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OPINION: Gov. Soludo and the ‘Nzogbu-Nzogbu’ politics!



Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, is a gentleman who was a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. As an economist he distinguished himself as the CBN Governor reforming the banking system and posting landmark achievements. He has since moved on moving up the political ladder by winning the Anambra State governorship under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Having been craving for the position he now occupies (including being beaten to it in the distant past by ex-Governor Peter Obi) it is conceivable that Prof. Soludo may be nursing a presidential ambition in the future.

Ambition is not a crime and Soludo can dream on and hope for more progress in his political career. But he cannot afford to use Ndigbo to rise to the top by playing the ‘saint’ among the lot. He is far from being a paragon for all we care about.

Even before his celebrated emergence as Anambra State Governor we have dutifully supported his candidature convinced that he was the best man for the job. We intervened more than once with unflattering essays drumming support for him online. As indigenes of Ndi-Anambra we felt we owe it to history and posterity to take a position. We do not know Soludo in person and we have never exchanged any conversation with him in writing or verbally.

Governor Soludo is in the news lately for his incendiary damaging campaign against the person of Peter Obi and his presidential ambition. He had fired the first salvo while featuring on an Arise TV interview recently where he claimed that Obi’s much-vaunted investments in the state were worth “next to nothing now”! Following the backlash online and offline that greeted his remark the Governor upped the ante by authoring a vindictive lengthy piece entitled: “History Beckons And I Will Not Be Silent (Part 1)”. In the diatribe he pulled punches setting the record straight as it were.

For one, Prof. Soludo took on the toga of Nostradamus when he declared gleefully that Obi could not win the next presidential poll slated for February next year in Nigeria. For another, he hinted that APGA was the third political force in Nigeria given their national presence! And for yet another, he claimed that the roads Obi constructed in Anambra State during his years had been washed off by floods!

He even accused Obi of corruption for having a shareholding hand in some of the companies! But what he never told us was why the ‘investments’ were bastardized and by whom? Are they not yielding taxes anymore to the state? Should we blame Obi for the inflation and fluctuation of the Naira? The Governor ought to know better or he was playing to the gallery in desperate search of attention or future relevance presidentially.

Besides, Soludo insisted that he had nothing personal against Obi telling whoever cared to listen that they still met each other and talked to each other. Again, he hammered on the ‘nzogbu-nzogbu’ mentality of Igbo politics labelling it as ’emotive’. In other words, he described the Igbos as politically-naive and ignorant of Nigerian political reality!

Reading through the lengthy essay one came out with the impression that Gov. Soludo was gunning for something best known to him. Again, something pointed to the fact that he still had an axe to grind with Peter Obi. Perhaps, because he had counselled Obi to come back to APGA to pursue his presidential ambition and the latter ‘snubbed’ him then his desire to preside over our national affairs were dead on arrival.

Peter Obi had reacted rather moderately and responsibly to the Soludo attacks by declaring that he was a “trader” and now that a “Professor-economist” was in charge he should do those things he (Obi) failed to do in Anambra state as Governor. The irony or sarcasm in his measured response demonstrated his statesmanship and wittiness.

Professor Soludo has lately unmasked himself as an arrogant politician with an eye on the future. He sounds haughty today and tomorrow he portrays himself as more ‘intelligent’ than the rest of the politicians. Yet, the truth is worth pointing out here that what Soludo is engaged in lately, a campaign of calumny against the ‘Obi-dient’ leader, is borne out of envy or a hatchet job for the opposition.

Can Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu say that Asiwaju Tinubu, his godfather, milked Lagos dry during his double tenure as Lagos Governor? Or that he still reaps bountifully from the state resources using proxy companies? Can the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, ever be bold enough to castigate Atiku Abubakar in public?

Something does not sit well with the Soludo outburst. Or is he still nursing the defeat he suffered, inflicted by Obi as the two battled for Anambra state gubernatorial primaries of APGA?

What is behind Soludo’s ‘dis-Obidient’ rantings? What is motivating him to go to ‘war’ with a good man who never disrespected him nor disparaged him?

Well, we reckon that Soludo is frustrated by the prospects of Obi becoming President next year! Politics of bitterness then becomes a sure way of assuaging his feelings. Or how else does one understand the Soludo nonsensical vituperations? If the so-called “investments” Obi made in Anambra had depreciated do we now hold the ex-Governor of CBN responsible for the Naira battering going on now?

We concede that the army of ‘Obi-dients’ are often uncouth in their online engagements with opponents and anti-Obi elements. But Obi and his movement do not have a monopoly over cyberspace. Everyone is free to canvas for support for their respective candidates online. The “social media mob” Soludo was alluding to emerged out of its own making. Obi never forced anyone to be Obi-dient nor asked them to bully any opponent.

By saying that the Labour Party is “structure-less” was Soludo telling us that APGA is more popular in Nigeria today than the Labour Party? He must be a foolish man to think that in any national electoral contest APGA would come out top against the LP.

READ ALSO: ‘As a professor, do more for Anambra,’ Peter Obi challenges Soludo

Obi went to the Labour Party because he was convinced he could build the party to become a national vehicle for presidential power. It takes something or somebody to build something out of nothing! If the Labour party is nurtured correctly avoiding booby traps and internal wranglings then it could become the third force in Nigeria and not APGA which has no national appeal.

Between Governor Soludo and the ‘nzogbu-nzogbu’ politics he alluded to in his treatise, therefore, we hold that the Governor is playing a spoiler for reasons best known to him. He had a point and pointed it out forthrightly but he failed to give the killer-punch!

Peter Obi may not win the presidential poll early next year. But the Obi-dient movement would endure and perdure. In the next four or eight years, if the movement maintains its current momentum going forward, Obi’s victory would mark a turning point in politics in Nigeria’s history.

And then, when that happens eventually, the naysayers, including the Anambra State incumbent Governor, would be forced to acknowledge greatness!

The only advice we have for our able grandstanding Governor is for him to concentrate on the many challenges facing Anambra State. Challenges like insecurity and kidnapping, erosion and flooding; challenges like poverty and unemployment. By the time his first tenure ends we can then compare him with Obi and contrast their performance or achievements.

For now the Obi-dients must be left alone to concentrate on the daunting task of making the broken system work for them. And above all, making their votes count next year.

Distraction (especially one emanating from Awka) is, therefore, not welcome! Ignoring ‘Soludoism’ or ‘Soludo-Solution’ becomes imperative, going forward.

AUTHOR:By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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