Governor of Anambra State, Charles Chukwuma Soludo is fending off charges of working against the emergence of Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as President of Nigeria in the February 25, 2023 election.
Earlier this week at Anambra Government Lodge in Amawbia, Governor Soludo had charged chieftains of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to work against Peter Obi and Labour Party interests.
The meeting was strictly organized as nobody entered with phone or any other gadget.
Soludo has held series of meetings stakeholders of the party including the defeated aspirants at the last primaries, the successful candidates and finally the Local Government Area (LGA) party chairmen, where he told them in clear words that he is working to undermine Obi’s votes in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The Anambra Governor told the LGA party chairmen: “Peter Obi is going nowhere. APGA is going to support Atiku because he will hand over to an Igbo man after just one term. We have a candidate in Peter Umeadi and Atiku will sponsor him to reduce Peter Obi’s votes in the State. The plan is on and will be clearer in the coming weeks. Don’t worry about funds. Atiku will provide more than enough and we must work for him either directly by voting him or indirectly by voting Umeadi. Whichever way, Peter Obi will be the loser. Don’t let the Labour Party dominate you. You are APGA and you must remain APGA.”
This is not the first time that Soludo is pouring cold waters on Obi’s candidacy. In June, as Obi left the PDP to join the Labour Party, he mocked him, saying that those dreaming to win the 2023 general elections under new parties are jokers and will just labour in vain.
Saying that a party without a Councillor has nothing to offer, he told APGA members at the Governor’s Lodge then “it is sad that the people that left had to leave. Why would one leave a party he had laboured to build? It is not good to labour in vain.
“However, they are not contesting elections. The election in Anambra is between APGA and other political parties. APGA remains the third in Nigeria as the country inches closer to the 2023 general elections. Elections are not done on WhatsApp or the Internet. You have to be on ground. APGA is on ground here and everywhere. How can a party that does not have a Councillor want to compete with us?
“We are strong and we are growing stronger, stand a real chance in Abia, we will compete in all places vigorously. We shall campaign when it starts, and by the time we enter January next year, we will know those that are still contesting. Our victory will be resounding this time, but we will not take anything for granted, Anambra people will see.”
When the news leaked then, he denied it, saying through his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime: “Our checks reveal the statement was a total misrepresentation by an overzealous reporter who was not among the journalists present when Governor Soludo spoke extempore during his interaction with some audience after his 100 days in office media broadcast.”
He described the attribution as an attempt by some misguided elements to cause disaffection between the Labour Party presidential candidate and his party leadership, urging the public to disregard the entire statement, insisting that it never emanated from Soludo.
And this week, Soludo disclaimed his statement to party stakeholders to work against Obi’s presidential ambition.
The release by Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Aburime reads: “We note with disdain the fallacious and distasteful publication of a write-up with the above heading by faceless individual(s).
“We would have chosen to ignore this mischievous and utterly despicable publication, but for the benefit of a few innocent Ndi Anambra who could be mis-informed by the write up.
“The following should, however, be noted:
“1) That Governor Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, only held a private meeting with his party members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). This meeting is a routine gathering where issues concerning APGA are discussed.
“2. At no time during the meeting was, Mr Peter Obi, a point of discourse.”
Soludo has always been a political ally of Atiku and was considered for the Vice Presidential slot both is 2018 and 2022. More so, the Governor has never hidden his ambition of running for President and Obi, if he wins the 2023 elections would have sealed his run for the Presidency of Nigeria.