2023: Soludo, Obi Embrace In Awka

Governor Charles Soludo embraces the LP presidential candidate, Peter Soludo at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Awka, Anambra State on November 24, 2022.

 

In what may be seen a reconciliatory move, Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, has embraced the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The duo met in Awka on Thursday at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the Thanksgiving mass for Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, the Catholic bishop of Awka diocese, in celebration of his 70th birthday.

 

Obi governed Anambra State between 2006 to 2014 before clinching the LP’s presidential ticket on May 30 in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

Both men have exchanged words after Soludo attacked Obi, saying the former Anambra Governor knows he cannot win the 2023 presidential election.

READ ALSO: 2023: Peter Obi Knows That He Can’t And Won’t Win – Soludo

In a lengthy opinion piece on November 14, the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor said Obi  was playing a game with his election bid, adding that his predecessor did not have the necessary structure in place to win the Presidency on the Labour Party platform.

 

“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win,” Soludo said. “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 APGA. 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,” Soludo said.

 

Soludo also berated Obi, saying his purported investment while he was the governor of the state was worth next to nothing.

However, the LP presidential candidate replied Soludo, saying the governor can do better for the state since he is now in office.

Obi who addressed participants at the Lagos Business School (LBS) 2022 alumni conference on November 15 said government is a continuum and that Soludo is a professor who can handle things better.

He said, “The one that they said is worthless is that we invested [$]3.5 billion in International Breweries. International Breweries is part of Ab Inbev, which is the biggest brewery in the whole world.

“We had a policy when I was governor that any company, foreign investor who wants to invest in Anambra state, we will buy 10 percent of the company, and under the condition, we started an agreement that they will give Anambra people work to the minimum of not less than 40 percent.

“They built a facility in Anambra state. That facility is there today employing, directly and indirectly, over 10,000 Anambrarians. They bring one of the highest revenue source for the state.”

I Will Consult With Soludo To Tackle Nigeria’s Challenges – Peter Obi

A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Chukwuma Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

 

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi says he will consult with the Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo on solutions to tackle Nigeria’s challenges.

Obi made this known on Monday at Protea Hotel in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital, during a meeting with the Nigerian Guild of Editors.

“He (Soludo) knows and he has the solution so I need to consult him to help me,” Obi said of the Anambra governor whom he fondly referred to as his brother.

The LP candidate also promised to adopt the Bangladesh model of 35% Affirmative Action, noting that he would create an atmosphere where 50 percent of Nigerian women would be included in its National Productivity Programme.

Of late, Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and Obi, who was Anambra governor between 2006 and 2014; have been engaged in altercations on the state of Anambra economy.

READ ALSO: Wike Receives NNPP’s Kwankwaso Ahead Of Project Inauguration

Soludo had said the investments Obi left in government are worth close to nothing.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chieftain also said Obi can’t win the 2023 presidential election as there are “two persons/parties seriously contesting for president”.

However, Obi replied that he did his little as governor of Anambra and urged Soludo to do his best in the state as an economics professor.

Critics From Your State Are Envious, Wike Tells Obi

 

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday urged the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi to ignore envious critics, especially those from his home state of Anambra.

The Rivers governor said this during the inauguration of the Nkpolu-Oroworokwo Flyover in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Obi was a special guest of honour at the inauguration which was attended by massive crowd who chanted the name of the LP flag bearer when he mounted the podium to speak.

“We have worked and you know we have worked. One reason I also brought you (Obi) is that I know you also worked well in Anambra,” Wike told Obi.

READ ALSO: You Have All Characteristics To Lead Nigeria, Wike Tells Obi

“Some people because of the level you are now, they are envying you in your state. They can come out and say all kind of rubbish. Don’t worry, that is how it is; it is your home person that will kill you first, so don’t bother about those things.

“I have always told people when you are given opportunity, use it to showcase what you can do, stop criticising somebody who has left, you have been given the opportunity now show it. I am a professor, professor well, I am a doctor, doctor well, I am a lawyer, lawyer well, I am a mechanic, mechanic well,” the governor said.

Of late, Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo; and Obi have been engaged in altercations on the state of Anambra economy.

He had said the investments Obi left in government are worth close to nothing.

Soludo also said Obi can’t win the 2023 presidential election as there are “two persons/parties seriously contesting for president”.

However, Obi replied that he did his little as governor of Anambra and urged Soludo to do his best in the state as an economics professor.

Peter Obi’s Purported Investments Are Worth Next To Nothing, Says Soludo

Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo on Thursday said the purported investments by his predecessor in office, Peter Obi are worth next to nothing.

