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Soludo: Homeland, Isuofia recognises her prophet



…Bestows bastion of peace title on Soludo during new yam feast
…Monarch praises Soludo for peace, philanthropy in community
…Former CBN Gov, best for Anambra – Obiano

A RARE case of prophet being honoured at home occurred last Saturday in Isuofia, Aguata LGA, Anambra State as the monarch, H.R.H. Igwe Christopher Muoghalu and members of the community marked their new yam feast with the conferment of a chieftaincy on Chukwuma Charles Soludo.

A major highpoint of the festival was the outpour of emotions, encomia and honours that marked the event. It was an opportunity for many in the large audience who are not from the town to discover many hitherto unknown things about the renowned scholar, locally known as ‘Charley nwa Mgbafor’, whose nonagenarian father and late mother, Mgbafor hailed from the serene community located between such more popular Aguata towns as Ekwuluobia and Igbo-Ukwu.     

 Conferring the title, ‘Dikeudo Isuofia,’ Igwe Muoghalu noted Prof. Soludo’s huge feats in the fields of academics, corporate sector and public service but mostly appreciated his contributions to the well-being of his hometown. A citation on the don, made by the community before the monarch placed the symbolic long red cap with one eagle feather on his head, presented him as a philanthropist who shoulders the payment for the academics of many indigent youngsters in Isuofia.

According to the community’s report, he equally partly funds some basic schools in the area and totally adopted a primary school which he personally provides their basic needs such as books and, outing and sports uniforms among other contributions. But the monarch emphasised Soludo’s credibility and integrity.  

  Expressing Isuofia’s pride in their illustrious son, the king disclosed that despite all the laurels, the people’s honour to the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and current gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6 gubernatorial election is for his commitment to peace and unity in his hometown.

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  The people presented the 61-year-old scholar turned politician as a grassroots man despite his vast international operations and laurels. As captured in his abridged resume for the event, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka first class professor of Economics, a macroeconomics specialist and CBN Governor (May 2004 through May 2009) has been a consultant to 20 international organisations including the World Bank, IMF, European Union, AfDB, USAID, UK-DFID, UNDP, UNCTAD, a member of the British Department for International Development’s International Advisory Group and visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA among other global portfolios.

  Despite these, he keeps active touch with his home base. Speaking in Igbo, the Isuofia monarch said: “Kita, Isuofia a bulugo ofu” (now Isuofia has become one) after conferring the chieftiancy on Prof. Soludo and his people echoed their affirmation.

  After receiving the new title, Soludo expressed his gratitude to people of his community for the honour and restated his commitment to the well-being of the land. He recalled that his bid for the seat of Governor of Anambra State began in the same location of the conferment, Isuofia Civic Centre, in February. Therein, Isuofia people, in one voice, affirmed his bid. He thanked the people of his hometown for giving him support all the while and pledged to always be with them.

  The internationally acclaimed professor of economics and multiple-award-winning development technocrat used the occasion to applaud Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano who was in attendance along with his wife, Ebelechukwu.

  Upon thanking Isuofia for feting him, he called on his people to join him in his journey to the governor’s office of Anambra State. He urged the people to have faith in the success of the mission. More so, because of formidable vehicle they have in APGA and the very unwavering stead of the leadership of the party.  

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  While urging the people to discountenance a rain of falsehood being churned out by detractors about APGA. Soludo re-emphasised his bid for the governorship of Anambra State to his community in Igbo language thusly: “We are going to Agu Awka (seat of Anambra State Government House). We will win. And when we win, we (Isuofia) will celebrate Akpokuedike (Gov. Willie Obiano)… a man of outstanding virtue. He is an outstanding leader, an acclaimed warrior. That is why he is Akpokuedike.   He leads from the front. Under his leadership, APGA continues to grow from strength to strength.”   

  Gov. Willie Obiano who was the chief guest of honour thanked Isuofia people for honouring Soludo and for playing good host to him and his wife as well as members of his cabinet and the leadership of Anambra State.

  He observed that the town has a great son and globally acknowledged star in Soludo whose intellectual and administrative feats both locally and universally stand him out as one of the stars of Africa, not only in the field of economics but also as a leader.

  “He is the most qualified and most competent person to be governor of Anambra. Others are pretending…. You have to support him…. It is in the interest of all of us in Anambra State.”

  Soludo’s running mate, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, also attended the event. Similarly, the former national chairman of APGA, Sen. Victor Umeh was present. Also among the guests were members of the council of Ndi Onowu (highest placed red-cap chiefs and cabinet members of monarchs) from all the 179 communities in Anambra State who also gave their honour to Soludo.

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  Several age grades in Isuofia presented gifts to Soludo, his wife, Nonye who was also in attendance and to his aging father.

  Federal and state legislators from Anambra and members of the state’s executive as well as frontline political personalities also attended the event.

  A significant part of the feast was the Igwe’s supplication, eating and obligatory sharing of a roasted new yam soaked in red oil and pepper sauce to representatives of all the villages, while a short but engaging, boys’ wrestling contest charged up the arena.

  Indigenous and highlife music performances, display of several forms of masquerads and feasting on new yam meals all over the town added colours and painted the tow red until late night. Hence, Isuofia was a panorama of memorable festivities.

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