Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has assured that leaders of opposition parties in the state will not only vote overwhelmingly but also campaign vigorously for the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6 gubernatorial election in the state.
The governor is confident that the APGA candidate, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, will win up to 90% of votes in the governorship because of the “immense popularity of his nomination among all Nigerians who want the best for Nigeria, starting with Anambra State”.
In an email message today to the Anambra State Media Team headed by Information and Public Enlightenment Commissioner C. Don Adinuba, Chief Obiano revealed that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders across the nation “are among the almost uncountable number of Nigerians who have been congratulating the people of Anambra State on Soludo’s emergence as the APGA gubernatorial candidate last Wednesday”.
He expressed surprise at what he called the deluge of congratulatory and solidarity messages following the erstwhile Central Bank of Nigeria governor’s nomination at the APGA state congress held at Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.
“All my phones have been buzzing ceaselessly”, he wrote.
“None of my four telephones can take text or WhatsApp messages any more. There are too many messages in the inbox of each of my personal and official email addresses.
“It is all about Soludo”.
The messages, according to him, “have been coming from development partners, the organized private sector, bishops, clerics, market union leaders, professional associations, the organized labour, traditional rulers, town unions, student bodies, two former presidents, numerous former state governors, academics, writers, ndi Anambra in the Diaspora, National Assembly members, heads of federal and international agencies, people with physical disabilities, petty traders, and so on”.
The governor compared the acclaim which greeted Soludo’s nomination as APGA’s flag bearer to his reelection in November 2017 which saw him win overwhelmingly in each of the 21 local government areas in the state, an unrivalled achievement in the state.
“The popularity of our choice of Soludo”, he continued, “is comparable to such developments as the landing of three aircraft on Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport on April 30, 2021, a mere 15 months after work began on the international airport built without borrowing from any bank and without owing the contactors.
“Almost every person who matters in our dear state has called me to thank the people of Anambra State for choosing Soludo as the governor in waiting.
“The magic of it all is that I have received calls from members of the leading opposition parties who have promised to issue statements supporting Professor Soludo’s candidature even though they will remain in their respective parties.
“In fact, I spoke to a highly respected member of the National Assembly from the Southeast this morning who said that he is inspired by the choice of Soludo that he has now made up his mind to run for the governor of his state so that his state can be made like Anambra in development”.
Chief Obiano quoted the federal lawmaker as stating that the whole of the Southeast, rather than one state, should leapfrog in developmental terms.
If the Southeast could develop rapidly within 30 years like Dubai, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore or even Vietnam, according to the National Assembly member, the rest of Nigeria would follow suit.
The legislator recalled that the defunct Eastern Nigerian Region was the world’s fastest growing economy up to the time of Nigeria’s first military coup in January, 1966, because of what he called healthy competition among the four regions of the First Republic.
“When Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe built Nigeria’s first bank in the 1950s when he was the Eastern Regional premier”, he said, “the West under Chief Awolowo’s leadership responded to African Continental Bank’s emergence by establishing the National Bank and Sir Ahmadu Bello reacted by building the Bank of the North.
“Also when Zik established Nigeria’s first indigenous university in 1960, the Western Region under Chief Samuel Akintola built the University of Ife and the North built Ahmadu Bello University.
“In the same manner, when the Michael Okpara government in Enugu started farm settlements all over Eastern Nigeria with the assistance of the Israelis, Western Nigeria did exactly the same thing, resulting in a dramatic rise in food supply in both regions.
“This is the development trajectory which Nigeria has to reenact to be competitive in the 21st century”.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.