By Carl Umegboro
Anambra governor, Willie Obiano
On November 18, Anambra governor, Willie Obiano having nearly exhausted the two terms pursuant to Section 182(1)[b] of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, will be getting set to transfer the baton. Arguably, his administration sustained the momentum. In fact, it could be argued that Anambra has the most proficient administrations from the era of Dr. Chris Ngige who pigheadedly pulled down ‘godfatherism’ after things fell apart between him and his PDP-godfathers branded as ‘OBJ Boys’. It was a tough ‘do-or-die’ battle between Ngige and then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for control of state power.
No doubt, by 1999 CFRN, all the candidates for the Anambra poll are prima facie qualified having attained the mandatory age of 35years as stipulated, however, looking at the interest of the state, the majority may not satisfactorily fly the cart. The interest of the state should override personal interests. To sustain the enviable progress recorded over the years should be the utmost priority of Ndi-Anambra. Of course, the candidates’ profiles indicate they have individually recorded significant accomplishments in their respective vocation. This is commendable. Almost every one of them can lead organizations however on different heights.
The ‘Light of the Nation’ as ‘baptized’ with its enviable accomplishments has set a standard that must be sustained. Most states in the country particularly in the S’East are looking up to Anambra as a pacesetter on account of the good leadership it has consecutively maintained. In other words, Ndi-Anambra must resist egocentrism and extreme political intrigues at this time. Ndi-Anambra should endorse a candidate with proven managerial capability - managed capital and human resources credibly with economic growth and contemporary innovations. Nothing beats administrative experience. Short-and long-term economic development cannot be gathered by embryonic struggles.
Looking at the aspirants, one undeniable fact is that each of them has excelled one way or the other. Particularly, none is lacking in terms of dough which is also important. In fact, all of them are philanthropists with many chieftaincy titles. Some had supported the less-privileged in the society. Some had supported communities with funds and social amenities. Some have supported churches. These good gestures must be appreciated irrespective of motives. On private enterprise, they have chains of businesses running to their credits, thus prudence is established. That is to say that the ‘Light of the Nation’ is no doubt, endowed with human resources.
But taking a look at the standard the state has sustained vis-à-vis economic growth through preceding administrations up to the present, it suggests that though all the contenders could score high in their respective endeavors, the majority may not be sufficiently stout as to step into the big shoes to steer the affairs of the state from the point the incumbent will vacate. To call a spade a spade, Anambra Government-House is a big shoe yearning for a strong leg in terms of managerial skills, otherwise, it will drop in value and worth. The space cannot be properly occupied with mere private business acumen or philanthropic activities but proficiency in corporate governance and economic spheres. If being a philanthropist and Streetman can produce good leadership, governor of Ekiti state then, Ayo Fayose with his ‘Stomach Infrastructure Ministry’ could have taken Ekiti to enviable heights. Fayose didn’t only flex with the masses, he actually moved on motorcycles, not power-bikes, and shared, ate roasted plantains and groundnuts with the grassroots. Fayose also shared foodstuffs, cash, and petty things with the people.
On the international scene, former US President, Donald Trump’s political career at the White House for 4 years should be an eye-opener. Nemo dat quod non habet rules states, “no one gives what they do not have”. Trump managed his chains of businesses ‘successfully’ as a magnate who hires and fires at will. But, that’s not the same with the public sector. Arguably, Trump failed woefully in managing the public office. There’s a great difference between steering a private business and a democratic government. Experience cannot be procured. Administrative know-how comes from unswerving training garnered for a long period. Today, America is soaring, regaining its rightful position in the space, and making progress from all sides through Joe Biden’s administration. This is noteworthy. S‘East gullibly made a similar blunder earlier in Abia State. Till today, Abia is paying the price for not endorsing the former boss of defunct Diamond bank, Dr. Alex Otti. What a misadventure.
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Amongst contenders for forthcoming Anambra governorship poll is the ex-CBN boss, Professor Chukwuma Soludo. The seasoned Professor of Economics has credibly managed human and capital resources in the public sector and applauded in all given tasks both within and the international community. By his expertise and ranking, Soludo should be in the frontline for the office of Nigeria’s president whether by rotational arrangement or competence. In other words, Soludo’s offer to lead his state should be cheered as a height of humility and love for Ndi-Anambra. A national figure of repute with requisite political clout for national leadership submits to lead the home state, what an archetype. By body language, Soludo’s message to society is ‘charity must begin from home’. Thus, this is not the time for ‘it’s our turn; ‘Anambra South, North or Central’ at the expense of merit.
The dangerous blooper and temptation Ndi-Anambra must doggedly resist are to allow the big fish that providentially entered into their net to escape carelessly from them. Soludo as a governor symbolizes sustained economic growth. Soludo as the captain of the ship symbolizes a revolution in the education sector that restores declining value in education in Igboland at large. Soludo deserves to emerge unopposed. Methinks his contenders should submit themselves to support Soludo, perhaps, by their humanitarian tendencies, settle for LGA chairman positions in their respective domains to take governance down to the masses. Agreed, constitutionally, they are all qualified, but merit should guide. The level of development in Anambra doesn’t encourage ‘trial-and-errors’ or a novice to wear the shoes. Anambra mustn’t retrogress as other S‘East states.
Umegboro, ACIArb is a public affairs analyst and social crusader
Umegboro, ACIArb is a public affairs analyst and social crusader