Yes, and this is my birthday wish and prayer for Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as he adds another year today, Sunday, July 28, 2019. I belong to several Anambra and Ndigbo professional associations and wish to share some views and sentiments I gather from some of these groups. why apologise to Soludo if he feels embarrassed by this article. At the ripe age of 59 and with so many skills, experience, wisdom and excellent health, millions of his supporters and admirers around the world pray for many more decades of service to humanity.
We pray particularly that he listens to our calls and pleadings that he must offer himself to serve Ndi Anambra. He has served Nigeria, Africa, and the world and they may still want him, but Anambra andNdigbo needs him now. After living in Ethiopia, UK, and the and travelling to 45 other countries as an itinerant scholar and consultant to 20 international organizations and serving Nigeria meritoriously, Ndi Anambra believes it is time have their own back. he Financial Times of London, Euromoney, etc declared him the best Governor of Central Bank in Africa and the world in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and even recently the New Africa Magazine profiled him as one of the 100 Most influential Africans. Nigeria has recognized him with the d highest national honour (CFR), etc. Some believe that he should run for the residency in 2023 since, according to them, the position should be zoned to the South East. ut an overwhelming majority of Ndi Anambra insists that he is the man for the moment in 2021.
Nigeria is at critical crossroads, and Anambra and Ndigbo need to put their best feet forward. This is no time to gamble or for the usual politicians. We need a man tried and tested, with track records for big ideas and excellent execution in order to create prosperity and put Anambra on the world map. After Ngige, Obi, and Obiano, more than90% of Ndi Anambra believe that the next big thing will be SoludoSolution. Everybody—stakeholders, professionals, businessmen, clergy, grassroots, youths, women—agree that he is the best person for the challenging times to take Anambra to even far greater heights, after Obiano. Anambrashould does something new and different and teaches the rest of the country how to do politics of development. All the political parties should agree to adopt Soludo as the consensus candidate for 2021. Heis a rare asset for the entire Anambra and no one party should appropriate him alone. They should agree on what party platform he should contest. Without any fear of contradiction, I believe that Soludo will easily win one million votes or more than 75% of the votes in the next election if he contests.
Saludos a unique characteristic as a world-class technocrat, with deep political skills and experience. He has been active in Nigerian politics right from his student days during the NPN versus NPP days and has held party positions. Unlike most in the terrain, he checks the boxes very well as what my Yoruba friend, Seyi Olabode, describes as a TECHNOPOLIS (a renowned technocrat with political skills). He blends well as an excellent technocrat and party builder who understands the synergy between policies and politics in a democracy. He campaigned in almost all the 326 wards in Anambraduring the 2010 governorship election within one month. His name household with huge grassroots followership. All over the state, people still have his posters in their homes and beer parlours: “ICee Prosperity”; “I Cee Hope”; “African Dubai Taiwan”;” Soludo Solution”, etc. All politics, they say, is local. Soludodescribes himself as a village boy. He recently resolved the a20-year-old crisis in his community, Isuofia, thereby restoring peace and unity to the town. No wonder his town/ward, Isuofia, has been consistently returning the highest number of votes for APGA in theSouth Senatorial zone since Soludo joined the party. He is indeed a homeboy, with massive philanthropic programmes that benefit thousands of students, youths and women. His home base, the 45 towns that make up the three local governments (Aguata, Orumba North and rumba South) collectively conferred on him in 2004 the chieftaincy title of Odenigbo Aguata na Orumba— and such collective title has only been given to the late Dr Alex Ekwueme and Gov. Obiano.
Solido brand is that of a big thinker and an excellent doer; one who can see the big picture and who has the courage to bring his dreams to fruition. Soludo showed early in life this exceptional spirit of thinking and doing.
His secondary school mates are not surprised by what he has become as they remember with nostalgia that he has remained true to his guiding philosophy as their Senior Prefect which was ‘’Speed and Accuracy.”
Also read: Nigerians are already disenchanted with APC, even the APC members are also complaining – Obi
True, Chukwuma Soludo has always been in a hurry to make the world around him better than he met it in his typical “speed and accuracy” manner. He blew into national landscape and imagination when he did the unimaginable as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. He undertook a banking reform that saw a motley crowd of 97 banks ran by family czars consolidate into 24 strong banks which today have branches across key cities in Africa and around the world. His foresight insulated Nigeria from the adverse effects of the global financial meltdown even as the banks are today better positioned to contribute to national development. He built the foreign reserves to an all-time high of $65 billion, and the dollar at some time during his regime was N112 to one dollar. The Nigerian economy was growing at an average of 7% during his tenure compared to recession or 2% now. Millions of jobs were created under him and poverty declined in Nigeria.
During his sterling and meritorious services to Nigeria, an elated ChiefOlusegun Obasanjo who is known for his bluntness and for not playing to the gallery had these words in praise of the Odenigbo ofAguata and Orumba: “CharlesSoludo is a true Nigerian. He is the sort of Nigerian that we all know we can rely on. Among his numerous virtues is COURAGE. I have found in him a man who can take tough and realistic decisions, stand his ground, and educate others on the salience of his decision and work very hard to ensure that the decision is efficiently and effectively implemented. His leadership qualities are admirable and his willingness to listen and learn is simply infectious. ProfessorSoludo has within a short time emerged as one of the leading lights of our nation. Not because he has a godfather but by sheer hard work, loyalty, dedication to duty, commitment to the nation, creativity and undiluted association with the reform agenda…..”.When he completed his tenure as CBN Governor, President Yar’Aduaalso gave him a written testimonial on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria to commend his uncommon transformation of Nigeria’sfinancial system and economy. No wonder Anambra people are asking him to come and repeat the magic at home.
The minds and imagination of a greater number of Anambra people and indeed Ndi-Igbo have been stretched by Soludo’s grand vision for Anambra State. He has always proclaimed in his public lectures and other platforms that “The AFRICAN DUBAI-TAIWAN, ADT, is my dream for my people.” ADT has caught on as the SOLUDO SOLUTION for improved life and in a nutshell, seeks to jump-start the emergence ofa modern city in Anambra that will attract world talents and capital to Anambra State. The deliverables are wealth creation, job creation, poverty reduction, group harmony and value reorientation. To Chima Okeke, an Onitsha based businessman who has travelled around the world in the course of business, Soludo’ s ADT is the way to go as it will make Anambra be like the places he imports his goods from. He insists that Soludo should be the consensus candidate for 2021 if he decides to run. Even if he is reluctant, we must draft him to contest. Chima is not alone. Many see Soludo as the next big thing; the game changer, to happen in Anambra to consolidate and build on the good works of Obiano and his predecessors and take Anambra, nay Igboland, to his promised land—THE AFRICAN DUBAI –TAIWAN.Happy birthday Odenigbo Aguata na Orumba. Anambra is earnestly waiting.