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Despite Our Political Differences, Peter Obi Remains My Brother – Soludo

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Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has described the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) and former Anambra governor, Peter Obi as his brother, saying their differences are “fundamentally political.”

Under Soludo’s party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Obi governed Anambra State between 2006 and 2014. He joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014, contesting as Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 2019 before clinching the LP’s presidential ticket on May 30 in Asaba, Delta State.

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Soludo’s remarks came 10 days after his scathing opinion piece on Obi, in which he accused his predecessor of using his presidential bid to play a game he allegedly could not win.

However, photos surfaced of the two Anambra political titans embracing on Thursday at the 70th Birthday Thanksgiving celebration of the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka.

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According to a statement by Soludo’s press secretary, Christian Aburime, when Soludo arrived at the church, he promptly approached Obi and hugged him as people watched with surprise.

In his remarks, Soludo stated that he would soon meet with Obi to iron out their differences.

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“Today is very special. When we came into the service, it was the first time, my brother, Peter Obi and I are meeting at a public event and in a Catholic Church which the two of us belong to. I think it was divine,” the governor said.

“Let me tell you, we spoke two times, just last night. We are brothers. You know I am not one of those politicians that speak from two sides of the mouth. I can’t pretend. I am a politician, but also want to make heaven. I will keep saying the truth.

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“There is no rift between Obi and me at a personal level. Nobody snatched each other’s wife. What appears to be the rift between us is fundamentally political differences. Nothing else.”

The governor also dismissed allegations of $28m bribery received by him to run down the LP presidential candidate.

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“For those forging blackmail and all that, including the one they said I collected a bribe to say what I said, I asked them to bring it so I will use it to construct roads. If Soludo is into bribery, I would have been a multi-trillionaire now.

“On the fundamental differences we have, we are going to meet in the next few weeks. We’ve agreed to discuss and iron out our differences. We must get it done. Anambra is for all of us.”

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While thanking God for the life of the celebrant, Soludo pointed out that the cleric had had a great influence on him and his government.

“You changed my thinking when you visited my village house in 2019 and rejected the foreign wine offered to you in the place of palm wine. Today at the Governor’s lodge, the highest wine served there is palm wine,” he said.

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“I was also humbled by the moderate type of car you drove to my house. You told me you chose not to go with a vehicle far above the average of those you are pastoring. I think this is exemplary.

“When you see me drive Innoson cars, that’s part of the inspiration I got from you. If not for security, I would have been riding bicycles to work.

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“We are taking the prudence you taught us to the next level because when we came in, it cost us over N137m to clean offices. Now, it costs barely N11m. I can only promise to take the message to the world.”

Encomiums For Bishop Ezeokafor
In his goodwill message to the cleric, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpalaeke said Bishop Ezeokafor’s footprints of committed, painstaking priestly and episcopal ministry were written all over the Catholic faith.

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The Cardinal admired the bishop’s resilience and assured him of his prayers, wishing him many more years of fruitful and fulfilling ministry.

Most Rev. Ezeokafor, an ambassador of the Catholic Diocese of Awka who hails from Nanka, stated that apart from his birthday, he was also celebrating his 15th anniversary of Episcopy.

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He described it as 15 years of excellence, dedicating a record number of churches, reconstruction of a retreat and pastoral centre in Okpuno and the building of Peter University, Achina.

Soludo was accompanied to the thanksgiving service by Deputy Governor Anambra State, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi; and Protocol Officer, Hon Chinedu Nwoye

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Also at the occasion were the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Uche Okafor; Deputy Speaker, Dr. Paschal Agbodike; APGA Senatorial Candidate for Anambra Central, Senator Uche Ekwunife; Hon. Dozie Nwankwo; Labour Party Senatorial Candidate for Anambra Central, Sen. Victor Umeh; Senator Victor Umeh; and Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, among others.

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APC Lists Condition For Tinubu To Participate In A Debate With Peter Obi

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By Gloria Ikibah

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that its Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party, cannot engage in a debate.

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After Obi must have presented his platform and demonstrated his political prowess as a former governor of Anambra state, the APC stated that it would prefer to send one of Tinubu’s media aides to engage in a debate with him.

Spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, stated this even as he accused Obi of withholding his manifesto from Nigerians before the general elections of 2023.

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He said the LP presidential flagbearer must meet certain requirements before Keyamo will allow him to debate with the former governor of Lagos state. One of the requirements listed by the APC was that Obi identify his political mentor from the time he was governor until the present.

He declared that the APC would send one of its spokespersons to engage in an open discussion with Obi if the prerequisites were met.

