Sunday, June 11

Anambra State Governor, Soludo’s 20-Days Scorecard

By Mazi Ejimofor 

Exactly 20 days ago, (17th March, 2022), Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo resumed duty at Agụ Awka as the Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State. So far, his performance appraisal is satisfactory vis-à-vis the immediate expectation from his Employers – Ndị Anambra. 

There is nothing in his promised resumption work schedule that has not been accomplished. He promised to hit the ground running from day one; this has been religiously observed with 3 strategic meetings. Firstly, there was a meeting with the Security Chiefs, then he met with the Permanent Secretaries of various Ministeries, and lastly, he received briefings from Okpoko stakeholders as prelude to his historic Day – 2 visit to Okpoko and key suburbs of the Onitsha metropolis.

Soludo’s visit to Okpoko on the 18th of March 2022 is one with inspirational consequence. This singular act, not only signalled the cleaning of the area, it restored hope to over 1.5million slum dwellers who have perennially lived with the thought that good, credible governance is an alien reality not meant for people like them who must survive, irrespective of their means. 

Soludo strolled through acknowledging their despair, and from the rubbles of their abandonment, he has started his first experiment of a liveable and prosperous smart megacity. This is evident in the ongoing cleanup of the entire area, with massive desilting and evacuation of waste from the streets of Okpoko, Onitsha and parts of Idemili North. 

Something more pungent than the heaps of debris dotting the Okpoko landscape is the existential threat posed by desperate separatist movements of the security architecture of the State. As one who understands the disadvantaging potency of the agitators’ prevailing ideology and the pervasive ignorance that comes with it and Identifying this  as the most important reason behind a struggle that has been hijacked by criminals under the pretext of freedom fighting, he will do all within his power to stop this machinations.

Thus, while the clean up and reclamation of the Okpoko masterplan is in place, a more painstaking process is the emancipation of the peoples’ minds which have been lost to years of successive political leadership inaction, exercerbated by a virulent propaganda machinery that threatens the authority of the State through armed resistance by non-state actors. Indeed, this is a more important clean-up that must be abated most tactically.

So far, Soludo has reached out with a bag full of carrots  –  a strategy some think is too tepid to even scratch the surface of a life threatening issue. For many who know Soludo, cowardice is not one  of his many features, neither is being passive a choice for him in the face of assertiveness. What then has changed? Soludo believes that guns cannot be used to kill an ideology. We hope this approach would not be taken for granted. However, where life continues to fritter under the guns of intractable emotions, Soludo is not one who is in want of the will to wield the big stick.

Just like his novel transition committee list, the truth, justice and peace committee he has put together is another testament to his reach and depth in statecraft. Before this, was the “peace building and security dialogue” which featured the best of Anambra’s intelligentsia and political class. So far, his politics is uniting, administration has been professional and civic engagement done in real time. Soludo is one of the few State Governors with an active social media presence. In 20 days, Soludo has worked his talk. As we march through the next 80 days when we shall be analysing his first 100 days in office, the indications are clear that Charley Nwa Mgbafor is far from failure.

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