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Soludo: Waiting for sunrise

By James Eze
13 November 2021   |   3:09 am
No election in Nigeria in recent times has raised as much hope as last Saturday’s election of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. His victory is a loud shout over the walls. It was heard across Nigeria

[FILES] A campaign billboard showing candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Professor Charles Soludo, also known as Cee Cee Soludo,, also known as Cee Cee Soludo, also known as Cee Cee Soludo,, is seen along the road ahead of next November 6 governorship election in Akwa, Anambra State in southeast Nigeria, on November 3, 2021. – Nigeria’s southeast Anambra state holds elections for local governor’s office on NOvember 6, 2021 in a ballot being widely watched as barometer for the country’s 2023 presidential vote. More than 30,300 police have been dispatched to secure the state where separatist tensions have been on the rise and the vote will test electoral authorities abilities to organise a ballot in difficult circumstances. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

No election in Nigeria in recent times has raised as much hope as last Saturday’s election of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. His victory is a loud shout over the walls. It was heard across Nigeria and beyond. And for the first time, the election of a leader of a sub-national government has caused a mild ripple across the world.

Let’s put it this way; Chukwuma Soludo is probably the first governor-elect to be congratulated by world powers. Reports say that the United Kingdom and the U.S. have both sent goodwill messages to Soludo and commended the process that gave him victory. Many Nigerian statesmen and women have sent theirs too.  

Now, we all know why notable leaders are paying so much attention to Soludo’s election. He represents a true paradigm shift in our collective quest for leadership that is both inspiring and transcendental. He is the archetype of a leader who comes fully prepared for leadership. For years, Nigerians have yearned for a leader whose genius has been acknowledged by much the global authorities. Nigerians have prayed for the best amongst them to be given a chance to lead them. Nigerians have waited for folks who have shown competency to be given a chance to walk their talk. Chukwuma Soludo is that leader! 

He is not alone. Besides him are Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Akinwumi Adesina, Oby Ezekwesili and Arunma Oteh. They belong to an exclusive tribe of Nigerian achievers whose competence has been widely acknowledged beyond Africa. More importantly, though, these technocrats pack an intimidating public sector experience that other achievers who have played only in the private sector do not have. And what’s more? They all left a mark of distinction in office when they answered the call to serve. In particular, Prof. Soludo left deep impressions in the Central Bank with his revolutionary reforms, his daring-do and his obsession with results. He left the bank with recognition as the best Central Bank Governor in the world, back to back for three consecutive times. That performance had left a pang of nostalgia as many Nigerians began to look forward to when this wunderkind who had excelled as governor of a bank would become the governor of a state. It was a long time coming. 

But finally, the future is here for Prof. Soludo. And the world is on the ringside, watching. They are waiting to see how change begins. They want to hear the language of change. They want to know whether the first few steps will be tentative or assured. They want to feel a tremor under their feet, a drop of rain on their heads, a touch of sunlight on their skin…anything that is pleasant, anything that is reassuring. Anything that suggests that truly, change is finally here!

And so for Ndi Anambra, Chukwuma Soludo is the bridge between hope and fulfillment. They expect their famous son who had achieved the single name symbol of excellence long before he went into politics to alter the landscape. They wait for him to bring all their dreams to a touching distance. No longer will Anambra play second fiddle to any state. Soludo’s promise of a prosperous homeland must quickly leave the pages of his manifesto and begin to take shape and form. That is their silent prayer!

For public intellectuals, soapbox magicians, boardroom eggheads and corporate titans, one of their own will soon be in charge of a geopolitical space. One of their own will finally wield executive powers. His decisions will touch millions of lives and change destinies. So, his performance must make a compelling case for people with intellectual weight and proven expertise to be given a chance in political leadership. For so long, Nigeria has suffered in the hands of career politicians whose only claim to relevance is loyalty to a political party.

And finally, for many Nigerians, Soludo’s emergence represents a rupture on the political chessboard. It is a direct stab at a new political consciousness. There is hope that Anambra will be greater under him. There is hope, therefore, that other states will be more motivated to demand that only the best is good enough for them too.

After all, who loses when the best man gets the job? Nobody. Not even his opponents. Who wins when the best man gets the job? Everybody. The society. The country. Humanity. This is why they are all waiting for sunrise.

This why they are all waiting for Soludo.

*Eze, Media Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano, writes from Awka

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