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“They have no manifesto, so what are we debating?” Keyamo questioned. Which records are we comparing? He declared that Nigerians should rely on his own judgement rather than any document.

“So, who will Asiwaju be debating with next?” Are they making fun of this campaign?

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“Before Obi and Asiwaju can debate side by side, they should each release a manifesto for public review. Then, Obi should compare his tangible achievements as the governor of Anambra State to Asiwaju’s tangible achievements as the governor of Lagos State. Then, he should list the people he has mentored in politics while serving as governor and who are still working with him today. Lastly, he should list any political parties he has founded or worked with to found that he is still a member of today.

“Then he should list his democratic credentials, that is, what he did to help usher in democracy after the military took over, and what he has since done, better than Asiwaju, to maintain our democracy.

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“After all of this, we will send one of our spokespersons to engage him in discussion,” he said.

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2023: We’ll decide presidential candidate Rivers will follow soon- Wike

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By Francesca Iwambe

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has told residents to wait for his decision on the presidential candidate to vote for in 2023.

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Wike said they should, however, vote massively for the candidates of the PDP in other positions such as governorship, National Assembly and House of Assembly.

Speaking on Tuesday while inaugurating the Rukpoku-Izo-Ogbodo-Igwuruta link road constructed by his administration, the Governor said they were still talking on the issue of the 2023 presidential election and whom they would support for the poll.

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Wike said: “We have started doing Eneka internal roads phases one and two, Eneka to Igbo Etche, we are doing the SAARs Road going straight to Rikpogbodu. Remember from Eledo down to Rikpogbodu and Obirikwere road, I was the one who did it. I have now done Rumuakwu to Eneka road; Rumuakwu to Igwuruta link road.

“So, you are the ones owing us now. You did first for us and we retaliated by doing for you. Now we have come to ask you again to come and do for us. If you do for us, it means we will come and do for you again.

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“You will vote for our governor, our Senatorial Candidates, House of Rep’ candidates and Assembly candidates. Then the other one I will come and tell you where you will vote. Don’t worry calm down, these ones I have mentioned now make sure you come and vote for them. Very soon, we will meet in our houses and take a decision where we are going to. We are still talking”.

Towards the end of his speech, the Governor stressed he was concerned only about Rivers PDP and its candidates saying “it is carry go” for the candidates from the State.

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He said: “I have seen the picture of how here was. If you are doing business here or live here go and put the picture in front of your house. As you wake up, you see the state of the road before and now.

“It will make you to say this is the government we believe in and this is the party at the state level, listen to what I said ‘party at the state level we believe in’. At the state level this party is doing well and you must continue with us. I am speaking on a national TV. I want anybody anywhere to hear me. They won’t do me anything and they don’t have the capacity to try me”.

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He added: “These other people know there is no way they can win Rivers State. They are only making noise to go collect money from people so that at the end of the day they will say they were rigged out.

“Who and who are following you? Which local government will you win and who are those there that will make you to win elections. There are opinion leaders that are influencers of people. You must vote for a party that has brought dividends of democracy.

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“All about governance is the happiness of the people. Some people say they were governors for eight years, they didn’t do anything. So we have done our part”.

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Peter Obi: If you truly love Igbo drop your presidential ambition-Anambra youths

Peter Obi
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A coalition of youths in Anambra State has asked the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, to bury his ambition, if he truly loves Igbo.

They said his entry into the race would spoil the chances of Ndigbo becoming the president after 2023 without proper alliance with other ethnic groups.

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Briefing reporters yesterday in Awka, Anambra State, the National Leader of the coalition, Dr. Chinedu Ekwealor, said Obi’s entry into the presidential race was to give an advantage to one of the leading parties, All Progressives Congress (APC), to win the election.

The group said: “Our brother, Peter Obi, does not have this alliance and knows very well that an irate social media mob does not, and cannot, make him president.

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“Obi’s presidential run is sabotage to Ndigbo. What he has only succeeded in doing is increasing APC’s chances of winning the election by depleting the votes of the Southeast for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The implication is that the South Easterners will have to stay out of power for a minimum of another 16 years.

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“This is because after Tinubu (if he wins), power will return to the North for another eight years, leaving Ndigbo out for another 16 solid years.

 

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“If Obi truly loves Ndigbo, he should step down forthwith and strategise with other well-meaning Igbo elite in charting a way forward for the Igbo nation.

“We repeat, the presidency is not won on the premise of wishful thinking and hullabaloo of an untamed mob, who probably do not even understand the need for a pathway for the Igbo nation, pushing for a new narrative for the Igbo nation.”

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