There is something about Prof John Okoye you can’t but find fascinating, ennobling and infectious. Though his agility is slowing by the ravages of the normal aging process, Okoye is hugely young at heart. His welcoming smile is enough to calm your nerves after wandering through the rough and bumpy terrains that lead to his palatial Adazi Nnukwu home on the valley of a stream. Self assured, unassuming and result driven, he comes across as a jolly good fellow with a natural gift of making complex things simple.
Okoye talks about Soludo abilities and capacities with a child-like innocence and admiration. He grins gleefully in the process.
The foregoing sums up the experience and feelings of most of the elites of Anaocha local government and beyond who stormed his home under the umbrella of Soludo Promoters Forum (SPF) to brainstorm on how to draft Prof Chukwuma Soludo into the race for the next year’s governorship election in Anambra State and more importantly, how he will be victorious.
The event facilitated by the indomitable convener Mayor Charles Muoka and his team witnessed a congregation of top technocrats, businessmen, university dons and other professionals who braved the early morning rains to grace the inauguration ceremony.
It turned out beautifully well as speaker after speaker eloquently told the excited audience that while other prospective governorship aspirants talk about issues, Soludo churns out the solutions. He is, they opined, a tested and trusted legacy thinker and doer going by his feats in banking consolidation, African Finance Corporation, NEEDS and SEEDS, CBN Centres of Excellence, CBN branch offices in Awka, Umuahia and Asaba, rehabilitation of Mints, repositioning of federal office of statistics, his social intervention initiatives in education, health and human empowerments and many more.
This was coming on the heels of the successful inauguration of the Aguata Chapter of the Forum in Nkpologwu. And coming next after the Anaocha chapter inauguration is that of Idemili North and South billed to hold in Ideani and to be hosted by Chief Leon Mezue, a foremost estate valuer who like Profs Okoye and Ezeokonkwo believes that Soludo is the next big thing to happen to Anambra in the post covid-19 era.
The beauty of this development is that Anambra elites are coming out in good numbers from their cocoons ready to fight for the good of the state and shape the tone of political conversations and outcomes. They are propagating politics of development based on the contestations of ideas and values, networking, mobilising, giving their times, talents, treasures and volunteering. Their entry into the so called murky water of politics from what a commentator called their ”self margination” is already breaking what marketing practitioners refer to as the category paradigm.
The good news is that with the possible introduction of e-voting in the Anambra 2021 governorship election and the mass involvement of thought and opinion leaders in the electioneering process a new normal in political culture will emerge which provides an opportunity for the elites to take charge. However, time will tell if they will fill the envisaged gapping hole.
Meanwhile, all is set for this weekend’s October 3, 2020 SPF Idemili inauguration at Mezue’s Ideani home. My friend and brother Chief Tony Onyima has gleefully informed me that this will be the mother of all inaugurations. So has Chief Leon Mezue when I visited his beautiful Ideani home to see how he is getting ready. And so have Prof Joe Oguefi, Prince Okafor, Peter Eze, Nelson Omenugha and other members of the team that is putting together the expected grand ceremony. Indeed I can’t wait to be there. What of you? Happy Independence Ndi Anambra!
*Joe C Anatune writes from Awa in Orumba North Local Government Area.