Governor Chukwuma Soludo says the Labour Party’s flag bearer, Peter Obi may win the February 25, 2023, presidential election in Anambra State.
He, however, doubted the chances of his predecessor to win the overall presidential election next month.
“I wish Peter Obi the best of luck. Let him go and compete as others,” Soludo said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Thursday. “We (APGA) are also competing in the same race. We have our own candidate (Peter Umeadi), who is also son of the soil, coincidentally from Anambra State as well, and he will do his own bit, get his own votes.”
The governor referred to his piece in November 2022 where he said though Obi might win in Anambra but won’t win the overall presidential election.
“In that piece, I even considered that Peter Obi might win in Anambra State. I did mention that,” he said but doubted the possibility of the LP presidential candidate to win the overall election.
Soludo, the new national leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), also said he has given Obi all the support a state government can offer to a former governor like Obi, who was in office between 2006 and 2014.
The Anambra governor said he has been fair to all parties campaigning in the state and has not denied them state facilities to use for rallies.
Of late, Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and Obi were been engaged in altercations on the state of Anambra economy.
Soludo had said the investments Obi left in government are worth close to nothing.
The APGA leader also said Obi can’t win the 2023 presidential election as there are “two persons/parties seriously contesting for president” – Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
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.
The duo met thereafter at a function in Awka and locked in an embrace in what has been described by many observers as a “reconciliation move”.
‘Run-Off A Possibility’
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu had said a presidential run-off is a possibility after voters cast their ballot on February 25, 2023 for their preferred candidates.
The electoral chief, who spoke on Tuesday, at Chatham House, a world-leading policy institute and think-tank forum in the United Kingdom, however, said INEC is prepared to handle a presidential run-off should in case no winner emerge after next month’s poll for Aso Rock.
Obi was also at Chatham House on Monday where he vowed to dismantle the “structure” holding Nigeria captive and preventing the nation from advancement and progressive development.
Obi is contesting alongside two dominant players — Tinubu and Atiku. Though pre-election polls have favoured him, the constitution is clear on the requirement for a candidate to emerge Nigeria’s President.
According to Section 134 of the Nigerian Constitution, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Sub section 3 of the same section states explicitly that “in default of a candidate duly elected in accordance with subsection (2) of this section their shall be a second election”.