By Vincent Ujumadu
THE former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Professor Charles Soludo has said that his quest for the governorship of Anambra State is to enable him create an axis of prosperity in this part of the country.
Soludo, who recently informed the leadership of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the state of his intention to contest the November 6, 2021 governorship election on the platform of the party, told reporters in Awka that the quest was not for personal reasons as God had already blessed him.
He said his mission was that having finished with the world, done his bit in Nigeria, which also rewarded him with the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR, there is need to serve his home state.
He said: “We have a whole lot of things we are doing in the private sector, but public service remains the greatest philanthropy, because with one public policy, you can change the fortunes of millions of people.
“Comparatively, Anambra State is doing well, but there are still gaps to fill. And I ask myself that in gratitude to bountiful blessings from God, I want him to use me as a vehicle to change society.
“My desire is to create an axis of prosperity around here to serve as a fall back for our people. We should develop our place so that children born in the next 30 years will have a viable place to live in. That is what is driving me to govern Anambra State. It is not about Soludo. As it is happening in Anambra, it should be happening simultaneously in other parts of the South East states.
“I had to convince my family that yes, we have worked for Nigeria, but God did not make any mistake by making me an Igbo man and particularly, making me an Anambra person.
“I said there is need to go change things for the better in my state. After arguments with my family, I finally got into it. It was like a vision for me, I am preparing my report card for the last day. This is because I believe that one of the questions each of us will be asked is, I blessed you with talents, how did you use them?
Going down memory lane, Soludo added: “I grew up a poor village boy. As a boy, I was going from my village in Isuofia to Nanka and Agulezechukwu to fetch water with mud pot. I was fetching firewood and unlike these days of matches and lighter, I would watch out for smoke from nearby families and you go there to fetch fire for cooking. One also fetched food for the goats and my mother, who was a petty trader, would discipline you if you failed to accomplish your task on a daily basis.
“At Nigercem, Nkalagu where my father worked as a driver, we lived in the Overrail area, which is the poorest area in Nigercem meant for very junior workers.
“In Nigercem, there are Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 and then across the rail where we lived. We were fetching water at St. Charles which happened to be my primary school because there was no pipe borne water at Overail. That’s the beginning of my life.
“But from there, God blessed me such that after every examination, I would still come first in my class, which included the children of the elite, and would stand on the table to receive my prizes.
“The point here is that if the children of the rich and the poor are given the same opportunity, they will level up. Today, the children of the elite attend private schools, while the children of the poor are condemned in the poorly funded public schools and the exposure they have is such that they will not have a chance in life.
“The children of the rich attend the best of the schools and it is like the biblical injunction that those who have will have .more given to then, while for the poor, even the little he has will be taken away from him. This is a time bomb. In the past, the children of nobody could become somebody.”
According to him, one good thing Nigeria used her oil money to achieve was to give both the rich and the poor access to quality education, which, he added, is no more.