By Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo
That Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo will win the Governorship election of Anambra State—November 6, 2021, was not news! Even the Oracle of Delphi in Greece who predicted the birth of such a great man as Pythagoras, albeit unprompted, would have equally predicted this Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo’s victory, and of course in the most phenomenal manner. It was quite deep a landslide to be countenanced even by the most causal onlooker. The doubting Thomases amongst us knew he will win; the pundits knew he will win; not to mention the gaming machines that would have put some die-hard, and for the most part, overly optimist politicians hard-earned currencies, at great risk. Yes, when a politician tells you go to hell, you would be excited to get there faster before him.
Perhaps what would have been big news was that the election would come and pass-by the Anambrarians almost effortlessly without the usual and sometimes well-calculated acts of the Invisible Hands.
Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and of blessed memory said “We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world!” In that vein I say, there is a new Anambra in the Nigerian Nation in the making with this Prof. Soludo’s victory and eventual governorship. A new Igbo Nation beckons at us all!
Again, referring to Kwame Nkrumah’s famous quote, “I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me”. I therefore lean on that and dare to say, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo—the Governor-Elect of Anambra State; you are not an Igbo man because you were born in the Igbo land, but because the Igbo Nation is born in you!
Yes, all the other governors and leaders of the Igbo Nation have done their bits and so well too (depending on how one wants to see/review their performances); but here you are in a very warm embrace with nature and God which have ingrained in your heart an indelible mark of affinity and destiny with your native land—the Igbo Nation, thereafter the Nigerian Nation becomes your immediate constituency in the near future; who knows, God is a Magician, I dare to say!
In a few months from now, you will find yourself at “Agu Awka” from where you will be marshalling out the directions to our next destinations—and where to:
• On agriculture—of note to you and everyone who cares; we bring down to the East from elsewhere, virtually everything that ends in the stomach; yams, rice, beans, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, cow, sheep, foul, name them. Nay! Never Again from Now On! Centre Songhai at Owerri and Port Novo will be the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) for Anambra and the entire Igbo Nation.
• On Manufacturing—Focus on Ogbunike to Ufuma, Nkpologwu, and Umunze and the rest; for light to heavy industrial clusters.
• On Automobiles—Nnewi Auto-Industrial and electrical clusters, where today INNOSON and Cutix hold sway! These will be the answer for “auto-industrialising” Anambra and Nigeria! The duo in Auto and electrical respectively will be boldly joined by others like them.
• On Commerce and Markets—Onitsha Main Market now expanding to Ogidi, Oba, Obosi, should be joined by Nkwo Igboukwu, Eke Ekwuluobia, Afor Nnobi, Afor Igwe, Eke Awka, etc.—all these shall come under surgical operations; with deliberate emphasis on contemporariness, modernization and restructuring for effectiveness and efficiency, and for greater contribution to our National Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
• On education—Needless to say that, Anambra has been among the tops and should now climb to the crest of the tops, and stay put.
• On MSMEs—Yes, this is the strong point of our people. Your guide would be your original NEEDS, SEEDS, and LEEDS! Thank God, you invented and midwifed these acronyms.
• On Aviation and Transport—the Ground Norms have been laid by Allen Onyema’s Air Peace and Okonkwos’ United Nigeria Air. Then there came the Icing on the Cake—I mean, Willy’s Master Stroke! The Mother of all Airports in Nigeria and the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), who can beat that?
Prof, you only need to build on that great foundation and prepare for the cross-over of the Federal Government’s Eastern Rail project—Just-in-Time.
On the other hand, there is an ample opportunity for In-Land Water-Ways transport to link Nje-aba, through Oguta in Imo State to Ogbaru and Onitsha (with Onitsha in-land port/habour, first landing) and make a final handshake with Asaba-Westwards on the coastal lines. Not to mention the bus transport system of GUO, The Young, Okeson, etc. Reaching out to them and wrapping them into a more organised sector, and duly contributing the state treasury by way of relevant taxes.
• On Sports—remember that at one point in time in history, the South East (SE) alone contributed nearly 80% of the football stars to the National team. You must never lose sight of this STRENGTH in the Eastern sports arena.
• On Culture and Tradition—Odenigbo Aguata, Dikeudo of Isuofia; whence both my mother and paternal grandmother hailed and all from Umueze your native soil!. These traditional titles connect you back to your roots and must continue to find kind response in your heart! Prof, remember also the Shaw Institute for Cultural Arts (SICA) Igboukwu. Let this Institute find kind response in your heart also.
• On Diaspora Engagement—my engagement with them three years ago in Germany and recently in the UK informs me, where their talents, skills, and hearts have been- They are still in nostalgia and yearning for the motherland! Also, ready to contribute meaningfully to this emerging Golden Dawn! Therefore, Prof, a new conversation, a new narrative, a new tune must rend the air! Call it diaspora village, city, estate or anything else—name is immaterial, but Solution is the Soludo we now know!
• On Information Technology—Disruptively, a centre is needed somewhere off the trajectory of Umunya, and heading to Utuocha, Nkwele and linking to Onitsha through the popular 33 for ease of market connectivity and transformational agenda; the centre being almost at equidistance between the International Airport and the emergent Centre of Commerce in Africa—I mean Onitsha. The likes of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. will have a safe landing through that beautiful Umueri International Airport, many like my humble self, can’t wait to see the full operationalisation of this wonderful facility, many thanks to the Working Willy though!
• On strategy—permit me to suggest a Strategy Implementation Clearing House (SICH) for all government projects, and programmes, for quality evaluation/assurance, monitoring and control. An office for this purpose may be imminent, and to be saddled with proxy-evaluation of all projects and programmes at a final level of deployment into production; having conversation with experts, ensuring performance value or value for money and having a final handshake with the Chief Executive of the State, will be key-high-level tasks for this office. In order for this functionary to hold his own, he should be at the same shoulder-level with the commissioners to allow for effective checks and balances.
Finally, and now that congratulatory messages are pouring in, even from the most contending forces, save for one aggrieved, albeit not surprised because 100% acceptance would have been an aberration within the political class; yes, in a class of students, one has made a FIRST CLASS, and why not? It is in his blood and character, as no one quarrels with success, so says Ronald Reagan of America! Other students who failed the exam have the right to petition the teacher for their ordeals, but that should not be material to the one who made a first class. Permit me then to say, Congratulations Professor Cee Cee Soludo! Congratulation ndi Anambra! Congratulations Soludo Promoters Forum all over Nigeria, in Diaspora and Igbo-Ukwu chapter! Congratulation ndi Igboukwu and Isuofia—very close door neighbours and brothers of the same womb. Congratulations His Excellency, Ebekuedike the Working Willy my man! And indeed, congratulations INEC and the Security Agencies for a job well-done! Everyone was in great doubt—to be or not to be? But it has passed like no other!
To the Almighty God, be the Glory at all Times!
Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo, FCA, CISA, CEH, CHFI, ECSA, ISO27001LA, PhD