Charles Soludo, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Anambra said Nigerian authorities should listen to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said this at the Anambra State governorship election debate on Monday.
“I’m pan-African and pan-Nigerian. On the issue of unity of Nigeria, I am totally for that,” Soludo said. “However IPOB must be heard. Ideology is not what can be killed by gun.”
IPOB, a secessionist group, was label a terrorist group and proscribed by the Nigerian government in 2017 amid agitation for an exit from Nigeria.
Nigerian authorities said the group is responsible for the killing of security agents, destruction of properties, and other crisis in Nigeria’s southeast region.
Although the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the Anambra governorship election will hold, the security tension in Anambra State and other states in the southeast is of great concern to the electorates.
But the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Andy Uba was ambivalent about the group.
“I’m not going to say I condemn or support IPOB,” Uba said at the debate. “We need to sit down and engage to find out what their needs are.”
He accused Soludo of being insincere about resolving the security challenges in the state, adding that the current governor Willie Obiano who is campaigning for the APGA candidate shun security meetings to resolve the issues.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Valentine Ozigbo said he is in a better position to help Anambra State restore peace and chart a path of progress.
“Both opposition candidates, Andy Ubah and Charles Soludo represent the dysfunctional PDP of the past which we are trying to change. We know Anambra is broken and I am here to fix it,” Ozigbo said.
Soludo, however, said he has experience “to raise over a billion-dollar to set up a financial institution” and stated that he will declare a state of emergency on the roads in Anambra State if elected governor.
The three leading contenders for the office of Anambra State governor debated on security, healthcare, unemployment, sports, business and economy, environment climate change and other issues related to the state.