Obi is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party. Before clinching the party’s ticket, he governed Anambra from 2006 to 2014.

READ ALSO: Tinubu May Be Disqualified From Contesting If Alleged Drug Trafficking Case Goes To Court – Bwala

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Soludo said he is not aware of any investment in the state by any of his predecessors.

“I think there was something I read about somebody speculating about whatever investment. With what I’ve seen today, the value of those investments is worth next to nothing. So, let’s leave that aside,” the governor said.

The governor also spoke on his administration’s plans for the people of Anambra State, noting that over 5,000 teachers in the state will get their employment letters in a few days.

He stated, “We are handing out employment letters to more than 5, 000 teachers to end an era of schools without teachers.

“We are going to have 240 plus doctors and consultants to man our general hospitals, so if you look at the five fingers approach of our programmes we designed our budget to keep our eyes on the ball.”

The governor’s remarks come after he presented the N258.97 billion 2023 budget to the House of Assembly chambers in Awka.

The budget christened, the budget of acceleration” recorded a raise from the N170 billion revised 2022 budget presented by Soludo in May.

During the presentation, he said that the 2023 budget embodied his administration’s “single-minded focus and determination to continue to press the accelerator pedals in spite of the risky bumps on the way”.

The budget has a capital expenditure of N164 billion, accounting for 63.2 percent, while recurrent expenditure at N95.5 billion accounts for 36.8 percent, representing a budget deficit of N13 billion.

According to the governor, about N91.8 billion, representing 56 percent of the total capital expenditure, was devoted to land transport, power generation, and urban reintegration.

Soludo Condemns Attack On Ubah’s Convoy, Vows To Wipe Out Criminality

A file photo of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

The Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo,  has condemned the attack on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s convoy, vowing to ensure that the perpetrators are fished out. 

The convoy of the Senator representing Anambra South was attacked in the Njikoka Local Government Area of the state on Sunday, leading to the death of several aides.

While reacting to the incident, Soludo in a statement by his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, described the attack as “the last ditched-effort of a sinking boat by these criminal elements”.

“He reassured that all security agencies are now on full alert to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous attack, who will be made to face the full wrath of the law,” Soludo’s aide added.

“The Governor commiserates with Dr Ifeanyi Ubah and families of his aides who lost their lives as well as the State Commissioner of Police, for the Policemen who also lost their lives.”

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Ifeanyi Ubah’s Convoy In Anambra, Several Aides Killed

Atiku Condemns Attack

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has also condemned the incident and condoled with the families of the victims.

“The attack on the convoy of Senator @Dr_IfeanyiUbah stands condemned. My condolences go to the families of those injured and killed in the attack,” he tweeted after the attack.

“I share my sympathy with the Distinguished Senator. May the souls of the departed rest in peace. We’ve got work to do to ensure that safety and security returns to our dear country.”

Anambra Lawmaker Nnamdi Okafor Slumps, Dies In South Africa

A file photo of Nnamdi Okafor.

 

The Majority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, is dead.

He was the member representing Awka South State Constituency. Reports say he slumped and died in a hotel room in South Africa on Tuesday but the cause of his death is yet to be ascertained.

The late lawmaker was among the Anambra State Assembly members that attended a legislative retreat in South Africa.

While other members had returned, he stayed back to meet some of his constituents in South Africa when the incident happened.

READ ALSO: Four Kidnapped Catholic Sisters Regain Freedom

In a condolence message on Wednesday, Governor Chukwuma Soludo described Okafor’s death as “shocking”.

“It is shocking that the State Assembly lost another lawmaker to the cold hands of death, coming barely three months after the demise of the lawmaker representing Aguata Two Constituency, Hon. Okechukwu Okoye,” the governor said in a statement by his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime.

“Dr. Nnamdi Okafor was an active participant at the 7th Assembly who devoted his time and energy to representing his constituency. He’ll be sorely missed”.

“On behalf of the Anambra State Government, may I use this medium to convey my sympathy to those he left behind, including his family, Awka Constituency One, and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor as well as other lawmakers. Indeed, life is ephemeral. May the living continue to reflect on the essence of life and live for the good of the society like Dr. Okafor did”.

‘This Is Not Who We Are’: Soludo Vows To Fish Out Killers Of Harirat Jubril And Her Children

The governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo.

 

Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo has vowed to fish out the killers of Harirat Jubril and her four children, saying the development has left the people of the state in “shock”.

