AT A competition of individuals in a group against their opponent, the individuals regard themselves as a team. The success of one is the success of all, and so, all have one target.
That is why, in a football club, preparing for competition, there are two teams of first 11 and second 11 of 11 players each, who are 22 players. The two teams use each other to train for competitions. The 22 players even have more players, as substitutes. In addition, the football club has the coach, team manager, the proprietor. All of them aim to score goals, because, if goals are not scored, victory is not achieved.
So, while preparing for the match, the coach must look for a striker to score the goal among the forward-line of the inside left, centre forward, inside right. If a striker is lacking among the forward-men, the coach is compelled to look for the striker elsewhere. When the striker is found, the striker who is regarded as the goal-getter is paid very well.
And when the striker is got, the coach has the discretion to displace any of the forward-men and replace him with the newly recruited striker at a strategic position. The team is formidable. There is confidence of scoring goals, and when this is achieved, all members of the club and supporters are happy.
Today, Anambra State is preparing for governorship-election to be held on November 6, 2021. Various political parties have elected their candidates at their various primary elections. In this regard, Anambra State is preparing to face their opponent in governance. Their opponent is developmental challenges in their socio-economic and political needs.
So, a competent candidate who can develop strategies to meet the opponent, is needed. And so, the whole people of Anambra State are one team who has one target, which is good governance. So, the most competent and efficient strategist or striker is required to score the goal of good governance.
When looking for the strategist or striker, we must seek for the best. That is why, a football coach can by-pass the forward men in his club, and go outside to look for a better striker. In looking for a better strategist or striker, we must imbibe the admonition of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Kukah, in choosing a political leader, when he advised: “Every aspirant to a high office must be measured, not by the size of his or her material resources, but the content of their intellect. They must show us what they have accomplished, and must be compulsorily subjected to rigorous public debate, as one of the preconditions. Anyone seeking to govern us must demonstrate strength of both character and deep intellectual capacity to wrestle with the problems of Nigeria, and the World”.’ (Convocation Lecture, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra Sate, March 20 2021).
With this yardstick, the candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, can be evaluated. Born in 1960 (61 years now), a native of Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra South Senatorial Zone, Anambra State, he had brilliant academic career from the beginning, making first positions in primary and secondary school, passing out with distinctions. In the university, he made first Class Honours in Economics in Bachelors Degree.
He proceeded to Masters Degree and then to Doctorate degree (Ph.D) with excellent results, and became a Professor of Economics at the age of 38. He became a senior lecturer in the university, and his academic versatility made him to become a substantive lecturer in his Alma Mater, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and also a Visiting Lecturer to other universities, both in Nigeria and Overseas.
He became appointed as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2003, and the Chairman of National Economic Council (NEC). He also became the Chairman of Nigerian Printing and Secretary Board. He distinguished these numerous careers with patriotism, prudence, efficiency, diligence. During the period, he became member of African and World Council of Governors of Central Banks, with this strategic position, during the regime of President Obasanjo, who wisely appointed Soludo as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2003.
Soludo used his expertise as World Economist, to negotiate for Nigeria to be bailed out of foreign debts, and recovered economic solvency, which was lost during the incompetent military regimes.
After his constitutional two term service as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Soludo became a Consultant to World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations Organisations (UNO), United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), to mention but a few. In this regime of incumbent President Buhari, he, Buhari, has appointed Soludo as a member of the National Advisory Economic Council. Currently, Soludo serves as chairman and member of over 20 national and international business organisation, where he is a major shareholder in the Private Sector.
Soludo is an epitome of philanthropy, humanitarianism, altruism and patriotism. He has deployed his huge earnings into charity. He gives generously to church donations, grants scholarships to many indigent students in his hometown, Isuofia, and others. He adopted one primary school in his hometown, Isuofia, and renovated it to modern standard, equipped it to optimal standard, and pays for additional teachers, recruited by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), so that all subjects could have teachers, to guarantee qualitative education. Today, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Peter University, Achina, Anambra State, a university owned by Awka and Ekwulobia Dioceses of the Catholic Church. There, he offers his expertise in planning of the Academic Requirements and administrative needs of the up-coming citadel of higher learning.
On Friday, August 20, 2021, Governor Willie Obiano, inaugurated the Campaign Committee, of the APGA, to champion the programmes for election of Prof. Soludo as governor, at the election of November 6, 2021. Governor Obiano re-affirmed with certainty, the suitability of Soludo to be the next governor to succeed him in 2022.
Obiano described Soludo as the best of all the candidates to the office, in terms of educational qualification, versatility in service to the nation and the world, international connections and competence in the management of human and material resources, adding that Soludo is already the brain-box of “Anambra Vision 2070” a concept that shall make Anambra rank among the best developed nations of the world, such as America, Israel, Germany, Japan China, Dubai, to mention but a few by the year 2070. On the occasion, Soludo was invited to address the people.
When he spoke, he exhibited the attributes of an erudite professor. With his natural handsomness, Ebony black, bright eyes, beautiful clean shaven face, immaculate gapped teeth, proportionate body built, youthful agility, average height, charming smiles, masculine baritone voice, which he intermittently switched into melodious gospel songs manifesting his piety, mesmerising eloquence, audible and distinct speech, he arrested the attention of his audience with his intellectual exposition of facts and figures from his finger-tips. In fact, Soludo is the majestic and colourful Ijele masquerade, who easily dwarfed other little and inconsequential masquerades, who run away immediately the Ijele masquerade arrives.
So, Soludo qualifies the recommendations of Bishop Matthew Kukah, for being elected as governor of Anambra State in 2021. Therefore, all right thinking people should follow Soludo because an Igbo adage says that: “Nobody abandons a place of title-taking for a place of ritual sacrifice” (Anaghi ahapu ebe a na-echi-ozo jebe ebe a na-alu agwu). We have found Soludo with his expertise, so we must reject other candidates of less value who are simply pretenders, because, Soludo is clearly the most competent and efficient striker to score the goal of good governance.