A new reality of life is dawning on Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. He arguably must have known that being a Central bank governor is not synonymous with being a state governor. But today, he has a practical dimension to that lone knowledge. One is an appointment, the other a political mandate. One requires professional know-how, the other an integral administrative skill and sagacity. One is administered adorning suites and other corporate dressing outfits. The other on rolled sleeves (especially in Africa).
It is two months hence that the globally-acclaimed economist and intellectual mounted the saddle in Anambra state and he has seen what Caesar saw around 47 BC in his short war against Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela. But to be fair, he is breathing heavily, giving off the steam that the “veni vidi vinci” of Caesar is not in sight in his battle with miscreants in the state. His audacious bid to rid the state of arsonists and masked terrorists is met with ruthless resistance from the same species of underworld men.
In his 2010 and 2014 bid for the office, his campaign mantra was “Anambra needs the Soludo solutions.” That’s a usual slogan for academics when they venture into politics. Recall, former MD of Nigeria Breweries, Festus Odimegwu (a first-class intellectual) once bragged on his governorship campaign billboards that “the first-class governor must rule Imo state.”
But on the saddle, Prof. Soludo is facing a hard fact.
It’s not enough to be an intellectual. Cerebral sufficiency must be matched with streetwise adjunctiveness. A cocktail of ruggedness in a corporate office. And the governor evidently proves that he knew better. He had folded his sleeves and romped up his trousers. And the work has begun like war.
Before his current frontal assault on those daredevils, social critics like Chidozie Okafor had admonished: “If all Soludo does or plans to do is to speak grammar and appeal to the morality of those who have no morals, then he has failed even before starting”
As if he read the exhortation, the professor governor matched his words with printable actions. And Anambra will never remain the same again. It is not going to be an easy ride; not after a certain misguided Simon Ekpa riffraffishly threatened him in a tweet when he ordered an end to the economic cankerworm of “Monday sit-at-home.” In his prodigality, Ekpa spoke on behalf of IPOB, which would later issue a disclaimer against him, but they forgot that he was only fanning the embers of their conflagrative firestorm template.
So far, His Excellency has done well, by not backing down on his resolve to sanitize the state despite the gaping challenges.
However, he is falling into one usual and endemic gaffers. His claim that those criminals were not from Anambra is irreproducible. There had been a prevailing ridiculous culture of finger-pointing in the state. They’re often seen blaming other states for their misfortunes. “It is usually Nsukka people that drive rough and beats traffic order on Anambra roads. It is usually Abakaliki people who engage in theft in the state.” Anambra natives are saints, their neighbouring states are not. Even when their own young people are caught hand-in-cookies, they are often exonerated on the excuse that they learnt it from ‘ndi mba’ (settlers).
I have a benefactress from Awka. In the past two years, she has been going from one police station to another bailing her niece who belonged to the ring leadership of bad guys in town, that terrorize the area. When I asked her the plan of her family about handling the boy’s seeming decision to bring perpetual shame to his lineage, she immediately became sympathetic. “He was not born like that. He learnt all these behaviours from ndi mba (immigrants)” was her response.
Incidentally, by defending the rots in their own people, Anambra has unknowingly made its cities abode of homegrown socially averse deviants and juvenile delinquents.
“From the statistics so far, 85 per cent of people arrested come from one of the states in the South East and the remaining 15 per cent from another state in the Southeast” reported The Guardian newspaper of April 08, quoting the governor.
This is a very convenient way to defame others and hide under the rhetorics of feeling good among one’s people. Meanwhile, it cannot be denied that just thirty days into office, the governor has outperformed his contemporaries in terms of walking the talk.
I concur with Barr. Ezugwu Okike in his short submission: “Prof. Soludo is doing what a leader should ordinarily do. He is trying to secure his people and save their economy from the imprudent, ruinous, nefarious activities of non-state actors. It is immaterial if he does not succeed. It is also immaterial if his moves keep provoking dire consequences. This is the primary responsibility of leadership. That we prefer the wisdom of the “governments” that are yet to issue any official statement over this stupid Monday sit-at-home is one of the wonders of the modern world. It is also a moral disgrace.”
In an essay titled: “Nnewi Arson: Soludo and the Memo from Criminals” Chidozie Okafor wrote: “Soludo must stamp his feet on the ground demonstrate the capacity to combine the smooth skills of a Rolls Royce chauffeur with the brutality and devil may care attitude of a Nigerian trailer driver.”Be it the members of Nnamdi Kanu’s ESN, IPOB or just freelance criminals or perhaps those sponsored by opposition politicians in the state. They want to know how far he is willing to combine brain and raw brawn.
Ndi Anambra must move quickly to reclaim their land. They have to wake up from finger-pointing blame games and see within its genealogy, eponymous roots rotten in social vices.
These cancerous root cells have felled prominent Anambra sons like Dr. Chike Akunyili, Prof. I. O. Onyemelukwe, Chief Gab Ofoma in the last few months. Onitsha Main Market and Nnewi Market are major economic channels for individuals and government in Anambra State. They have lost over 10 trillion naira since this madness began.
Why is Anambra and its people the biggest victims of this blinkering madness? Ndi Anambra must wake up and smell the coffee. Clearly, the IPOB terrorist group that has thrived in deception and lies is not happy that for once in more than 20 years, someone is taking responsibility to develop a part of Igboland. IPOB patrons are clearly not happy with Soludo. Their gunmen have been mobilised to demoralise and weaken his spirit.
These idiots killing and disrupting the economic wellbeing of the state must be identified and punished using every military and traditional tool available. Gov. Soludo needs every coordinated support he can ever get at this point.
May daylight spare us!
– Jude Eze.
08099062006 (sms/whatsApp only).