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Time to move forward after election distraction



NIGERIA caps the 2023 general elections with governorship and States Assembly polls, as electorate file-out tomorrow, Saturday, March 18, for the exercise, barring any hitches.

  Perhaps, one interesting thing elections come with is renewed hopes it kindles in the minds of citizens who view such moment as window for a new vista. With the distractions of election over by tomorrow, Anambra will return to her ‘Solution’ coven to continue her evolution for the dream liveable homestead.

  Greater expectations are that those who emerged from the exercise should spend less time popping champagnes for their victories but immediately begin a spade work in the mandate giving to them.

Despite the very level of involvement so far in the 2023 general elections, Anambra is already sprinting down the turf at the executive level, given that she has a seating governor whose tenure is not affected by the 2023 polls.

  Anambra had her gubernatorial election in 2021 and inaugurated the current governor,  Professor Chukwuma Soludo on March 17, 2022, precisely 12 months ago, in the current journey.

  Despite not being in the centre of activities in the 2023 guber race, It may be argued that the general elections forced a hiatus to the development strides of the state and now compels re-ignition with election brouhaha getting gradually over.

  Undoubtedly, the election distraction, no matter how marginal in the state, is worth the attention, given that it presents opportunity for the emergence of a new team of legislatures that will work with Governor Soludo in the state for the rest of the first term of his tenure.

  While citizens expect restart of governance policies in the state at full swing after Saturday’s elections, concerned minds have called for acrimony that comes with elections to be left at the polling units, while unity and purposeful engagements of all good spirited citizens take full course forthwith.

  Apparently, the question agitating the minds going into the election tomorrow is, “which party will emerge the majority in Anambra State House of Assembly after the polls? Fact remains that whether the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party retains the majority or should the new revolutionary trend swing in favour of the Labour Party, the interests of the state must remain primary to all actors in the game.

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This is imperative given that no matter party affiliations, elected members of the state Assembly are Anambra citizens and must, as a duty, prioritise  the interests of the state over self or partisan gains.

  Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is, by every standard, an elite and his development programs for the state match his personality. Anambra should be proud to have his ilk in the saddle. Consequently, what the occasion calls for at the moment is massive support.

Given this needed support, Anambra will have a quantum leap in developmental growth.   This is evident in his policy actions so far, which had opened a vista where governance no longer exists for caucuses but open to all with competence and goodwill to serve.

  Even as election heat turns to the grassroots level (state), ndiAnambra should not allow detractors to push their games too far.

Citizens should be clear of what Governor Soludo’s government represents or has set out to achieve.

Bearing in mind that a time was in the history of the state when impunity and frivolous spending almost choked life out of the state, Soludo came with a mission to salvage the situation.

Can the undercurrent political tirades from opposition quaters erase glaring fact that the state was on the brink prior to  Soludo’s inauguration 12 months ago? Would it be forgotten in a hurry the damage touts wreaked on businesses across the state before this administration came on stream? Can the current inter party hauling of aspersions change the narratives that roads in Anambra were becoming unpassable and citizens forced to untold hardship accessing them to their homes and business places daily? If in 12 months, the people had forgotten all they passed through or at best having faint memory of those mundane times, it simply means that Soludo’s government is living up to its promises as captured in the state’s 50 year development plan, which coincidentall,y was fashioned by Soludo and his team of experts months before he emerged the state governor.

The Isuofia born professor is indeed primed for big occasions and his statement during the completion of 50-year development task for the state reveals how nature shapes him for special tasks. This could be captured from his words, “As of the time this committee was set, I had no idea of becoming the governor”.

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  “But by divine providence, I become governor-elect and will likely be the governor to start implementing the plan,” he said, while handing the documents to his principal then, former Governor Willie Obiano.

  A look into the past 12 months shows that Soludo is working his talk. The rejigs in many sectors tell the above board approach to Anambra’s development program under his care.

   In spotlighting education as bastion in Anambra’s development master plan, his recruitment of 5000 teachers purely on merit, to beef-up the system gives eloquent testimony of his policy trust.

The prioritisation of merit over other considerations sent  signal that the journey to industrial revolution comparable with Taiwan, Malaysia and Dubai that had been his vision for Anambra hinges on competence of actors and characters of contributors to the realisation of the dream.  Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s mission is clear and simple – making Anambra prosperous and liveable homestead through industrialisation and security.

  Given that the roadmap towards actualizing this dream was charted by Soludo himself, the prospect for success is high. Therefore, supporting the governor to realise this goal will not be in his interests alone but ndiAnambra in general.

A better understanding of Soludo’s Solution master plan will spur collaboration of concerned minds without much entreaty. Therefore, when electorates in the state cast their votes for those to represent them at the state Assembly, they should bear the goodwill of the governor for the state in mind.

  To grasp the bearings of the time, projects allotted across the state should bear eloquent testimony that the governor’s call for equity and justice at the federal level is not a hoax but worth domesticating at the state level.

Thus affirming the old maxim that “charity begins at home.” The honest disposition of the governor could be sifted from the even distribution of road rehabilitation projects across the state in the past 12 months.

The allotments had been guided by sheer prudence, their essence to the people and economic benefits to the state. Little wonder, when governors in other states jettisoned development projects in their states to focus entirely on political campaigns, Governor Soludo kept rolling the machines, fixing strategic roads in the state.

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The 2.2km Bridge-Head – Sokoto road rehabilitation at a time development projects went to bed in many states of the federation, shows that he meant every word in his promise to ndi Anambra, in line with his round the clock working schedule promised.

Did anybody envisage that Nkpor-Umuoji road, which had degenerated to an impasse as at the time Soludo came on board, would in matter of months be accessible? His quick rehabilitation response changed the narrative.

Today, Anaocha, Aguata, Nnewi and other surroundings are connected to the Onitsha commercial hub through Idemili with ease, courtesy of his vision for the state.

For those who ply Nnobi – Igbo-Ukwu – Ekwulobia road today, it can hardly be remembered that this stretch of road was mere death trap before March 17, 2022, when Soludo’s government was inaugurated.

The good thing about these projects is that they are not done with populism intention but on weight of importance to the state.

  Arguably, his strides gear copiously on taking Anambra to the Zenith of industrialisation.

The naysayer may continue in their skepticism but if Bombay could be a power house in India’s economic growth, Soludo sees in Anambra, inherent potential to overtake India’s Bombay mark to drawing levels with Dubai and Taiwan, his often professed reference target.

The starting point of most successful endeavours is not always rosy but ‘Solution’ has come with indisputable capacity to leave Anambra greater than he met it.

What is important at this point is supporting hands of all to the man behind the mask and Anambra will reach heights impossible to ordinary minds.

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