Let me begin by saying that in the coming election, many people want to be the governor of Anambra State, few have passion for the growth of the state but one vision stands out.
At the return of democracy in 1999 Anambra experienced instability. The state was in comatose during Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju era. It was a battle between political son and political father that grounded the socio-economic activities in the state. Then came Dr. Chris Ngige who was abducted in a civilian coup by his political fathers who are now campaigning to govern the state. To show their might, they masterminded the burning of some government properties. In the midst of this chaos, Ngige was able to lay the foundation for infrastructural development.
As Mr. Peter Obi emerged the governor, in the eight years of his administration, he maintained the stability of the state and accomplished many developmental goals. Chief Willie Obiano despite his average performance further pursued infrastructural development that today a Cargo airport is in the state. It will be in his interest to bequeath a stable state to his successor.
People often attribute many losses or gains to political parties but it also largely depends on the vision of the individual that is at the helm.
Anambra has had it bad and as well good. The sorry state of things in the years gone should not be recalled because some people are selfishly playing politics with the future of the state. That is why voters should look beyond those seeking to be installed to pillage the state and return it to a chaotic state where workers are not paid, and state properties burnt.
If Anambra performs better, it will be the pride of the region.
The vision to embrace
In Igbo land, men of vision and political grit are far from the government houses and should Igbo people desire good governance, then, they should begin to embrace those who have a workable vision irrespective of political parties.
When I wrote “The kind of governor that Anambra state needs“, I did not realise that I was writing about Prof. Chukwuma Soludo whose vision, carefully put together, termed ‘The Peoples’ Manifesto for A Greater Anambra’ fit into the governor I described.
When Soludo touted his “Anambra 2030: Envisioning the African Dubai, Taiwan and Silicon Valley”, some people thought that he was being idealistic and at best utopian. In that paper, he said, “There is a total disconnect between our potentials and outcomes; between our individuals talents/endowments and our collective accomplishments. As individuals and communities, we have succeeded, but as a state or a people, we have failed.” He said Anambra “is certainly one of the most richly endowed states in terms of human capital in Nigeria.”
Having realised this situation, as Mr. Peter Obi would ask, ‘is it a curse, or are we the cause’? It could be understood that the people are the cause, because it is not a curse for a state to be endowed with material and human capital.
The people are the cause when they continuously choose politicians without any solution to the myriad of the problems and who lack the political acumen to utilize these potentials to make the state the shining light. ‘The Soludo Solution’ beams a light to how these potentials will be harnessed and utilized for the good of the state and the region.
When we look back to the times of Michael Okpara thinking of when such leaders will emerge again, let us look at Chukwuma Soludo; there is something he wants to bequeath the state. As a macro-economist of international repute, Soludo is in a position to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the state. As a Central Bank Governor (CBN), he stabilized the country’s economy and ensured he brought CBN to Anambra state.
Soludo said, if elected, “the primary target is sustainable and inclusive wealth creation with jobs, with a target of 130,000 private sectors per annum.” With such a target, poverty will be tackled as Anambra will be the next destination for private sector entrepreneurs.
His vision outlined in his ‘contract with Ndi Anambra’ includes positioning Anambra as an industrial hub, making the state a centre of excellence for human capital development, efficient public service, guaranteed rule of law and property rights, care for the vulnerable, formalising ‘Adopt a school’ programme, designate a new industrial and technology park, deepen regional integration and promoting and patronising the ‘Made in Anambra’ products and so much more.
To pursue these lofty ideas, there are still existential challenges to overcome which include; annual flooding, bad roads, erosion, electricity among others. The vision outlined in the Soludo Solution, if applied carefully, these challenges will be surmounted.
In this era of technological advancement, the Soludo Solution will be handy to lift the state from the doldrums of the chaotic past to the future we can be proud of. We should all embrace his vision and set Anambra to the path of a glorious future.