By Emmanuel Nwafor
Tempus fugit (time flies)!
Exactly a year today, there was a new dawn in Anambra State, the inauguration of Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the executive governor of the state. Most of us were glued to our TV set as the new governor gave his speech, which was received with jubilation and joy.
Remarkably, that event was historic since “physical exorcism” was carried out during the ceremony when Bianca, the widow of late Biafran leader, gave a farewell hot slap to Mrs Ebele Obiano, the wife of Chief Willie Obiano, the erstwhile governor, for being confrontationally garrulous. That hot slap closed an era of rascality, but never did we know that our new governor would be insultingly voluble and gabby.
Fast-forward to November 14, 2022; there was intangible SLAP that came from Gov. Soludo but unfortunately boomeranged. Have you ever slapped yourself? For what reason kwanu? Our professor woke up one morning, reflected for some hours, and gave himself a hot slap. This is mysterious, quite laughable, and I am yet to understand that incident! Our governor’s life matters! After his lunch that hot Monday afternoon, the learned Professor posted on his Facebook page an article titled, History Beckons, I will Not Be Silent, Part 1. In that article, he lampooned the Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, saying he was only playing games and equally lambasted Peter Obi’s achievements in Anambra State.
Some inquisitive readers have been waiting for part 2 of Soludo’s article since every prediction of Gov. Soludo was shattered in the just concluded presidential election, which was shrouded in irregularities. Maybe our professor didn’t do his findings very well, or he was part of the grand plan that rigged the election in favour of Tinubu and so simply spoke what he knew before the election.
The Greek tragic tale of Niobe found in Homer’s Illiad centered on the consequences of hubris, a weird concept in the Greek antiquity, which holds that if you act with pomposity, egotism, and arrogance towards the people and gods, then you will be punished. Niobe’s story is a typical example of the ire of gods against human actions. Is Gov. Soludo facing the wrath of the gods since many Ndi Anambra are no longer happy with him and protested against him by voting out some APGA candidates who vied for National Assembly Seats in February 25 elections?
All these are happening within one year of Soludo’s leadership in Anambra state. APGA is gradually losing its acceptance. Anyway, let’s get back to our discussion!
When Gov. Soludo was announced the winner of Anambra gubernatorial election in November 2021; one of my friends called and said, Emma, “SOLUDO HAS NO SOLUTION but will only lead a government of vendetta, vituperations, and invectives. Soludo solution is a delusion.” To those remarks, I said impossible that a philosopher king is the new sheriff in our dear state.
Has Gov. Soludo proved my friend wrong or right through his performance? Your guess is good as mine.
Ndi Anambra should remember that our new governor, Nwa Mgbafor, on his inauguration day swung into action, having meetings upon meetings, and giving Ndi-Anambra a new sense of hope and confidence. A few hours after, Gov. Charles was at Okpoko and initiated plans to dredge sacamori, which has wreaked havoc in the area.
To tackle the rising spate of insecurity in the State, the governor stood firm, employed kinetic and non-kinetic methods to confront the hydra-headed monster that had held the state hostage.
For Ndi-Anambra, Gov. Soludo is a rebirth of Peter Obi’s regime! Hence, there was MASSIVE SUPPORT and GOODWILL from Ndi-Anambra to their governor. Every policy of the new government was fully supported by the people until a new TAX REGIME was initiated.
Before the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, there was apprehension on the personality of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo. In one of the meetings he attended at Abatete, he was reminded of his intellectual arrogance, pomposity, and being self-opinionated. Prof. Charles Soludo instead replied by invoking Nwa Mgbafor narrative, coming from a poor background but rose to climax due to the privileged education he had. Give it to Soludo, his oratory prowess is contagious!
Not getting involved in mudslinging but being objective and straight to issues; it is important to attest that within one year in office, Gov. Charles Soludo has kept some of his campaign promises.
Going through his 72-page manifesto and assembling some of his public speeches during the campaigns, one can say without equivocation that Gov. Soludo is trying his best to serve Anambra State well.
In the health sector, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo has made some marks in less than one year in office. Under his watch, the state has recruited more than 300 health workers, which include doctors and nurses.
In the education sector, the governor has employed about 5,000 new teachers into primary and secondary schools in the state.
As regards Youth Empowerment, the governor has begun one youth, two skills scheme and such has been yielding fruits.
On security, the governor has made few gains, though his effort isn’t enough since some criminal elements are still kidnapping and terrorizing Ndi-Anambra.
On Transport sector, the governor has flagged off more that 250 kilometers of road, carried out palliative works on some roads and just yesterday, flagged off the construction of a fly-over, a modern bus terminal, adjoining roads, security building, a fire Station etc at Ekwulobia.
However, in his manifesto titled Soludo’s Solution, A People’s Manifesto For Greater Anambra, he promised to publish a full agenda for Ndi-Anambra within the first 30 days of resumption to duties. Soludo’s administration defaults on that promise since he didn’t publish agenda before the 30 days elapsed. “I am always in a haste to effect fundamental positive change, and I will work 24/7 to make Ndi-Anambra proud. What we present here is a synopsis, designed to give Ndi Anambra a feel for the future we envision. The full agenda, costed with timelines and delivery mechanisms, will be published within the first 30 days on assumption of office.” (The Soludo Solution, P. 9).
The manifesto said on page 6, “Our primary target is sustainable and inclusive wealth creation with jobs, jobs and jobs. We target at least 130, 000 private sector jobs per annum for our youths and 1,000 youth millionaires per annum in the medium term.” Please, where are the millionaires? Isn’t this promise utopic? Where are the 130,000 jobs created in the private sector?
On touts and agberos on our motor parks, the governor promised to get rid of them, provide alternative source of livelihood to them, and initiate a technologically advanced tax regime. These touts are still molesting and oppressing Ndi-Anambra. Gov. Soludo hasn’t done enough on that area.
The Governor equally promised to increase the IGR through an improved technological means but seems to have gone back to the old system of selling the revenue windows to individuals who will then pay to the government. Professors aren’t known for talking with the two sides of their mouth.
On Anambra becoming DIGITAL TRIBE and Dubai-Taiwan; I think that promise seems like the one made by a young guy to his new girlfriend to attract her.
A rational mind wouldn’t be in a haste to give kudos to Soludo’s administration because it seems self-serving, putting himself at the center of everything he does and such tendency occasionally creates a despot in the system. Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Once a government begins to lose public trust and confidence; the government is heading towards failure!
One of my friends, Callistus, speaking on the position of Gov. Soludo on the last presidential election in Nigeria and some Soludo’s policies said, “if you can’t keep government on their toes, then don’t expect them to rate you at all. The body language of eze onye agwanam is a threat to us all, no singular person has monopoly of good governance. You cannot blatantly stand against the wish of people based on your supposedly political knowledge. I insist that bad acts must be met with consequences. If not, nkita mmadu atagbuo ya.”
Umunne m Ndi Anambra, what gift should we give to our governor as he marks one year in office? I suggest we go out en masse tomorrow, March 18 and vote not based on party, religion, town or selfish interest but cast our ballot for the House Of Assembly Candidates who would ensure checks and balances in Anambra State, control the excesses of the executive and ensure that the dividends of democracy are delivered to Ndi Anambra. VOTE FOR THE BEST CANDIDATES NO MATTER THE PARTY!
Congratulations to Gov. Soludo!
Congratulations to Anambra State!
May Soludo Succeed!
*Rev. Father Emmanuel Nwafor Writes from Ekwulobia, Anambra State