The hall was filled to the brim with energetic young people and the not-too-young. They sang and danced as if in anticipation of a very great news.
Governor Willie Obiano was there with his usual insignia; his face expressionless, but managed a smile now and then. Chukwuma Soludo wore his signature White native apparel, without the usual accompanying red cap. In its place was a branded face cap of the youth organization. He blended so well with the crowd that you may have missed him in a search.
Then came the moment. A vibrant and captivating young man walked up to the podium. He was at ease – an evidence that behind the facade of youth, he is an experienced orator and politician of note. He praised Governor Obiano for his commitment to handing over an airport among other things to Ndi Anambra before he leaves offices. The crowd erupted into an orgy of cheers. Not done yet, he went on, his eyes fixated appealingly on Obiano as he bellowed – ”Give Us Soludo.” The crowd leapt into uncontrollable ovations and pure joy. Even some that were on the high table lumbered around in excitement, but both Obiano and Soludo stayed glued to their seats, probably ruminating over the import of the historic request.
Chinedu Obidigwe, I am informed, is a political goal-getter and Juggernaut, who commands a huge followership of the youths in Anambra State. Currently, a member of the Federal House of representatives, his public declaration of request for Obiano to ”Give Us Soludo” might have rattled Obiano and humbled Soludo. Obviously, he spoke the minds of the youths of Anambra. Now, Ndi Anambra are earnestly looking up to the duo to do the needful.
Elsewhere in Ekwusigo Local Government Area, and the next day after the historic declaration at Awka by Hon. Obidigwe and his group, Anambra youths have taken to the game of football in their stringent clamour for Soludo to join the governorship election coming up next year. This has been conceived and being executed by one of the Soludo Support Groups, known as Anambra Demands for Soludo (ADS), in collaboration with the YESS group. Peter Azolibe, the convener, told the media during a telephone chat from his Houston, US base, that his group wants to shift the paradigm from the politics of ‘hooliganism’ to one of entertainment. He was upbeat about the positive prospects of an Anambra State under Chukwuma Soludo’s watch.
In the same vein, the ADS State Chairman, Jude Emecheta, assured that the ADS Soludo Football Championship will surely discover budding talents for the world. Emecheta enthused, “Beyond showcasing our principal’s ideas on youth development, the ADS Soludo football championship is essentially a talent hunt for the sports. We will create world stars from Anambra.” All towns in Anambra are participating and very attractive prizes await winners and runners-up.
The Awka and Ekwusigo events signposted the overwhelming interest and commitment of Anambra youths in Soludo’s candidacy. This is not surprising, because in everything Soludo has done, there has always been a focus on a future that seeks to secure the interest of the youths. He looks beyond the challenges of the moment with a clear foresight of what the future has in stock. So watch out for our next piece – why the youths want Soludo?
- Anatune reports from Awa, Orumba North LGA of Anambra State