The governor said this in a state-wide broadcast in Awka on Wednesday as he assured that security agencies are working to make that happen.

“Over the past one week, Ndi Anambra and indeed the nation have been treated to the gory stories of the kidnapping and subsequent beheading of Hon Okechukwu Okoye (member of the State House of Assembly) and his aide, Cyril Chiegboka (both from my community, Isuofia) as well as the brutal murder Mrs Harirat Jubril from Adamawa state and her four children and three other northerners,” the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor said.

“Anambra people have been in shock. This is not who we are. Our deepest condolences are with the families of the various victims. We are working round the clock with the security agencies and the perpetrators must be brought to book.”

READ ALSO[Insecurity] Soludo Imposes Curfew On Eight Anambra LGAs

Aside from his condemnation of the recent killings in the southeast state, he also imposed a curfew on six local government areas as part of efforts to tackle the challenges.

“With effect from tomorrow, Thursday, 26th May 2022, a 6 pm to 6 am curfew is hereby placed on motorcycles (Okada), tricycles (Keke), and shuttle buses in the Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South Local Governments until further notice,” Soludo said as he called on residents of the state to liaise with him to make the state liveable.

“Until further notice also, motorcycles, Keke, and shuttle buses are banned from operating in these local governments on Mondays until the Sit-at-Home completely stops.”

“The youths of every community in the zone are hereby enjoined to assist the security agencies in the implementation of this policy and are mandated to seize any such motorcycle or tricycle on the spot,” the governor added.

“Local Vigilantes should report such motorcycles or tricycles (Keke) immediately, and they will be confiscated by the government and the owner prosecuted.

Soludo Visits Nnamdi Kanu, Says Together Peace Will Be Restored In Anambra

Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo visits IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu

 

 

The Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo on Friday visited the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The governor whose visit was part of a wider consultation with critical stakeholders in search of lasting peace and security in the southeast said that the IPOB leader was in very high spirit.

Nnamdi Kanu who expressed sadness over the loss of lives and properties in the southeast called for the restoration of peace in the state.

He said, “Together, we shall restore peace, security, and prosperity in Anambra and the Southeast”.

Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo embraces IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu

 

He described the numerous deaths as “sacrilegious killings” of innocent persons, kidnappings, and all forms of criminalities, including the brutal enforcement of the senseless “sit at home” perpetuated by sundry groups claiming to be acting for or on behalf of IPOB.

The IPOB leader noted that if the opportunity arises, he will be glad to personally broadcast to his followers to maintain the peace.

“It is well indeed!”, he added.

‘A Very Simple Thing’, APGA Can Handle Nigeria’s Security Challenges – Victor Oye

Mr Victor Oye speaks during the interview.

 

The National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Oye, has assured Nigerians that the political party will easily tackle the nation’s security challenges if given a chance to rule the country.

The APGA leader who said this during an interview on Channels Television programme, Political Paradigm, added that the party has recorded success ruling Anambra State and can do much more at the national level.

“What has PDP and APC offered to Nigerians? Nothing! In Anambra, see what we have done. If you give APGA to Nigeria, we will change Nigeria,” he said, “We know what to do. One, we will be transparent in running the system. we will be pragmatic. We will have a shared vision.

“We can deal with insecurity in Nigeria. It is a very simple thing. The first step is for the Federal Government to show sincerity in how they are running the affairs of the country.”

Oye also spoke concerning the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which he lamented that the Federal Government is not paying attention to the plight of the lectures and to address the situation immediately.

“Government should pay attention to the needs of the people. Provide quality education. Look at the ongoing ASUU Strike. The Federal Government does not care about ASUU.

“How much will it cost the government to take care of ASUU’s needs? And we spend billions to pay legislators. The Federal Government needs to address the issue immediately,” Oye added.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State is the only APGA elected governor in Nigeria.

In handling insecurity in the state, he recently declared an end to the Monday sit-at-home in Anambra and offered amnesty to pro-Biafra agitators still in hideouts.

The newly-elected governor also said a Peace and Reconciliation Committee will be set up soon to address “all areas of sincere challenge, including interfacing with the Federal Government on behalf of all prisoners of conscience.”

Soludo Declares End To Sit-At-Home In Anambra, Offers Amnesty To Those In ‘Forests

A file photo of Governor Soludo. [email protected]

 

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has declared an end to the Monday sit-at-home in Anambra State and is offering amnesty to agitators still in hideouts. 

