8.4 C
New York
Saturday, July 20, 2024

Soludo not speaking for Anambra people – Labour Party Nat’l chair



- Advertisement -

National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, in this chat with ADEBAYO FOLOURUNSHO-FRANCIS discusses how Nigerians donated N10 million to the party through its campaign website, the speculations about the Obi-Wike alliance and the recent media spat between Anambra State governor, Prof. Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, among sundry issues

Obi was recently invited by Wike to commission a project in Rivers State. Is there an ongoing conversation between your candidate and the G-5 governors?

We have seen All Progressives Congress stalwarts go to Rivers State to commission projects in recent months. Even Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was there. I have seen governors and senators of APC extraction visiting the state also. So, I don’t think it is out of place for Peter Obi to go to Rivers to commission a project. You know, in Nigeria, we read political meaning into everything. But it is not to my knowledge that there is any approach. Wike is in the Peoples Democratic Party and works for the party. Peter Obi was only there to commission a project.

How will you describe the political resurgence of the LP so far?

Democracy has been defined as a government for the people, by the people, and for the people. And just like a political party that wants to be in government, when we enjoy such massive support, we obviously should be happy. People are tired of the existing political structures. They are desirous of change. People are fed up with the APC and the PDP.

As I said, if you have a product that is not meeting demand, it is apparent that you will eventually do away with that product.

Therefore, the upsurge of support we have been seeing is clear evidence that people want change. By 2023, they want the best presidential candidate in the country. The party is also one of the best in town, obviously because of its ideology, manifesto, and programmes. Our candidate is the only one among all the coterie of presidential flag bearers that has the competence, character, and capacity to drive the process of development in the country.

This is why we have so much public support. In the next few weeks, we are going to visit more states. As we saw in Edo, where we visited three senatorial districts, we intend to repeat that by meeting with workers. We are just beginning. Very soon, we are going to see a lot of road shows, town hall meetings, seminars, and campus visits when we start going to higher institutions. The aim is to generally mobilise Nigerians to vote for the party next year. We believe that we have the programmes, the ideas, the solutions, and the answers to the numerous challenges facing the country. We will let the people know that LP has the best ideas that can reshape the economy, reposition the healthcare sector, and position the country for effective service delivery.

What’s your position on the recent attacks on INEC facilities?

We condemn the attack on INEC facilities. These facilities were procured with taxpayers’ money. For every right-thinking citizen, it is condemnable for public facilities to be destroyed. There is no justification for INEC facilities being attacked at this point, especially when we are preparing and working towards the 2023 general elections. But I do not see the attack affecting the conduct of next year’s elections.

READ ALSO  Suit To Unseat Benue PDP Spokesman, Iortyom, now Otiose as Court Adjourns to October 10th

I urge the Independent National Electoral Commission and all the security apparatus to be more vigilant and secure the other facilities to prevent another attack. Such an institution, which is responsible for conducting elections at this time, must be safeguarded. This brings us to the point that we have always made. The country is highly insecure.

Can Nigerians trust that Obi won’t deny some of his promises when elected? We have heard cases where this present administration has denied making certain pledges.

I want to say clearly that we have a convergence between the party and the candidates on the issues that we are canvassing for the 2023 general elections. On the issue of security, we have an agreement, the unity of the country, the economy, you name it. I believe we have aligned our position with the candidates’.

That’s why, when you look at the positions of the party’s spokesperson and campaign council spokespersons, they basically say the same thing. I agree with you that in the past, people have made several promises. That’s why we have continued to say that for 2023, it will not just be about the promises that are made. It should also be the antecedents, the pedigree, and the character of those involved in it.

For us, 2023 transcends just making interior promises. That is why we have not been in a hurry to bring out the manifesto because we have seen people who have beautiful manifestos and who have made promises.

 Is it fair to say that Obi’s stronghold remains the South East with less than three months to the election?

Well, our strong base is generally the people of Nigeria. Our strongest supporters are the oppressed, the downtrodden, and those who have been denied education and health care.

Across the country, whether in the North or the South, we enjoy a lot of support from the people. But you may be right to say that we have more support from the South but we enjoy support generally from across the country because people try to bring tribalism and ethnicity into all of this, but it is no longer standing because the average voter today is more enlightened than we thought they were, and today it’s just not an issue of ethnicity.

Like Peter Obi would say, and as I have always emphasised, those in the North do not buy garri cheaper than those from the South. Hunger knows no tribe. Today, the number of out-of-school children is higher in the North than even in the South. When President Goodluck Jonathan was in office, he created Almajiri schools and removed Almajiris from the streets. He wasn’t a Muslim. He wasn’t from the North. But he did all of that.

At this point, it is not about where you are from though the political oligarchy in Nigeria has been using ethnicity and tribalism to create a divide to continue to remain in office. I think that is coming to an end in 2023, and those are the issues that we have discussed to say that the 2023 election is not about where you are coming from.

READ ALSO  Nigerians Are in Agony — LP Caucus Tells Tinubu, Makes Patriotic Recommendations

Governor Soludo recently attacked your candidate publicly. Will his recent outburst hurt Obi’s chances in the South East?

The opinion of Governor Charles Soludo is a minority opinion and should be treated with a pinch of salt. He’s not speaking the mind of Anambra. It is a minority and myopic point of view, and the people of Anambra — even without consulting them — can say clearly that it is not a popular opinion, and that’s why I’m saying that.

By the time we take our campaigns to Anambra State, which will be very soon because of his comment, Anambra State will be the state that we take our campaigns to so that we can test our popularity and see who owns the land. My candid advice to him is that he should tone down his comments because he would be destroying his future and himself if he continued along these lines.

The absence of your National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, has raised suspicion of cracks within your party. Is there a problem within the hierarchy?

We have no issue with the publicity secretary. He is very active. I am sure that for our campaign, we have a timetable that he has not been able to fit into properly. So there is no issue at all.

What’s the update on donations generated from your campaign website so far?

Well, the account is everywhere. It is online. It was made public for people to make donations, and from time to time, we have always published the statement of account. As it stands today, what we have in the account is about N10 million. We didn’t really get the response that was needed from Nigerians but we believe that perhaps we need to appeal to people more. Perhaps we need to organise more fundraising activities to get more Nigerians to get involved in this project. We have always maintained that one of the major reasons the PDP and APC have failed is because money bags control the two political parties, and they say “he who pays the piper dictates the tune.”

Therefore, those who finance the parties sit in the background and give you leaders who will dance to their tunes, and that is why we believe that the country has not been able to perform. We have leaders who have loyalty not to the country or the party but to those who have sponsored them for office. They act as conduits to siphon off public funds. That is why we are canvassing an alternative. That is why we have opened the Labour Party’s political space for the people to own, fund, and claim ownership of it so they can dictate what happens in the party. We still need the support of Nigerians, either in cash or in kind. We need T-shirts, campaign materials, and volunteers. Those who cannot give us money or materials can volunteer themselves as party agents and canvassers. We will gladly appreciate whatever role they can play. Democracy is of the people and driven by the people.

Source: https://punchng.com/soludo-not-speaking-for-anambra-people-labour-party-natl-chair/

- Advertisement -spot_img

Hey there! Exciting news - we've deactivated our website's comment provider to focus on more interactive channels! Join the conversation on our stories through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages, and let's chat, share, and connect in the best way possible!

Join our social media

For even more exclusive content!

Of The Week


- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -

Of The Week

247Ureports Protects its' news articles from plagiarism as an important part of maintaining the integrity of our website.