the “sins” of the LP candidate.
Mr. Soludo appears angry that LP is being referred to as the party to implement the “Igbo project” since Mr. Obi emerged as his candidate.
APGA has long been tagged as an “Igbo party” since the days of Mr. Ojukwu who was the party’s presidential candidate in 2003 and 2007.
The governor described as “ridiculous” the suggestion by some Igbo that the APGA candidate should “drop” Mr. Obi as an “Igbo candidate”.
Igbo political ambition can be easily achieved through alliance
Mr. Soludo said it is impossible for an Igbo to be president of Nigeria until the South East negotiates with other regions.
In the governor’s opinion, considering that politics is a “numbers game”, the best strategy would be to make alliances with other regions and political parties.
According to him, the Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo leaders “should as a matter of priority start charting a pragmatic future for Ndigbo in Nigeria after the elections”.
Obi’s army of supporters
Another important takeaway from the diatribe is that like a swarm of bees, the army of Mr. Obi’s supporters is unstoppable calling out those who criticize the LP candidate.
Several Nigerians have denounced the “intolerant attitude” of Mr Obi’s supporters.
Mr. Soludo said his statement followed attacks by Obi’s supporters after they said Mr. Obi’s investments as governor of Anambra were “worth nothing”.
Mr. Obi has repeatedly warned his supporters not to attack their opponents, but the attacks have continued.
The Igbo presidency quest is without strategy
Mr. Soludo expressed his concern that “Ndigbo as the most important nomadic tribe in Nigeria and the biggest stakeholder in the Nigerian project does not yet have a strategy to engage Nigeria politically”.
According to him, frequent echoes of Igbo presidency are far away due to lack of Ndigbo strategy and organization.
The governor emphasized that while Ndigbo continues to fight itself over who gets the regional presidential nod, other regions are working daily, strategizing and organizing to take the lead in the country.
Negotiating with Tinubu for the release of Atiku Nnamdi Kanu
After dismissing the possibility of Obi’s victory in the polls, Mr. Soludo called on Igbo leaders to approach the two other presidential candidates who are “likely to win the presidency” in 2023 to negotiate the future of the region.
Although he did not mention the candidates, observers say the governor should have mentioned the PDP candidate, Mr. Atiku, and his APC counterpart, Mr. Tinubu who are the two other leading candidates for the election.
ALSO READ: 2023: Soludo denies working against Peter Obi
Apart from tackling insecurity, regional restructuring and ensuring participation in the country’s economy and governance, another key issue to be negotiated with the candidates, according to Mr. Soludo, is the outlawing of Nnamdi Kanu. Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB).
His call for Mr. Kanu’s release deal with the presidential aspirants indicates that he has no confidence that the IPOB leader would be released under the current Muhammadu Buhari administration.
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