By Vincent Ujumadu
ANAMBRA State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has described his 100 days in office as bumpy and challenging, but expressed optimism that he would overcome.
In a broadcast to mark the occasion, Soludo urged residents of the state not to commiserate with him over the troubling insecurity in the state occasioned by criminals, codenamed “unknown gunmen”, but to support his government.
He said that having duly applied for the job of governor of the state, he was well aware of the tasks therein.
He said: “We just clocked our first 100 days in office as I and my deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim serve you as your governor and deputy governor.
“I am not a fan of marking 100 days in office. I prefer to give you annual report and we look forward to the first one in March next year.
“The last 100 days has been very bumpy and challenging. It has been a case of so far, so bumpy, but so good.
“Everyday we work 24 hours to ensure that we do not disappoint you. We have resolved that we must do that to make you happy and proud.
“I remind everyone who wants to commiserate with me that I duly applied for this job.We have lunched a campaign to restore our homeland.
“Most people can attest that the grave insecurity is gradually being contained and we remain undaunted. Even as I speak to you now, something is going on in various communities in Anambra State.
“This administration is built on five pillars, our first pillar is security, law and order. We have created a new ministry, the Ministry of Homeland affairs, which has also unveiled the security and emergency crack team.
“We have embarked upon mobilization, sensitization and worked with clergy men and others to mobilize the people against insecurity.
“The people are united in fighting against the lucrative criminal enterprise and idolatrous acts.
“The criminals have been exposed and our people are leading the fight and changing the narrative. We declared war on them and government is determined to deal with it.
“It took years for criminality to take root, and we have a long way to ensure we stop it. No bushes, forest or home will accommodate criminals in Anambra State anymore.”
“Since February 2022, the contribution of oil revenue from NNPC to the Federation Account has been zero and many states have difficulty paying salaries. Thus, with declining revenue in the context of insecurity and a mountain of debt (including over N20 billion in arrears of gratuity to pensioners since 2018) vis-à-vis the sky-high expectations from you (my employers), some fundamental disruptive changes are inevitable.
“I remind everyone who has tried to commiserate with me that I consciously applied for this job, and there will be no excuses. Together, Anambra will win!
“We have spent the last 100 hundred days addressing some key foundational issues: appointed, swore-in and organized a retreat for a new cabinet within five weeks; launched the campaign to mobilize our people to take back our state from criminals and head-on systematic and comprehensive attack on insecurity to restore law and order.
“We also revised 2022 budget and provided unprecedented allocation of 64% for capital/infrastructural development as well as priority for youth development; declared a state of emergency on roads and traffic and preparing to flag-off the construction of over 220 kilometres of roads as the rains subside.
“Similarly, we are getting touts out of our roads and markets; redefining the purpose and character of government focused upon service delivery, as well as prudent and transparent fiscal management.
“We will soon end the phenomenon of schools without teachers and hospitals without doctors by embarking on an ambitious, open and competitive process to recruit thousands of teachers as well as doctors, pharmacists and nurses for our hospitals.
“We are cleaning up the mountains of waste on our roads; working to ensure that entry into and exit from Anambra especially at Amansea and bridge-head Onitsha become pleasurable experience; signaling our urban renewal agenda with illustrative ambitious agenda for cleaning and modernizing Okpoko and Onitsha metropolis as well as other urban centres which will take greater vigor after the rainy season; laying the foundation for our everything technology and technology everywhere agenda.
“Let me assure you that so far, so bumpy but so good! Most people attest that the grave insecurity is being significantly contained, and we are unrelenting.
“All eyes are on the ball and we are determined to ensure that despite the daunting challenges, our State will remain on course to a livable and prosperous smart homeland.
“We remain focused on implementing the Soludo Solution—The People’s Manifesto, with its five driving pillars: Security, Law and Order; Economic Transformation Agenda; Social Agenda; Governance, Rule of Law and Value System; and Environment—towards a clean, green and planned sustainable communities, markets and cities”.
According to Soludo, restoration of the image of Anambra State as a responsible, trustworthy recipient of development programmes by World Bank, African Development Bank, UN, JAPAN, FGN etc by paying Counterpart funding will be pursued vigorously.