What Gov Soludo means to Anambra State
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
PROFESSOR Chukwuma Charles Soludo is a man of destiny. He did not hide it from anybody that he wanted to become the Anambra State Governor. The job has now met the man.
Soludo came upon the saddle of Anambra State governorship fully prepared. He assured that he should be held to account via the contents of his manifesto. Soludo’s devoted application to any job he is doing is indeed outstanding. In fact he would rather inform that he is rendering service instead of doing a job. Little wonder he is affably known as “Soludo Solution” in the general field of economic matters, while in the specialized sector of banking he is dubbed “Mr. Consolidation.”
It is a mark of the mystique of Soludo that the then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who failed to give the erstwhile CBN Governor a deserved second tenure ended up officially congratulating the man by writing with the presidential seal: “As your tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria comes to a glorious end, I write on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria to place on record our debt of gratitude to you for your dedicated service and uncommon sense of duty over the past five years. I am confident that your worthy antecedents in the CBN and in prior appointments in the service of our nation remain sources of inspiration to an entire generation. As I wish you even more astounding successes in the years ahead, it is my fervent hope that you will readily avail us of your distinguished service when the need arises in the future. Yours sincerely, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.”
The future that President Yar’Adua asked for is here in Anambra State. Soludo has brought uncommon zeal to his Anambra tour of service by not wanting to dance to the tunes of hero-worship attached to the title of “His Excellency”. He simply wants to be addressed as “Mr. Governor” or even the homegrown sobriquet: “Charlie nwa Mgbafor!” For him, there is enormous work to be done instead of succumbing to the banal luxuries of high office.
Soludo emblematizes the archetypal work ethic of the quintessential Anambra man. Leo-Stan Ekeh, the CEO of the trailblazing Zinox Computers who is not from Anambra State once reportedly said: “The wealth, energy and knowledge per square metre in Anambra does not exist in any other part of Africa.”
It needs to be reiterated always that it is work that drives successful societies and civilisations. Productivity matters, and any leader that does not drive it has crucially missed the essence and fallen in love with the accident of base consumption.
The personal example of the leader goes a long way in paving the path of constructive development. As Chinua Achebe famously said in ‘The Trouble with Nigeria,’ “The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.”
Anambra stands as the pivotal state of the Southeast, being the home of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Alex Ekwueme, Cyprian Iwene Tansi, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku, Jerome Udoji, Chimamanda Adichie, Olaudah Equiano etc. Soludo eminently understands it is incumbent on Anambra State to drive development from the teeming geo-political zone to the broad national plain.
Soludo exemplifies the unique Anambra essence of education and enterprise. I remember that back in 2014, a friend of mine in Lagos was full of bluster about how Anambra State was only good in trading! I had to perforce draw his attention to the released results of the West African School Certificate (WASC) examinations which showed that Anambra State led all the other States of the country with a percentage pass of 65.92.
Incidentally, Anambra State equally came first the next year with 67.85 percent which I equally showed my boastful friend.
Anambra State comes tops with 139 marks in the admission to Nigeria’s Unity Schools. It is indeed very curious then that arm-chair commentators almost always profile Anambra as a state of only traders. The dangerous dimension of this kind of profiling is that the beaten states will continue to lag behind while believing the lies being told about their betters.
With Professor Soludo in the saddle such profiling of Anambra State must stop. As they say, perception is everything. Through the requisite use of the media, the prospects of Anambra State in education and all other sectors need to be showcased to the wide world.
Education is key to the progress of the world. The celebration of genius was done in Singapore, and it worked wonders, as eloquently evinced in the book, From Third World to First – The Singapore Story: 1965-2000, written by the first leader of the country Lee Kuan Yew, a 1949 First Class graduate of Cambridge University, England. Lee Kuan Yew left the legacy such that the third Prime Minister of the country, Lee Hsieng Loong, who was sworn in on August 12, 2004 happens to be a 1974 First Class graduate of the selfsame Cambridge! The Singapore government that Lee Hsieng Loong heads has a First Class cabinet as follows: George Yeo – Minister of Foreign Affairs (Cambridge Double First Class in 1976); Lim Hng Kiang – Minister of Trade and Industry (Cambridge First Class with Distinction in 1976); Teo Chee Hean – Minister of Defence (University of Manchester First Class). Need I go on? Little wonder Singapore is a model for all other countries in dire need of progress on all the cardinal points of the globe, and the government richly deserves its motto of “Integrity, Service, Excellence.”
Through the example of Soludo in Anambra State, Nigeria can definitely do much better than the current rave of making role models out of characters that no one can attest to their past, shadowy figures who have no visible means of livelihood.
The educated workforce is available in Anambra. On the enterprise front, Anambra is one vast market intervolving entrepreneurship and multi-dimensional commerce.
The Made-in-Anambra work ethic of excellence that Soludo Solution preaches and practices is an idea whose time has come.