“Following the unanimous agreement of our leaders across board, and the endorsement of the entire body of Christ, I am pleased to inform our people that today, Monday, April 4, 2022, marks the official end to the ‘Monday sit-at-home’ in Anambra State,” the governor tweeted on his official handle on Monday evening.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor also said a Peace and Reconciliation Committee will be set up soon to address “all areas of sincere challenge, including interfacing with the Federal Government on behalf of all Prisoners of conscience”.


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A Call For Support

The governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo.

 

Soludo, who restated his government’s resolve to make the southeast state peaceful, also offered “amnesty to all our brothers in the various forests around us. Give us your guns, and trust us to help you forge a meaningful living”.

According to him, reclaiming the dignity of his people is a task that must be accomplished.

“I call for your support and prayers, as we have resolved to fiercely go after criminal elements who are out to threaten our peace and distort our development,” he said. “Anambra is the Light of the Nation, we must keep it so.”

The proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) had ordered the sit-at-home in the southeast following the rearrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu. According to the group, the order would be maintained until Kanu is freed by the Federal Government.

While the order continued to divide opinions among people in the region, the development created fear among residents. Typically, commercial activities are grounded in some parts of the region on Monday, raising concerns that the move may cripple the economy.

Although the group later said it has cancelled the sit-at-home, several residents still observed it for fear of being attacked.

Agitations In Southeast: You Cannot Shoot An Ideology With A Gun – Soludo

A file photo of the Anambra governor Charles Soludo. Photo: Facebook/Soludo TV

 

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State believes dialogue can go a long way in tackling agitations in the southeast region. 

Soludo made the comment on Sunday, explaining that brute force alone cannot douse agitations in the region.

“A time comes when you realise that you cannot shoot an ideology with a gun. When you see it exclusively as a law enforcement matter, then you miss the point,” the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“We got to engage them; we got to engage everyone to really understand the root of this.”

According to him, his government is setting up a truth and reconciliation commission as part of measures to tackle the rising levels of agitations in the region.


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‘Sin No More’

This commission, he said, will look into the root causes of the agitations and document those killed in the past few years due to the tensions in the area.

“We don’t want to treat all these people as statistics,” the governor said, expressing optimism that such action could “form the fulcrum of engagement at the national level”.

“To the criminals, we are offering an olive branch to repent,” Soludo reiterated, referencing John 8:1-11 in the Holy Bible.

“So, to them, we are also saying ‘We are not condemning you, sin no more. Come out today, surrender those arms, we want to engage you back in society’,” the economist noted.

He lamented the rising levels of insecurity in the country, calling for immediate action and “engagement” with a view to finding a lasting solution.

The governor said the threats are “existential” in nature and thus should not be papered over. Everyone, he believes, should help the government in proffering solutions to the challenges facing the nation.

“This is something that we need to engage very seriously and in an open manner to engage everyone, believing that everyone has something to contribute,” he said.

‘No Kobo To Waste On Funfair’: Soludo Vows To Hit The Ground Running

Soludo during the swearing-in ceremony.

 

Governor Charles Soludo has promised to begin work immediately, assuring the Anambra people of delivering on his campaign promises.

He made the remark during his inaugural address after he, alongside his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim, was sworn into office.

“Today is my first day at work.  I just reported for duty at 8:55 am to be precise and will work for at least eight hours today. We had more than a month since the election to celebrate our historic victory,” the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor said during the event held on Thursday in Awka.

“Now is the time to work and there is no minute or kobo to waste in [a] funfair. In a few minutes, I will announce some of the principal officers of my administration and commence with serious meetings of the Anambra Security Council followed by a meeting with the permanent secretaries and with my Strategy, Execution, and Evaluation (SEE) team.”


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‘I Will Work Very Hard’

 

 

Soludo said he will be announcing some key members of his administration.

“Within the next few weeks, the list of commissioners will be laid before the House of Assembly,” he said.

The governor while thanking the people for choosing him, called on them to support his administration in delivering development to the state.  He promised not to disappoint the people, reiterating his commitment to getting the job done.

“Umunne m Ndi Anambra, this is the moment. I applied for this job. My party the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APG), shortlisted me, and you Umunne m Ndi Anambra, interviewed and employed me as your chief servant with, Chief Dr Onyekachukwu Gilbert Ibezim as my deputy,” he told the gathering at the Government House.

“God ordained this moment and we are grateful to him and to you all for the privilege to serve you. Dr Ibezim and I will work very hard every day to make you proud. I ask millions of Ndi Anambra all over the world who have prayed for today to simply say a one-minute prayer to commit this journey and Anambra State into the hands of God. Anambra will win.”