To me and – I am sure – many others, the future is a portmanteau word that embraces a number of notions. One, it entails an excursion in imagination which gives us the handle to compete with and try to outwit events that lie ahead. Two, it is an attempt to control what is to come which in my view is a social invention that legitimizes the process of forward planning.
I completely agree with Carl Sandburg who observed that “nothing happens unless first a dream”. Soludo Solution has become more than a dream with substantiations of its footprints in banking Consolidation, NEEDS, SEEDS, Mints, AFC and recently the African Initiative Against Covid-19. The beauty and uniqueness of the Soludo Solution is that it always offers incomparable power to draw multitudes to its solutions to societal challenges as many, metaphorically speaking, find their home within them. Nevertheless the thinker and solution giver avoids hugging the limelight like a plague but since the ideas have become timely, we his foot soldiers are poised to draft him to run in the Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election because we believe he can manage big dreams that make room for other humans’ need to belong, to contribute and to create.
Sir Chukwudi Okoli and the cream of Orumba top leaders of thought have found home within the Soludo Solution. A taciturn, quiet, apolitical and almost shy experienced accountant, Chukwudi’s agrarian and sleepy Ndiokpalaeze community is increasingly becoming a Camp David of sort for the propagation of Soludo Solution and congregation of the teeming apostles.
Chukwudi and his rapidly growing team remind me of those courageous albeit militant young men in the fight for Nigeria independence such as Kola Balogun, M.C.K Ajuluchukwu, Abiodun Aloba, Nduka Eze, G. Onyegbula, M. Ania, G. Ebo, J. Inoma, S. Aderibigbe to mention but few who formed the Zikist Movement regarded as the youth wing of NCNC. The difference however is that the group is aware that the context is different and so, they are speaking to the hearts of the people just like Chukwudi and his group speak from their hearts everywhere they go. Reading the inspiring speech of Chukwudi also brings nostalgic feelings of three exhilarating literatures: Renascent, Without Bitterness and Call For Revolution by Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nwafor Orizu and Osita Agwuna respectively.
In the said address, Chukwudi argued forcefully that all political parties, organizations and individuals in Anambra should break ranks and collectively draft Prof Chukwuma Soludo to run for governor in the 2021 governorship elections in Anambra state. He christened it the ANAMBRA PROJECT. Chukwudi has his compelling patriotic reasons. Find out below in his clarion call:
“Good Afternoon my brothers and sisters. I am delighted to welcome us again to Ndiokpalaeze. Let me specially thank each and every one of us for our time, interests and sacrifices. You know that I am not a politician, so I will address you from my heart based on what is good for our state, for our children and for our grandchildren.
“We are all aware that by next year, Anambra will be on the march again searching for a new governor. As usual, we are hearing that many people are indicating interests to contest. Most, ostensibly buoyed by their perceived wealth. This is normal. It is indeed their inalienable rights to aspire while it is ours to choose wisely.
“However, we need to appreciate that the times and context are different. Nigeria and indeed the world will definitely witness tough times post COVID- 19 pandemic (it is already happening). The situation will be worse for nations such as ours that depend on primary commodities as their source of foreign exchange. Recession, if we must say it as it is, is already staring us in our faces everywhere we go. As an accountant of many years experience, I can tell us that the monthly allocations from almighty Abuja will be less and less as the months roll by.
“The implication therefore is that resources will be slim for governments, businesses and individuals to function optimally and for governments to deliver the good life unless new and ingenious ways are brought to bear in resource building and allocation.
“So obviously, this is not the time to experiment. Anambra needs a tested and proven hand with verifiable good track records in public office and global goodwill to turn the looming economic dangers/recession into massive opportunities that will signpost that the black man can do great things. Anambra needs somebody that will take it to the civilised world and bring the world to Anambra. Anambra needs nothing less.
“It is therefore our well considered opinion and belief that Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, CFR will take us to this promised land. This is why we are here, my brothers and sisters, driven by our convictions that it is a wise choice for today and more importantly for tomorrow.
“It is important that I put on record that I do not know Soludo closely. I have only met him once in a public gathering though I have always been enamoured by his personality and achievements in public office.
“Incidentally, the former Central Bank governor who is currently the Chairman of Anambra Vision 2070 and member of Presidential Economic Advisory Council has not yet indicated his interest publicly, but we are here to join others who are demanding that he should come home and serve us just as he has meritoriously served the world, Nigeria and advised 3 Nigerian Presidents without being a member of their parties. We are here to plan and work out executional programmes on how to make this happen.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of Orumba, everyone can write a book on why Soludo should be the man of the moment. Space won’t allow us to do justice to it here.
“A few things are certain. From the names floating around as potential aspirants, none has Soludo’s intellectual or academic capacity; international exposure and networks; experience in public service that created millions of jobs; capacity for big plans and excellent execution; experience in mobilising over $1 billion to establish Africa’s infrastructure bank; humanitarian gestures and peacemaking qualities. Anambra at this time needs someone with global connections to mobilize international finance for Anambra’s development at this time when oil price is falling. Besides he has proven to be a true ‘onye Aguata na Orumba’.
“Soludo is a home boy. He did his primary, secondary school and university education in Igboland. He was the pioneer senior prefect at Uga Boys Secondary school, Uga.
“He is a global citizen. He has worked or consulted for 20 international organisations; lived in the US, UK, Ethiopia and travelled to 45 other countries in all the continents.
“Soludo is at home in his village. He calls himself a village boy. He attends village/town meetings, grade meeting etc. I have learnt he brokered peace and unity which eluded his town Isuofia for 20 years. He supported late Dr Alex Ekwueme as Chairman of NPN Students Wing, facilitated the release of funds for the rehabilitation of the once deplorable and dreadful Ekwulobia- Umunze-Ibinta road, has adopted Amorji primary school, Isuofia which to my amazement is one of the best public primary schools in our state, among his other feats. Let us not forget he holds the title Odenigbo Aguata na Orumba which was conferred on him by all the 46 communities in the OAU. He is the second person to be so honoured after the late Ide Ekwueme.
“He is an original thinker and doer. His stellar achievements as governor of Central Bank of Nigeria are well documented and in the public domain. Particularly, I will single out the banking consolidation which saved us from the agonies of bank collapses, made our banks active players in the global arena, saved Nigeria the adverse effects of the 2008 global financial meltdown and ensured that our banks are reliable and strong enough to support economic development. It is said that Soludo’s banking revolution has enabled thousands of businesses to borrow billions from banks and created millions of jobs.
“The list is long. I am proud that this exceptional global asset is ‘onye be anyi’!
“Now my brothers and sisters, my friends , we need to at this point make this important call. We as a people should say enough to what I call the BRI politics-bread, rice and indomie politics which has held us down and stalled progress.
“I urge that we should for once do something extraordinary for the extraordinary time, as this is not time for partisan politics. I therefore propose that all political parties, citizens and organisations should unite to draft Prof Chukwuma Soludo into what I call the ”Anambra Project”. It is the proper and right thing to do at this critical time. I place it on demand that for post Covid-19 era, Ndi- Anambra should unite to draft Soludo. Certainly ndi Orumba should unite behind Soludo and history will remember that we stood up to be counted when it mattered most.
“Once more I thank you for coming and hope that as believers and apostles, we should take this message to our towns, to our villages and every nook and crannies of our dear state.
“The secretary will take us through the milestones we have attained since our inaugural meeting as I wish us fruitful deliberations.
“Good bless you.
Joe C Anatune sent this piece from Awa in Orumba North Local Government Area, Anambra State.