By Peter Azolibe
It is laughable when someone insinuates that because it has taken some years to complete the hospital project, it means that he will be slow in completing state projects. Stupid logic. Unfortunately the author must be ignorant or deliberately comparing apples and oranges. This is Soludo whose brand as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was grand vision with precision in execution. Part of the reason Soludo was declared best governor of central bank in the world was his precision in executing unprecedented transformation of banking sector within a time frame that most people considered impossible. Plus many other projects where Soludo was reported to have done the impossible and that will be for another day.
The hospital project is different. It is just a memorial project without a timeline.
There are dozens of memorial projects, including the FGN mausoleum for Zik that have taken 30 years to build or the Zik’s Centre that remains uncompleted after over two decades.
When Soludo had the dream to immortalize his dead mother with an institution like a befitting standard hospital, it’s humanity on display. He wanted others to have what his mother didn’t have which was a world class medical care and which would last for hundreds of years and there’s no rush. Soludo dreamt of a better life for the poor masses. He didn’t only dream of it, he concretised the idea. He made a projection of what it might cost and called people to assist. Like a God fearing man, he didn’t abuse his office by either misappropriation of CBN money (who knows why he’s walking freely today without EFCC trails on him) nor extort money from individuals and corporations that benefitted from his services as CBN Governor.
He rather used opportunity of anniversary of his mother’s death to announce his intention (which was not fundraising activity per se). Most of the people might have come to commemorate with him about his mother’s anniversary. In situation like that, they didn’t prepare their mindset for donation. All they could do was to make pledges to preserve their esteem in the occasion. Keep in mind that this project is a dream conceptualized and the dream was a big one. As far as it’s for a dear mom, Soludo I know would not settle for less.
From the published facts, not much money was pledged. Companies rather pledged to construct the various buildings (including one by prominent Anambra politician). A few made monetary pledges. It was after the event that the process of designing the buildings began and coincided with the global economic crisis. None of those that pledged to construct the buildings has redeemed the pledge even with repeated reminders. A pledge is not a debt— and so you can’t force anyone. Plus Soludo also had to negotiate with villagers to buy enough land for the project.
Along the line, Soludo joined politics, and some of those that pledged became partisan also.
After waiting for years, Soludo (as an action man) decided to take up the project and started mobilising new resources. The photos show that work is seriously ongoing at the site. It is excellent that Soludo has not stolen to rush and complete the project. He should take his time and do it well. It’s more honorable for Soludo to be walking on the street as a free man with his integrity intact.
Soludo is not only free with his integrity in tact after serving our country meritoriously as CBN Governor, his dream project is at advanced stage. It’s only time. It will definitely end in glory.
No One Can Battle With The Lord!!
- Peter Nnamdi Azolibe writes from Houston Texas.