Youth leaders in Anambra State have called for restraints and calm over perceived rift between Governor Chukwuma Soludo and Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi.
The leaders, under the agies of Coalition of Anambra State Youth Leaders and stakeholders said there was no love lost between the duo as being speculated.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Deputy President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Amb. Innocent Nduanya underscored the need to refrain from inflammatory and divisive comments capable of causing disunity and setback.
He described the differences as mere political game characteristic of any democracy, stressing that both individuals remained very important to the Nigerian project and development of the State in their own rights.
He said: “In the past two weeks, both the conventional and social media have been awash with stories and vituperations suggestive of a bitter war between the incumbent Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo and former Governor of the State and Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi.
“This war of words had even degenerated to threats of attacks, blackmail and defamatory statements by pro-groups to both Parties.
“Recently, a Youth Group had threatened to mobilise and dump wastes at the State Government House in Awka, as a way of punishing our Governor for his comments, which they deemed as anti-Obi.
“As youth Leaders and critical stakeholders, we have watched these developments with rapt attention and at this point, feel that our continued silence may be deemed complicity, hence our decision to speak up.
“We wish to state clearly that there is no love lost between the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and the former Governor of the State and Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, as it’s being bandied about in the media.
“This was evident in the conviviality and exchange of brotherly pleasantries between the duo yesterday at a Holy Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral, Awka, to mark the 70th Birthday of the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor.
“We also wish to state that what we observed going on, is a political game as it is characteristic of any democracy. Governor Soludo is of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); a political party fielding a Presidential Candidate while Mr. Obi is the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
“Both individuals have the right, under a democracy, to campaign along party lines and we believe that understanding was established when Soludo received Obi earlier this year at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
“As keen observers of politics in the country, we understand and insist that both individuals are very important to the Nigerian project and development of Anambra State in their own rights.
“Mr. Peter Obi’s candidature is neither an Anambra nor an Igbo mandate but a National project. Governor Soludo, on the other hand, is an elected Governor of Anambra State, with the people’s mandate for the next four years; and does not need any distraction in his efforts to deliver a liveable and prosperous homeland.
“We therefore call on everyone, especially supporters of both notable personalities, to exercise restraint and remain calm. There is the need to refrain from making inflammatory and divisive comments that will place us on the part of disunity and setback.
“As Youth Stakeholders, we need to remind the general public of how hard we fought for Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s mandate to become a reality.
“We will therefore give him our unalloyed support to succeed; and we will resist any attempt by anyone to mess up the mandate we gave to the Governor.”