2023: Igbo professionals berate Soludo over stance on Peter Obi

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Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s position on the presidential bid of his predecessor, Peter Obi, has drawn condemnation from some South East groups.

Recall that Soludo, in a statement on Monday, said Obi knew he cannot and will not win the 2023 presidential election.

“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too, and he knows that we know.

“The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to the All Progressives Grand Alliance. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!

“That many Americans may not like the fact that Joe Biden (79 years) and Donald Trump (76 years) are two frontrunners for president in their parties does not remove the fact that if both of them emerge as candidates, definitely one of them will be president in 2024.

“As my brother, I wish him well and even pray for him. I told him during his courtesy call that my prayer is that he or Prof Umeadi of APGA would win, why not?

“That is from my heart but I also told him that my head and facts on the ground led me to know that its probability is next to zero (what I cannot say before you, I won’t say behind you).

“So I already told him my opinion. Indeed, there is no credible pathway for him near the first two positions, and if care is not taken, he won’t even be near the third position”, Soludo said.

Reacting, the Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND) accused Soludo of being envious of Peter Obi’s rising political profile.

In a Tuesday statement signed by National President, Prof. Madumere Chika, and National Secretary, Mazi Anayo Uchemba, the coalition to shun the pull-him-down campaign an illustrious son of the South East.

The coalition said now was the time for Ndigbo to rally behind Obi, who is equally enjoying massive support across the country.

CSEPNND maintained that Peter Obi’s candidacy is a national project whose time of materialisation has come.

The coalition warned that Igbo political leaders opposing Obi’s presidential bid risk dire consequences from the masses, including mass action.

“We rise to condemn in the strongest terms the position of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as it concerns the presidential ambition of the representative of the New Nigeria Project, a shrewd investor, Mr Peter Obi.

“We advise the Anambra State Governor to apply restraint in his conduct and utterances, in order not to draw the ire of millions of youths, men and women of goodwill across the six geo-political zones of the country.

“We make bold to say that Peter Obi – as it stands today – is akin to a moving train, hence will crush anyone standing in the way of rebirth, reengineering and recalibration of the new Nigeria of our dream.

“Our consolation is founded on the reality that Soludo is obviously a lone voice, which lacks the capacity to influence popular opinion, which currently favours Obi,” the coalition said.

The coalition said Soludo was swimming against the tide, noting that the era when Igbos were their own worst enemies were long past.

According to the coalition, the massive support being enjoyed by Obi is indicative of a new dawn in the South East and Nigeria.

“We want to use this opportunity to commend Nigerians, especially Obidients, who have shown unity of purpose, as far as the 2023 presidential election is concerned.

“In a special way also, we salute the irreversible stand of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and other respected groups and individuals, for demonstrating unparalleled patriotism and courage.

“We, however, are hopeful that Prof. Soludo will rethink his position, which is at variance with common sense, and popular will.

“The 2023 presidential election is a defining moment, where Nigerians will choose between the status quo, which has kept us where we are, and a new order that will engender prosperity and growth,” CSEPNND said.

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