Commentary: Anambra On The Runway: Soludo, A Competent Pilot To Take Us To Our Destination

Commentary: Anambra On The Runway: Soludo, A Competent Pilot To Take Us To Our Destination

In every generation, history is not only made when the Red Sea is divided for God’s chosen people to walk through. No. History is also made when a leader gives shape and form to the silent dreams of his people. It must be admitted that the dream Ndi Anambra have all nurtured for many years finally came to fruition on Saturday last week with the commissioning of the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, built by the Obiano/APGA government.

The government fought many battles and politically-motivated criticisms to construct the airport, scaled over incredible financial huddles; survived the global lockdown by COVID-19, conquered self-doubts and flattened out five hills to construct this glorious and most audacious legacy project. To the glory of Almighty God, Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport Umueri is rated by experts as one of the best in Africa today.

Yet, because of this Saturday’s election, some people still ask, why should Anambra have an airport when there are other projects to execute. No doubt, government is a continuum and just as human beings, government is faced with scarce resources. Obiano has built an airport, which has eluded the state for over thirty years since its creation.

He has equally built many other legacy projects, including the International Convention Centre, FIFA standard stadium, roads and bridges, flyovers, oxygen gas plant, street lights, transformed our health, education, agric and other hitherto comatose sectors. All the 182 communities can boast of many democracy dividends through the community choose your project initiative.

Salaries and pensions are paid as and when due, healthcare delivery is almost free through ASHIA and our schools and students are winning local and international laurels. Despite the national security challenges as well as recent cult-related and politically-motivated shootings and killings, orchestrated by those whose stock in trade is causing mayhem in the state, Anambra is the safest state in Nigeria. Therefore, any other administration can continue from where Obiano will stop. The truth is that no other sane administration would bother about an airport again or any of those things Akpokuedike has done.

But come to think of it, why should Anambra not have an airport? Why should a state that hosts the largest retail market in West Africa not have an airport? Why should a state that hosts West Africa’s only auto-city not have an airport? Why should a state whose indigenes pioneered organized road transport and logistics-handling in Nigeria not have an airport?

Why should a state with the highest number of owners of private jets in Nigeria not have an airport? And why should a state with the largest population of itinerant and travelling people in Nigeria not have an airport? Ndi Anambra, why should we crawl when we can fly? Happily, aviation experts say that the Anambra airport would be one of the most viable airports in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Anambra State government has provided land to the management of Air Peace for the construction of the aircraft maintenance hangar within the airport. It also allocated land to the Nigerian Air Force to set up their operational base in the airport. These will open doors of employment for sure.

Already, 295 people were trained in various critical operational areas in the airport. During its construction, the airport put over 2500 in direct employment. Over 400 people will be employed later. The process will be gradual. But there will be more jobs for our people.

Ndi Anambra, this is our airport. Anyone who is not in support or is working against this Airport is selfish and does not love you. The economic viability of the airport is in our hands. For years we have done it for others. Now is the time to do it for ourselves. This airport is a monument to the resilience of the Anambra Spirit.

It is a tribute to the vision of our great party, APGA. Our dear state needs sustenance of vision. We need a man whose vision is globally acclaimed; a man who will turn this airport into a beehive of rewarding commercial activities. That man is Prof Chukwuma Soludo.

Ndi Anambra, our dear state is on the runway. We need a competent pilot to take us to a destination where the land is green with opportunities. With Chukwuma Soludo in the cockpit, we shall arrive in the destination of our dreams. So, bring out your voters card next Saturday and Vote for APGA, Vote for Soludo.

WRITTEN BY CHIEF JUDE EMECHETA

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