AS the flurry of political activities start to gather momemtum in Anambra state in readiness for the 2014 governorship election, several gladiators from the serious minded to the charlatans have started creating awareness, even though subtly on their aspirations. Some even want their faces seen on the streets of the state just for effect, while some choose to use the opportunity to massage their ego.
Yes, a cursory look at the posters and billboards colouring Anambra landscape presently will indeed show that but for their democratic right of expression, most of the aspirants have no business parading themselves as potential governors of our dear state. Yet, I concede that they retain the freedom to aspire, and I hope that’s where it ends, for it will be catastrophic if a square peg is put in a round hole in the Anambra governorship race.
Nonetheless, it is still consoling that the state has intellectuals who can provide the required leadership for the people, and the one towering above them all is Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former Central Bank of Nigeria governor. Out of the pack, Soludo was the only one who as far back as four years ago developed a blue fruit on how to take Anambra state to her destined position as a leading Nigerian state.
In his first attempt to lead his people he espoused the Dubai- Taiwan initiative-a model fashioned after the flourishing economies of Asia and the Middle East. Lest we forget, these are societies that utilised their human capital and available resources to put their countries on the World map within a specific time frame. Of course, this was made possible through the ingenuity and patriotism of their committed leaders.
Going by his antecedents and pedigree, both as Nigeria’s apex bank boss and World class consultant Prof. Soludo has given a good account of himself as one man who has the wherewithal to transform institutions, and Anambra would be blessed to have him as the next governor. Obviously, his professional background as an economist places him high above other aspirants in the race for Anambra governorship seat, after all, Anambra state is all about economy.
I foresee a declaration for the governorship race by Prof. Soludo as an event that will translate into an unstoppable political movement never witnessed in the annals of the state’s history. Let the truth be told, as the Igbos begin their search for future political leaders after the demise of Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, personages like Prof. Soludo will naturally fill the gap. I say this with all sense of responsibility, considering the charisma which this unassuming “Ijele’’ exudes and commands.
No matter what anybody says, Soludo is a man after Anambrarians’ and indeed Nigerians’ heart. He is an embodiment of the age long cherished values of discipline, hard work, commitment, patriotism and sense of duty for which our past heroes like Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Prof. Chinua Achebe, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Alex Ekwueme Mazi Mbonu Ojike, Eze Akanu Ibiam among others were and are known for.
Therefore as the clock chimes for Anambrarians to make a choice of their new governor, all hands must be on deck, as the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo would say, to choose a leader with ascertainable and proven pedigree, and not those who see Anambra governorship seat as a means to attain vainglory. Furthermore, going by Anambra’s past experiences in maladministration, we must as a people seize the opportunity which this coming race offers by ensuring that we are not beclouded by mundane and pecuniary considerations, rather we must ensure that sobriety and utmost sense of responsibility and concern for our future should dictate the direction we swing our political pendulum.
A cursory look at the pack will indeed show that apart from Soludo and a handful of other aspirants, the rest are grandstanding and merely expressing their freedom of association and expression, but we must as a people be vigilant to restrict their aspiration to mere wish, else, we risk plunging our generation and generations yet unborn to a bottomless abyss, and end up in self pity.
Mr. CHUKWUDI ENEKWECHI, ajournalist, wrote from Abuja.