Despite Video Evidence, Peter Obi Denies Saying $20m Investment Made For Anambra Now Worth $100m, Blames Supporters For ‘Fake News’

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi says he never claimed Anambra state’s investment in SABMiller was now worth $100m.

Obi disclosed this in a letter signed by his media aide, Valentine Obienyem to Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Thursday.

The former governor had claimed in an interview with Arise TV in 2018 that he invested over $20 million in International Breweries on behalf of Anambra state, and that the investment was worth almost $100 million at the time.

In the viral interview, Obi had said, “Tomorrow, they are commissioning a facility in Sagamu, International Breweries, the biggest brewery in Africa. Anambra state is the single highest shareholder in that facility, I invested in it – over 20-something-million dollars. It is worth almost $100 m today, that’s what governments should do.”

The claim was however debunked by Governor Soludo.

Last Monday, the governor debunked reports that a ‘$20 million investment’ made by Obi was now worth $100 million.

A Facebook user had also credited a statement to Soludo alleging that the $20 million which Obi allegedly invested on behalf of the state in the company is now worth $100 million.

“Mr Peter Obi’s $20 million investment in Anambra worth $100 million today – Charles Chukwuma Soludo,” the Facebook user had said.

Reacting to the claim on his verified Facebook page, Soludo said, “Where did you read or hear me make such false statement? This fake news has been roundly debunked by my team.

“We can carry on with campaigning for our preferred candidates without consciously misleading the reading public. The report is fake and never emanated from me. Thank you.”

International Breweries (IB) Plc is a subsidiary of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) — a multinational drink and brewing giant based in Leuven, Belgium. SABMiller, a South African multinational brewing and beverage company was acquired by AB InBev in October 2016.

AB InBev merged its Nigerian operations under a single corporate entity in 2017.

In a letter to the governor, Obi said he had nothing to do with the exaggeration of the state’s investment in the company despite the viral Arise TV interview.

He blamed some of his supporters “not under his control but eager to throw in anything that glorified their hero — Obi.”

Obi said Soludo’s emergence as governor gave Anambra people hope that the state would rise again, pledging to offer the governor all the support he needed to succeed.

The letter read, “When the news of the multiplication of Obi’s investment in SABMiller was published, I knew it did not come from you. I personally made it clear that it was not circulated by Obi’s Media, but probably by one of the youths, not under our control, but eager to throw in anything that glorified their hero–Obi.

“Do not judge Obi’s supporters based on these people’s cathartic reactions. It was saddening when one of the people you later appointed an aide, in a bashful, pugilistic manner, said I was the one that published it. When your media aide rebutted it, I said he did what he was supposed to do.

“My argument was simple: Even if the news was true, it is wrong to put into your mouth what you did not say. I read the recent rebuttal by your Commissioner on the subject, what do I say about it? I only want to assure you that Obi’s camp is supporting you. We want you to succeed and cannot be part of any plot against you.

“Some people are angry because we have chosen to identify with you; it is about time they realised that our only interest is recovering the eight years of retrogression.

“Anybody supporting Obi that fights you is on his own. I say this with all sincerity, especially knowing the brief I personally received from Mr. Peter Obi on this. Obi is ready to offer any support that will redeem our state and set it on the path of progress again.

“The way things are, anybody fighting you at the January of your tenure is simply being inconsiderate and insensitive. Please always sieve everyday reactions by people from the reaction from Mr. Obi’s official camp. As for Soludo’s supporters, take us as friends. We are one with you in the belief that Prof. Soludo should succeed for the good of our state.”


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