- Accuses kinsman of desperation
- Predicts victory for APC
Anambra State Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has written off Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, saying he is going nowhere.
In an essay he titled ‘History beckons and I will not be silent (Part 1), Soludo accused his kinsman of desperation, which he said may likely cost Igbo dearly for years to come.
Soludo argued that the former Governor of Anambra State will only make the victory of the ruling All Progressives Congress easier by depleting the votes of the People’s Democratic Party.
Soludo declared that were he to be the presidential candidate of the APC, he would fund the campaign of the Labour Party.
Soludo lamented that “The current fleeting frenzy, if not checked, will cost Ndigbo dearly for years. The South East has the lowest number of votes of any region, but it is also the only region where the presidential race might be a 4-way race (it is a two-way race in the other 5 regions) thereby ensuring that our votes won’t count in the making of the next president of Nigeria. Afterwards, we would start complaining that we don’t get “what we deserve” or cry of marginalisation.
“During the 2019 presidential election, the five South East States were united for PDP but contributed merely 1.6 million votes to PDP which was about the votes that Kano State gave to Buhari.
“The emotions might run to heavens but politics-power is about cold calculations, organization and building alliances for power.
In a democracy, it is a game of numbers.
“So far, I don’t see any of these— and 2023 might again be a wasted opportunity for Ndigbo. What is our Plan B when Peter Obi loses in February 2023? Some people prefer that we should play the Ostrich while Peter Obi toys with the collective destiny of over 60 million Igbos.
“Yes, you pray that he wins, but what if he fails as he is certain to? The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. As the saying goes, only those who plan can control the future. Ndigbo, wake up and smell the coffee.
“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% in 5 states as of August this year. The latest polling shows that it is down to four states and declining.
“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 from 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 PDP. It is what it is!’’
He added: “I used to think that for decent people, certain conducts are off-limits, and that in Anambra, politics is not warfare.
“Ideally, I should just have laughed off the infantile exuberances as many friends advised (I am used to this, having been in the ‘Arena’ for a while). I always re-read the quote “The Man in the Arena…” by President Theodore Roosevelt (1910) to remind myself of the burden of public office.
“Several well-meaning Nigerians and Ndigbo called to advise that I should just ignore them. A respected Igbo elder-statesman, who called, advised that I should just ignore what he described as “Peter Obi and his social media mob”. According to him, “everyone knows that he is going nowhere but they are looking for whom to blame
“Everyone knows that I don’t follow the winds or one to succumb to bullies, or shy away from a good fight especially when weighty matters of principles and future of the people are involved. One lesson I learnt from my former boss and mentor, President Obasanjo, is never to be on the fence.
“I learnt that one must always take a stand: for better or for worse. I do so with every sense of humility, and leave history to judge.
Most people have commended me for “tactfully avoiding being drawn into the Peter Obi issue” until now.
“Since I am now being forced into the Arena on this matter, I have a duty and a right of reply, if only for the records, and to also give the social media mob something substantive to rant upon and rain their abuses on for weeks.
“In this preliminary response, there are some things I will refrain from saying here because, in the end, February/March 2023 will come and go, and life will continue.’’