Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s nominee for president, and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, met on Thursday in the state’s capital city of Awka.
At the Thanksgiving mass held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in honour of Most Rev. Paulinus C. Ezeokafor’s 70th birthday, the two men first met and were afterwards seen hugging and chatting.
People in the congregation watched in shock as Soludo instantly hurried to where Obi was seated and hugged him.
Soludo, who described the rift between him and Obi as mischievous, insisted that the former Anambra governor remains his brother, irrespective of their political differences.
The governor, had, in an article titled, ‘History beckons and I will not be silent,’ dismissed the chances of the Labour Party candidate in the 2023 presidential poll.
The article generated wild criticisms and reactions across the country and particularly from the ‘Obidient’ movements, where the governor was heavily criticised.
Their surprise meeting was coming amid the knocks that trailed the comments of Soludo over Obi’s presidential ambition.
Although, many were not expecting to see the two men reunite anytime soon.
But Soludo speaking during the Thanksgiving mass said he would soon be meeting with Obi to iron out their differences, adding that their rift was essentially political.
He also dismissed the rumour of $28m bribery allegations he allegedly collected to run down the LP presidential candidate, saying he would have been a trillionaire if he was into such.
He said, “Today is very special. When we came into the service, it was the first time, my brother, Peter Obi and I are meeting at a public event and in a Catholic Church which the two of us belong to. I think it was divine.
“When I came in, I quickly went to where he sat and hugged him, people watched with bewilderment as if it was a drama, asking if it was not the same people quarrelling.
“Let me tell you, we spoke two times, just last night. We are brothers. You know I am not one of those politicians that speak from two sides of the mouth. I can’t pretend. I am a politician, but also want to make heaven. I will keep saying the truth.
“There is no rift between Obi and me at a personal level. Nobody snatched each other’s wife. What appears to be the rift between us is fundamental political differences. Nothing else.
“So for those forging blackmail and all that, including the one they said I collected bribe to say what I said, I asked them to bring it so I use it to construct roads. If Soludo is into bribery, I would have been multi trillionaire.
“On the fundamental differences we have, we are going to meet in the next few weeks. We’ve agreed to discuss and iron out our differences. Unfortunately, he’s left. We must get it done. Anambra is for all of us.”
While thanking God for the life of Ezeokafor, the governor pointed out that the cleric has been of great influence on him and his government.
“You changed my thinking when you visited my village house in 2019 and rejected the foreign wine offered to you in the place of palm wine. Today at the Governor’s lodge, the highest wine served there is palm wine.
“I was also humbled by the moderate type of car you drove to my house. You told me you chose not to go with a vehicle far above the average of those you are pastoring. I think this is exemplary.
“When you see me drive Innoson cars, that’s part of the inspiration I got from you. If not for security, I would have been riding bicycles to work.
“We are taking the prudence you taught us to the next level because when we came in, it cost us over N137m to clean offices. Now, it cost barely N11m. I can only promise to take the message to the world.”
Obi did not speak during the Thanksgiving service as he left before the end of the programme.
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