Commentary: Why Anambra Needs Soludo

Commentary: Why Anambra Needs Soludo

There is no doubt that Ndi Anambra are proud and self-assured people. With their indomitable optimism and can-do spirit, they, like many other Igbo, are confident and willing to solve problems, rather than complain or give up. And many of them have the resources to walk their talk.

Since the campaign for the November 16 governorship election started, so much has happened, judging by the number of defections, particularly from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the ruling party in the State. But it shouldn’t matter how many APGA top brass are jumping ship at this late hour because, let no one be deceived, it is not about the people, those defections are self-serving.

In any case, there are no ideological differences between the political parties. Political actors only use them as vehicles to hitch a ride to power and when they break down, rather than fixing them, they conveniently board another vehicle.

So, as the Anambra governorship poll beckons, individuals should matter more than political parties. The pedigree of the candidates should make the difference. As Americans say, “all politics is local.”

Though there are 18 candidates, but it is a straight battle. Professor Chukwuma Soludo stands out for Anambra to continue to move forward.

Electing those whose only contribution to Anambra politics is the elevation of shenanigans; those who, rather than using their positions of authority to lift the state, orchestrated the three-day mayhem where the Governor’s Lodge, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Ikenga Hotels, Legislative Building and the House of Assembly Complex were burnt down in November 2003, is the surest route to the metaphorical going back to Egypt.

What Anambra needs is transformational leadership. Soludo holds the aces. As James MacGregor Burns says in his book, Leadership, “leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.” If people of intellect do not exercise the moral authority that burns places on them, the society is worse for it.

It is the absolute lack of people of intellect in the corridors of power in many states that brought them to the sorry pass they in. Soludo is a man of profound intellect. With a doctorate degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and post-doctoral education in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, he is a scholar of international repute.

He was a professor of economics at UNN before he went into public service; first as Chief Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo and later CBN Governor. He has worked as a consultant for some of the most reputable international organizations, including the World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and United Nations Development Program.

In all these assignments, Soludo showed capacity and delivered. In fact, his banking consolidation program is adjudged one of the most successful in the world. Not only did the Nigerian banking sector become the fastest growing in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, it placed the economy at the center of the global flow of financial capital, thereby making the Nigerian financial markets a major destination of foreign capital.

That is the man Anambra needs right now. With the executive powers that the governorship position confers on him, Soludo will even surpass his achievements at the CBN.

With his clear-cut and well-articulated manifesto which he predicated on four distinct pillars – Economic transformation of Anambra as the next technology and leisure hub; Social agenda for education, youth, women and vulnerable groups; Governance, rule of law and value system, which will be public-sector- driven with new governance system and rule of law that discourages get rich-quick and unearned income et cetera, and Environment, clean, green, planned sustainable cities and markets – Anambra will blossom.

The nature of power, particularly in a Third World country like Nigeria, is such that men without capacity are reluctant to hire their superiors in intellect. It takes a man of intellectual refinement and civilization, someone endowed with an uplifting quality of excellence in thought, manners and taste, who does not suffer any inferiority complex to do that. Anambra needs someone who is hungry to be remembered for his generosity and civilization after his tour of duty at a time like this when Ndigbo are at the crossroads of national politics. That is the quality Soludo brings on board.

WRITTEN BY IKECHUKWU AMAECHI

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