**How we’ll make state prosperous, livable
By Clifford Ndujihe
GOVERNORSHIP Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APGA, in the November 6, Anambra election, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, and former National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, have asked those who want to rig the poll or prevent it from taking place, to have a re-think because ”Anambra is not Imo.”
Speaking at the weekend when Soludo presented his 72-page Campaign Agenda to Anambra people in Lagos, they said Anambra, for over seven years, was the most peaceful state in the country but six months to the election, ”those who want to write result are causing violence to create the impression of insecurity so as postpone or hijack the election. We want to tell them: It is not possible. The election must be held because Anambra is not Imo.”
The duo spoke in Igbo language to a crowd of town union presidents-general, market leaders and numerous support groups rooting for Professor Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Soludo, whose agenda covers all sectors including infrastructure, education, healthcare, agriculture, environment, tourism, erosion control, and job creation among others, how they would be done and sources of funding, said his goal is to make Anambra prosperous and livable.
He also spoke on agitations and rising insecurity in the South-East, saying the solution lies in dialogue and provision of job opportunities.
And the best way to achieve this, beginning with Anambra, is continuing the policies and programmes of the APGA governments that have been in control for 16 years starting with Mr. Peter Obi and now Willie Obiano, who he said had touched every sector of development.
According to him, one of the reasons for the unrest in Anambra State and in other parts of the South-East is the massive unemployment in the region, adding, “Our answer to these unrests is prosperity and job creation. Once there are jobs everywhere, all of those people will come out of the bushes and do something productive with their lives.”
Recalling the roles he played when Chief Ralph Uwazurike, MASSOB leader was detained by the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration and IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was first arrested in 2017, to secure their freedom, he said he was doing so because there is need to form a formidable force that would negotiate the progress and status of Igbo in Nigeria.
“Let me remind us that I have been championing the cause of Igbo. In 2017, when Nnamdi Kanu was refused bail, I led 12-prominent personalities from Igboland including Professor Pat Utomi to Kuje Prison, where we facilitated his release. I was the one that addressed journalists after the visit and a few days later, he was released. By that time, I did not know him.
“We need a platform, where Igbo will be in the forefront and not at the rear, and APGA is the platform. The welfare of the South-East can be achieved through proper dialogue and negotiation and not by arms struggle and destruction of life and property,” Soludo empahsised, adding that he would continue to protect the interest of Igbo in all their endeavours and incorporate them in his administration, especially in making public policies.
He said his party was striving for high speed development and the provision of basic infrastructure that will make Anambra Dubai and Singapore of Africa.
On insecurity and agitations in the South-East, Soludo said: “Yes, there are agitations and I respect them. But dialogue is the answer. They must dialogue; Igbo and Nigeria. That will settle it once there is an organised platform, where the Igbo will be in front seat. Forget about the APC and PDP. For us to negotiate our way to the centre, we must come together and form a formidable force for doing this. I call on all Igbo to come together, step out and build our land into a liveable homeland.”
Soludo said he is leaving the comfort zone for the murky waters of politics because he wants to make Anambra a liveable homeland for all.