Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Anambra citizens under the auspices of Anambra Demands For Soludo (ADS) have unanimously pleaded with the former Central Bank Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to be the next governor of Anambra state in 2022.
The group expressed confidence in the ability of the ex-CBN governor to deploy his vast knowledge, experience and expertise to revitalise as well as reposition Anambra state for economic prosperity.
The group made the plea in Awka at the weekend during the unveiling of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the most suitable candidate to succeed Governor Willie Obiano.
Mr. Jude Emecheta, an opinion leader from Anambra-South senatorial zone, who attended the meeting, said they had looked at the terrain and resolved that Soludo was the best option for the governorship seat.
He said governance was not about road construction nor building industries but having the intelligence and technical know-how to catapult development to unimaginable heights.
Emecheta said that Soludo has been in Anambra state in the last eight years and understands the developmental needs of the citizenry as it relates to infrastructure in all its ramifications.
According to him, Anambra citizens do not need flamboyant governors with ostentatious lifestyles but a modest personality with financial prudence, frugality and discipline, which he said were all embedded in Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo.
He however suggested that it would be worthwhile if the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) considered Soludo as a consensus candidate as it would amount to a waste of time and resources going to the primaries, when all the aspirants on the platform of APGA could be made to accept Soludo as the standard-bearer.
Ikechukwu Umeh, two-time member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, said Soludo was a better candidate because he was more educationally positioned to pilot the affairs of Anambra state.
He said economy wise, the person of Soludo was required to place Anambra on the pedestal of development, adding that Soludo was an economic adviser to about 145 countries across the globe and also a member of the nation’s economic team.
Umeh said Soludo was due to be president of Nigeria but felt he should start from home by being the next governor before ascending to the nation’s seat of power in Aso Rock even though he pointed out that Soludo had not really agreed to contest in the next gubernatorial elections but they were still begging him to accept the responsibility of being the next governor.
Also, the Managing Director Anambra State Clear Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, Mr. Chido Obidiegwu, who was at the unveiling ceremony, described Soludo as an institution who had helped first world countries and some African countries to chart a new course for economic development.
Obidiegwu said that as the Central Bank Governor, Soludo helped to revamp financial institutions in Nigeria and that recently President Muhammadu Buhari saw the need to make him a member of his economic team.
He however emphasized that there was hardly any other individual that the cap fitted to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Willie Obiano except Prof. Soludo, stressing that the former CBN governor had climbed the Kilimanjaro of governance and Anambra state wouldn’t be a difficult task for him.
Meanwhile, the Chief Convener of Anambra Demands For Soludo (ADS) Mr. Peter Nnamdi Azolibe, in his address, said Soludo had excelled as an academic, intellectual as well as a world first-class economist, noting that Soludo had served under former president Olusegun Obasanjo as an economic adviser and governor of the Central Bank.
He therefore stressed that Anambra people earnestly root for Soludo to be the next person to take over the mantle of leadership from Governor Willie Obiano because they have investigated the calibre of individuals aspiring for the governorship seat and concluded that Soludo is the only viable solution to Anambra’s economic development.
He said, “In public services he served Nigeria under President Obasanjo as Chief Economic Adviser and Governor of the Central Bank. He excelled in the two positions. Prof Soludo did not waste time to transform Nigerian banks to boost and improve business transactions. Two things every Nigerian will forever benefit from Soludo’s bank Transformation that paved the way for cashless transactions and ease to move funds from bank to bank both locally and internationally. I can now pay money into any receiver’s bank account from U. S to Nigeria. We no longer take risk of sending money through persons, couriers, etc with the risk of the funds not getting to the intended receivers.
“Presently, despite the fact that Prof. Soludo belongs to APGA, the Nigerian Leadership under APC headed by President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Prof. Soludo one of the eight-member Economic Advisory Council. ‘A man’s gift (talent/skill truly) makes a way for him.’ There must be something special about Prof. Soludo that gave APC government the courage to root for him at this critical moment of national economic emergency to come and help proffer solutions.
“Our demand is born out of the conviction that if Prof. Soludo can handle such colossal national situations (involving 36 States and Abuja) and achieve enviable sustainable success in record time, Anambra his home state will really be Dubai Taiwan he has previously proposed in a much shorter time.
“We the concerned people of Anambra State in a bid to ensure sustainability and advance in our resource development have looked round for a good replacement for Dr. Willie Obiano whose tenure as Governor will expire in March 2022. We have identified Prof Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, as the square peg to fit perfectly into that square hole, and hence our coming together to DEMAND FOR SOLUDO (The solution) to come to the rescue as the BEST NEXT GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE.”