Foremost industrialist and Chairman of Hardis Group, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, has regretted that some notable South East politicians and businessmen are not in support of the presidential aspiration of the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, despite his nationwide acceptance.
He noted that those who have stated their aversion to Obi were doing so for certain reasons. He noted that one of the reasons has to do with past political animosity and unmet expectations from Obi during his tenure as Anambra State Governor.
Obidigbo recalled the scathing statement issued by Governor Chukwuma Soludo in which he dismissed Obi’s chances of clinching the presidency in the forthcoming polls, saying that it emanated more from old political animosity than objective analysis.
Obidigbo, who was the consensus candidate of Anambra North Senatorial District in 2013 governorship elections in the state, said it was possible that Soludo had not forgotten his disqualification by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) screening committee in 2013.
In an interview with The Guardian, the industrialist said: “It is within Soludo’s right to express his misgivings about Obi’s presidential ambition. But this is like a payback for the 2013 episode in the build up to APGA’s governorship primary.
“I think the governor should learn from me, because I deployed more than N5 billion in the campaign to ensure that the governorship ticket of APGA was zoned to Anambra North.”
He noted that the search for consensus candidate from my zone, which Obi demanded, saw Obidigbo’s emergence as the first choice, and not Chief Willie Obiano, who was finally adopted as the preferred candidate by the party.
“My attitude to these things is that power comes from God. Since that experience, I have continued to plead with everybody to let bygones be bygones, because there are things that are beyond human comprehension. I lost money, suffered personal and business challenges, but I do not hold anything against Obi.”
He maintained that issues of competence, experience and capacity, which place Obi above his rivals, are enough to command popular support from his home-base, stressing that issues of fairness, justice and equity, which Obi advanced in the agitation of zoning the governorship in Anambra also favour him.
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