· Ex-Jonathan’s aide canvasses credible primaries
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo yesterday said he was ready to service Anambra State, his home state after serving Nigeria and the world in different capacities for decades.
Likewise, a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Technical Matters, Mr. Akachukwu Nwankpo also indicated interest in the election scheduled for November 6, tasking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to conduct a credible primary election.
The two aspirants, who are seeking APGA’s nomination, disclosed their aspiration in separate news conferences yesterday with promises to deploy their competency, experiences and social contacts to develop and serve Anambra State.
While Soludo addressed journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital with a clear mission statement, Nwankpo unveiled his governorship aspiration in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area (LGA) expressing confidence he would defeat the CBN’s former governor.
Speaking in Akwa yesterday, Soludo explained his quest to become the governor of Anambra State, noting that he was seeking the office “ not to enrich himself or better his life, as God has blessed him with everything he needs.”
Soludo, a renowned professor of Econometrics, added that he “is in the governorship race because I believe God did not make a mistake by making me an Anambra indigene. I have finished serving with the world.
“I have also done my bit in Nigeria. I now want to help develop my own state. I am not running for this election so that I can make money or so that I can enhance my curriculum vitae. I am in this race to develop my home state.
“In my 30s, I achieved everything that every man wanted to achieve. I have travelled to all continents of the world and consulted for over 20 top financial institutions of the world. I am here to change the state for good.
“If anyone thinks that governance is about going to Abuja to collect money, use part of it to pay workers and use the rest to award contracts, then that person is mistaken. If that is what governance is about, I will not be in the race because that is something my grandmother can do.
“We are talking about using our contacts all over the world to generate funds that we can use to develop our state at little or no cost to us. It is something I can do, and by the way, I have not seen anyone who is in the race, who has the contacts I have or even the pedigree.
“We have touched many institutions and they changed. It is time to touch Anambra. After all the work I have done in various places, I asked myself what else I can do as a sign of gratitude to God, I said let God use me as a gift to change Anambra State. That is why I am here,” Soludo said.
Also at a session with journalists yesterday, Nwankpo said he would defeat Soludo if the APGA conducted a credible, free and fair primary election.
He said Soludo “is a very brilliant Anambra son, who is renowned and well travelled. I once teased him by asking him why he is in the guber race while he ought to be in world space. I hear Okonjo-Iweala every day, doing all the things she is doing around the world.
“We believe he should be there too. That is the kind of place that befits him. So, the notion that the APGA ticket is settled and reserved for him is a strategy to convince everyone that the APGA race for the ticket is closed.
“It is a brilliant approach, but it is not true. It is only a gimmick to scare us. I have never heard the party leaders say that the door is closed against other aspirants. But somehow our great professor has convinced all that they should stay away, because he negotiated the ticket many years ago.
“I have knocked on APGA’s door and it has opened. That is why I am convinced the door is not shut yet. APGA is a democratic party and very rooted in democracy, so I have no fear that the ticket has been reserved for anyone.”
He likened what Soludo was doing to the strategy former Governor Peter Obi used to win reelection, when he got Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu; then leader of the party to endorse him for a second term as his last wish.