RUN, CHUKWUMA SOLUDO, RUN!

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Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo doesn’t need any introduction in the Nigeria’s space. He is one of the connoisseurs that both the intelligentsia within and international communities always doff off caps whenever they mount a stage to deliver lectures on economic and management issues. Another figure in the class is the Director General, World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The duo in particular, if not that democracy compulsorily demands electoral-franchise – freewill to choose a leader, ought not to contest for any electoral office in the country. Soludo is a member of the British Department for International Development’s (DFID) International Advisory Group. In Nigeria, he is a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee, and holds other sensitive positions both far and near. These scorecards speak volume.

Politics aside, Soludo has distinguished himself and become a force to be reckoned with vis-à-vis impacts to the national economic strata. I repeat, the eloquent professor of Economics, under normal circumstances, shouldn’t fight with mere politicians to lead any state in the country on account of his management skills, exposure and experiences over the years. Nobody can argue that Soludo is not overqualified for the office of the governor having creditably led the Central Bank of Nigeria as its governor with enviable scorecards, and also, as chairman, CBN Board of Directors. Anambra indigenes should somewhat count themselves lucky to have Soludo considering what he would bring to the table. To be candid, Soludo has all it takes to deliver for the office of Nigeria’s President.

Beyond that, it shows that Anambra is indeed prosperous by progressive records on her governors. After Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s administration of the Peoples Democratic Party which was hijacked and frustrated by godfatherism, the state had continued to take upward dimensions successively with visible impacts. To sustain the momentum, a square peg must necessarily be positioned to a square hole. The first-class brand, Soludo should therefore be embraced with massive support. The aspirants that hitherto showed up or about to, should place the interests of the state above personal interests which convincingly, doesn’t go beyond mere desire to answer ‘Mr. Governor’. Anambra needs a man with expertise, proficiency and capacity to take the state to the next level from its present position. The state has gone beyond ‘trial and error’ leadership which opportune politicians always resort to when in office as witnessed in her neighbouring states and beyond.

The former US President, Donald Trump’s administration should teach scores of lessons to politicians and electorate. To become successful in private businesses or assemble mere academic certificates shouldn’t only be the factor to vie for public service. Adequate experiences can never be overemphasized. What America faced under Trump administration showed there’s a difference between managing private business empires and public office. And the office of the governor particularly for a state like Anambra that has grown progressively shouldn’t be used as a learning field on public administration. Nobody needs to be told that Trump despite being a successful businessman messed up America – the world’s leading nation.

Suffice to say that irrespective of the platform a good candidate embraces should be supported massively. This is not a time for party politics but for strengthening and advancing Anambra towards the sky. Anambra governorship politics should go beyond ‘money-politics’ or cheapened to charities to indigent communities during election periods. The state needs a tested technocrat that would promote commerce, entrepreneurship. To call spade a spade, Anambra Government House doesn’t need amateur or local players for the office of the governor. Other states may fit in but not Anambra. The state has made tremendous progresses in various dimensions, and therefore, consolidation alongside progression is essential. Soludo has held a sensitive position exclusively set aside for experts, and he delivered. In other words, the economics guru is predictable based on his antecedents. Anambra cannot afford to make the mistake Americans made by allowing a novice to power, and ended up in monumental regrets. Someone that has managed and impacted institutions cannot be equated with people with only litany of unrealistic promises, and without any record of administrative savvies.

This has continued to be the problem in the country. Most times, people without adequate skills gear up for sensitive positions, and at the end, subject the people and their destinies to misery and poverty. Politicians often see public office as ‘turn-by-turn’. But it goes beyond it. It must have both immediate and long-term positive impacts on the people. The country is looking forward to a time all the states will be manned by technocrats competing for significant impacts in the lives of their people, and not just opportunists. That’s the overall essence of leadership.

Carl Umegboro, is a public affairs analyst and Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators