Labour Party (LP),Presidential candidate Peter Obi, yesterday, gave a response to the opinion piece penned by the governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, setting the stage for a feisty verbal exchange between the two leading lights of Anambra and the Southeast region.
Reacting to Soludo’s treatise titled, History beckons and I will not be silent (Part 1), where the governor disclosed that the investment Peter Obi left in government was worth close to nothing and the LP candidate can’t win the 2023 presidential election, Obi said he did his little as governor of Anambra and urged the incumbent governor to do his best in the state as an economics professor.
Speaking at the 2022 Lagos Business School (LBS) Alumni Conference, Obi described Soludo as his brother.
Peter Obi further said for other things, which I didn’t succeed, God has given him opportunity to do it and succeed.
So, if there is anything pending, governance doesn’t finish, people are still in government in America, so, you stop where you will stop, other people will continue from there.
He is the governor of the state; he is my senior brother, he is even more intelligent than me, because he is a professor, I am a trader, so, he knows more and will be able to do things better than I did.
I have done my little as a trader, now the professor is there, he will do his own as a professor, the schools I didn’t roof, he will roof them, that’s how government goes.
The former governor said he left office with N75 billion savings, adding that his administration saved $50 million each in Access, Diamond and Fidelity banks with an interest rate of 6.5 per cent.
He further clarified: The one they said is worthless, we invested N3.5 billion in International Breweries. That facility is there employing directly and indirectly over 10,000 Anambrarians.
The shares were at a time being sold at N50, today, the share is about N5 or so.
When you spread your investment, some will go up some will come down but overall the company is still there, the company is still doing well, it is still part of the global chain.
I needed to explain it not because I am defending comments by my brother, he said, adding that he left the office without owing any contractor or supplier who had executed his or her job.
ALSO joining the fray, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, lashed out at Soludo over his statement, saying it has dragged the governor to two deities in Igbo land, for discrediting the legacies of Peter Obi.
The group in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said: Ndigbo have dragged Soludo to the two famous divinities and deities (Chokoleze in Mbaise and Ubiniukpabi in Arochukwu) for his unreasonable public behaviour.
Soludo’s actions are ridiculous, unreasonable and premature; there was no locus for the governor’s outburst and the sanctions against Soludo to face Igbo deities will serve as a deterrent to Southeast politicians who have been hired by enemies of Ndigbo and Nigerians to derail Obi’s presidency in 2023.
Soludo exposed and indicted himself of treachery when he discredited the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and LP presidential candidates as not viable alternatives to win the 2023 elections. How can a governor of two presidential candidates (APGA and LP) make such a public declaration.
We advise Soludo to concentrate on the current crisis in Anambra and stop casting innuendo and aspersions on the person of Peter Obi.
In the same vein, National Chairman of LP, Julius Abure, described comments made by Soludo as remarks borne out of jealousy.
Abure said Soludo, who was at some point the Governor of Central Bank, would first speak condescendingly about a sound investment decision made by Obi.
Even Soludo rose on the legacy of Obi, because Obi was the first governor that rose to power through the APGA platform. Obi built the party, consolidated it and worked for the people of Anambra, which gave people confidence to continually vote for APGA.
He further said that Soludo’s recent tirades is confirmation that Obi’s ambition is not an Igbo project but pan-Nigeria.
This project is certainly not about Umunna! Even brothers and sisters normally disagree, It is a Nigeria project.
MEANWHILE, the duo of Obi and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, revealed their security and economic plans for the country at the LBS conference.
The sessions, which was moderated by Franklin Ngwu, an associate professor of strategy, corporate governance and risk management at the Lagos Business School, and Muda Yusuf, founder/CEO, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), was tagged: The Leadership Imperative.
Specifically, Atiku said that the review of the Constitution is highly essential to the unity of Nigeria, as his administration will pursue it with all seriousness if he wins next year’s presidential election.
The former vice president maintained that there would be a convergence, noting that what is currently at play with multiple exchange rates hurts the private sector, which contributes about 79-80 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Atiku added that his administration would privatize the oil and gas sector to generate income for the country and make Nigeria the refinery hub of West Africa.