Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), and Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), have intensified campaigns for their respective candidates, ahead of the 18 March House of Assembly election in Anambra.
While Mr Obi called on the LP candidates to win and support the APGA-led government, Mr Soludo urged voters in Anambra to ignore Mr Obi and vote for APGA.
Mr Obi, who met with the LP House of Assembly candidates in Anambra on Friday night, called on the candidates to go all out and campaign to win on 18 March.
He said they should win and support the APGA-led government to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
The former governor of Anambra used the opportunity to thank the people of Anambra for their support for LP to win two senatorial and five House of Representatives seats in the 25 February elections.
Mr Obi urged the electorate across the country and in Anambra to go about their campaigns peacefully, as election was not war.
According to him, “I have told my people to go and campaign and win the election.
“Their job as a legislator is to work with the governor and ensure he provides the dividends of democracy to our people. Help him to make good laws on education, health and other sectors.
“Soludo remains our Governor. Our job is to support and pray for him,” he said.
“I have told our candidates to go about their campaigns in a peaceful, quiet and organised manner,” he said.
He said he had no issues with Governor Soludo as they remained brothers, best of friends, with different political views.
“He is the Governor of my state and I have utmost respect for him. I am contesting for the president of Nigeria and to the best of my knowledge he is not a contestant,” he said.
In a reaction, Mr Soludo described the call by Mr Obi for Anambra electorate to vote LP as “deceptive” and a “strategy of laying landmines” for him.
Mr Soludo, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, urged Anambra people to ignore Mr Obi and vote for the APGA candidates for the 30 seats in the House of Assembly.
“That call is inappropriate and meant to deceive the Anambra people. Obi cannot be talking about development in Anambra and also be talking about asking Anambra people to elect lawmakers from an opposition party to work with Soludo.
“He worked with a legislature that was dominated by lawmakers from the PDP and he knows that it was not easy for him.
“He even suffered impeachment because of that, so Anambra people should go all out on March 18 and vote for APGA, if they want the developmental strides of Mr Governor to continue,” he said.
Mr Aburime said instead of canvassing votes for LP, Mr Obi should throw his weight behind the ruling APGA as a payback for the “massive support” the people of Anambra gave him on 25 February.
He urged Anambra people not to relent in retaining APGA in the State Assembly and avoid stalling the economic and security gains achieved by the Soludo administration so far.
According to him, the Anambra people supported Mr Obi, and Governor Soludo refused to interfere as the people trooped out to vote for the LP.
“We voted for the Labour Party in the presidential election, but for the House of Assembly election, we are voting for APGA, and we want Anambra people to know so.”
“APGA has come to stay in Anambra and not the Labour Party,” he said.