TODAY, the new government of Anambra State is 100 days old in office. Looking back, it appears Prof Chukwuma Soludo has been around for a longer while because a lot has happened but the Isuofia, Aguata-born governor of Anambra State only came into office on March 17, 2022.
A flurry of activities and surmounted obstacles actually set Soludo running from wake. Interestingly, he has emerged stronger from the challenges as they come, one after the other. Looking back, the developments have burnished and refined the gem in the new government while endearing it daily to Ndi Anambra’s hearts.
From the insecurity saga to the scary environmental eyesore he met to the state’s financial woes, taxation troubles and mired markets, the desk was full, as Soludo arrived.
Though he came with a very high popularity rating, the ‘to- do’ list was so huge, and very sensitive areas that required high wisdom and guts to tackle.
Many big toes were on the pathways to be trampled before solutions would be reached but with his ‘Solution is Here’ mission, Soludo has walked the heavily-mined ramparts, to get his clues to the matters without losing his teeming followership.
Within the centenary of days he has had an eventful array of activities without pause that it is possible that he would not have taken enough notice of the things he has done let alone the essence of the developments.
He is steadily walking into the hearts of his subjects with a peculiar style of principled leadership, dogged push and unobtrusive bravery that is distinguishing him for integrity and trustworthiness. Even as he tinkers and changes things in innovative manner through his ‘disruptive change’ approaches he still retains the core values of Anambra State and her legacies.
However, judging from body language and informed by his humble demeanour Mr. Governor looks like somebody who does not realise that he has a lot to celebrate beyond just being the governor of Anambra State for 100 days today.
It may not have occurred to him that his keenness for such vital but always ignored things (that many in his stead waive aside) such as nature, culture, hygiene, merit, fairness, knowledge, value of life, diverse consultation and his ability to listen patiently are well noted by the populace.
It is possible that he may not know yet how much his refusal to play divisive politics or play to the gallery within the 100 days sit in the mind of the people and convince them that the real solution is here for Anambra.
Gov. Soludo’s first centenary day in office actually refreshes thought of the first 100 day in office ever marked. The social situations around it and the mode of celebration so resembles the original 100 day in office that one cannot fail to recall how the phenomenon emerged and spread everywhere in the world in a record short while.
When on March 4, 1933, the 32nd President of the United States of America (USA) Franklin Delanor Roosevelt was inaugurated, he craved a quick impact to show his countrymen his capacity to lead them out of the droop and doom of the perilious economic times – the Great Depression. He happened upon the idea of marking every 100th day of his tenure as president.
On July 24, that year, when Mr. Roosevelt found how short, 100 days can be, just some days beyond three months, a period not enough to aquaint one with even the scenerio of his office’s courtyard let alone the files lurking in shelves and cabinets, he gave a radio broadcast in which he coined the term “first 100 days.”
He looked at the short period and began his speech thusly: “we all wanted the opportunity of a little quiet thought to examine and assimilate in a mental picture the crowding events of the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal.”
The outing came across like a deep retrospection in which Roosevelt did not hide his realisation that the task he set on himself to gauge his performance in his stead almost every quarter was a hard push.
Despite the 15 major bills hurriedly designed to counter the effects of the Great Depression and 76 laws quickly passed, President Roosevelt felt some hesistance and insufficiency about his work within the period.
His address gave that out. But it worked. Citizens and businesses got connected to him and responded positively. From there, Americans collectively began to grope their ways out their economic woes.
Indeed, no matter how adept a man is in manning the stead, 100 days is not enough to serve as sample period to offer sound opinion on his stewardship. Moreover, Roosevelt only intended to use the period to establish that amid turblence, he can hold the reins and offer novel direction.
So the 100 Day measure was not intended to be a permanent feature but somehow, it achieved a serendipituous bull’s eye score and became a norm that subsequently, every hundredth day, Roosevelt’s government paused to take count of whatever landmark it recorded. The trend spread from U.S.A to other parts of the world.
The maxim that through regular measurement success or failure of programs can be evaluated gave the 100th day in office development credence and global appeal.
Somehow,it has become a world-reckoned phenomenon. In many democracies, new governments set targets of stamping their feet firmly on sand with the first 100 days of emergence.
In Anambra, the fact that a Soludo mentality is already noticeable within such a short period is a testimony to the fact that his message and style is sinking into hearts and minds. The governor is obviously restoring trust in governance.
To the surprise, if not disbelief of many who habour a mindset about Nigeria, he is also establishing a culture of merit and eye-for-quality in the way he engages talents and recruits workers for the state. This breeds hope and would potentially mobilise youths to love their homeland and country.
Though it only an uninformed pundit that would expect concrete constructions to bud in three months of a reign, it not impossible for naysayers to bandy that. But in the steady steps of Prof. Soludo, so far, the signs of impactful facilities are there.
Indeed, walking the paths of a revolution in early days, is like envisioning the fruition of a movement from just the early rallies in which only a handful of persons gather to express one or two ideas. Such endeavour is at the mercy of time but when there are clear-cut ideologies, standards and pattern of practice, you can project into the future with a remarkable degree of certainty.
So far, Soludo’s 100 days as Governor of Anambra State, have shown a well prepared, hardwork-marked leadership, strengthened by solid ethos, social mobilisation philosophy and good governance benchmarks.
Mr. Governor’s functional ideology and confident personification of the ‘Solution is Here’ mission sets Anambra on a good economic trajectory that will heal and advance the state.