By Joe Anatune
You can’t but be in awe of the vigour of Chief G. N Muotolo, notwithstanding that he is in his eighties. At the inauguration of Orumba Chapter of Soludo Promoters Forum in Umunze, Elder Muotolo told us how as education inspector in the Old Aguata Local Government Area, he discovered young and brilliant Charles C. Soludo at Uga High School and encouraged him. To me and many others, the kernel of the story is that Soludo till this day, remains grateful, respectful and supportive to the old man, who gleefully regaled us with the many years of excellent relationship he has been sharing with Soludo ever since. This says a lot, and very eloquently too, about Soludo’s relationship management. Effusively expressed, it shows that Soludo never forgets where he came from.
I have always known that he is a statesman and technocrat in politics, who is passionately committed to public good and how to make them happen. So, he sees politics and governance as an avenue to make society better, particularly for the next generation. He is always focused on the Next Big Thing for the next generation, apparently taking the short term into cognisance, in the firm belief that the longterm comprises series of short terms. He is also in a hurry to get these things done, deploying his endowment as a restless thinker and doer.
Soludo did something remarkable some fourteen years ago in Awka, the capital of Anambra State.
As the Keynote Speaker at a development summit organised by the League of Anambra Professionals (LAP), he unfolded his vision for Anambra state in what is today, popularly known as the African Dubai Taiwan. Many bought into that vision. He ran unsuccessfully for governorship in 2010 to implement this vision. Unfazed, he continues to offer his counsel and interventions to Governments at all levels, on various vexatious issues, irrespective of political party affiliation. Particularly, he has been working with the APGA government in Anambra State in many capacities demanded of him.
Through his foundation, Prof. Soludo has also been undertaking social investment programmes in education, health and social empowerment. He has, for instance, adopted Amoji Primary School, Isuofia and turned it into a leading public primary school in the state.
At every point in which the nation or the world is faced with debilitating challenges, Soludo burrows himself in his study for Solutions. He did that at the heat of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when his Prescriptions reawakened the African continent’s tepid search for a way out. Again, at the height of the EndSARS protests, he provided a pathway that has altered public conversations and influenced the responses of governments at all levels.
Many are aware that Soludo is serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Government of Nigeria, irrespective of the fact that he belongs to a different political party. To him, what counts or matters is the welfare of the people and the need to upscale it.
In Anambra State, he is leading a crack team of eggheads to come up with a 50-year development plan.
Whether in government or out of government, he remains an exceptional legacy thinker and doer, who has demonstrated time and time again that great things usually begin as a thought in someone’s mind. Here, you may wish to recall the banking consolidation, the NEEDS and SEEDS, African Finance Corporation, The Federal Bureau of Statistics, the Mints and many others.
Today, the good people of Anambra State have noticed the statesman in him and are doing something never witnessed in the political history of the state. They are urging him to come home and be their Governor, after the expiration of Governor Willie Obiano’s tenure. They are doing this on their own volition and self-funding their activities in furtherance.
The convention in Umunze by Soludo Promoters Forum, which was attended by opinion moulders and thought leaders, is one of such numerous outreaches to urge him and drum support for him to join the race for Anambra 2021 governorship election.
With octogenarians such as Chief Muotolo joining the demand that his protégée comes home and serves Anambra, I hear that Soludo is currently deep in prayers, asking for God’s guidance. Anambra is waiting!!
*Joe Anatune writes from Awa in Orumba North LGA, Anambra State