A former commissioner in Anambra State and an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant for the forthcoming election in the state, Sir Azuka Okwuosa, in this interview, speaks on the boast by the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to retain the state. ANAYO EZUGWU reports
What are your thoughts on the recent declaration by a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof, Chukwuma Soludo for the Anambra State governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the belief in some quarters that he is the candidate to beat?
Eleven years after he began his serial contest for Anambra State governorship, it is regrettable to note that Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, is yet to learn useful lessons in politics. As a governorship hopeful on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), I was appalled when my attention was drawn to Soludo’s claim that his rivals for the 2022 governorship are small boys.
The former CBN governor had in an interaction with journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital, described his rivals in the November 6, governorship contest as small boys that are yet to garner 10 per cent of the global or national network he enjoys. What is your response to that claim?
You will recall that during his unsuccessful run for Anambra governorship in 2010, Soludo claimed that he would transform the state to a mix of Dubai and Taiwan, without reflecting on the feasibility of blending the different economic systems of the two Asian and Middle East towns. It is painful that the former CBN governor fails to respect history in his haste to talk down on others as if he is talking to undergraduate students, who look up to him for guidance for their educational uplift. Although Soludo may be directly referring to the caliber of aspirants on his own faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance, his careless and condescending talk indirectly affects aspirants on other political platforms, of which APC is promi-nent.
Don’t you see Soludo leveraging on the power of incumbency which APGA presently enjoys during the election?
As a politician who has been around Anambra State, I wish to respectfully inform Soludo that the power of incumbency, which he has been coveting ever since he began the chase for the governorship of Anambra State, would fail him yet again. Fresh from his loss of a second term appointment as CBN governor, Soludo depended on the promise of federal backing through the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, and emerged as a disputed consensus candidate out of a total of 47 aspirants through a dubious process amid credible legal challenges. In 2013, the former CBN governor crossed over from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) based on a confidence artifice of a former APGA national chairman, who promised him that the party’s ticket was available to him at a fee. Then in 2017, Soludo decided to act as chief salesman for Governor Willie Obiano’s second term in exchange for a possible support with the power of incumbency in the 2021 governorship election. Going by his political track, it is obvious that in his illusive grandeur, Prof. Soludo, is blinded by arrogance and transactional political style to humbly apply to serve the people of Anambra State. We are therefore inclined to inform the former CBN governor that just as the lure of power of incumbency and easy win failed him in previous attempts, the November 6, 2021 governorship election would not be any different.
What is your advice to Soludo as he goes about with his campaign for his party’s ticket?
He should know the difference between boardroom swagger and partisan politics and cease from talking down on citizens, who hold equal stake in the polity, after all, what Anambra needs is a servant leader and not a boastful egghead, who is in a hurry to bamboozle and intimidate. In 2010, when journalists asked him why he was contesting the governorship, when popular aspirants like Dr. Chris Ngige are in the race, Soludo demonstrated similar impudence by claiming that mad men could also be popular. Soludo should know that as an aspiring leader his words should be mixed with salt to edify and guide the younger ones on the path of decorum and mutual respect, instead of talking garrulously like Idi Amin Dada of Uganda.