Research consultant RALPH ANYACHO counsels that Continuity is not a campaignable theme for Soludo but that his capabilities are.

Before the APGA Primary, I did an analysis of the opportunities and chances of APGA the ruling party in Anambra State. In the piece entitled “The Bell Will Toll for APGA if…” I made a prediction. The Party would go down if at the end of the primary they fail to select an outstanding flag bearer. Luckily, the Party returned a personality in the person of Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

Two months after that primary and despite the flurry of court actions and the uncertainties surrounding who eventually becomes the flag bearer, the parties are gradually rolling out their campaign drums. From utterances of the APGA candidate and party Chiefs in public space, it is obvious that Continuity will be the theme of Professor Charles Soludo’s campaign.

If this is correct, I fault it.

I am not a Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, renowned for prediction of outcomes of elections. I don’t want to be a seer who would prophecize an election result not minding peoples sentiments about his prophesy. Thus, mine is not a power of prophesy but a probability estimation based on socio-dynamic research results. Years of exposure to media research, campaign planning and management have given me some insights upon which to make a prediction.

Continuity not a campaignable theme for Soludo

Campaign theme is a platform upon which political communication is anchored. The theme must be right and must resonate with the audience. The Theme must be in synergy with it’s subthemes and in fact any other campaign materials. This is the way to attract attention, hold interest, create desire and ultimately result in action, which is voting for the candidate and his party at the polls. One may ask, what is there to attract the attention of Ndi Anambra voters if Soludo chooses “continuity” as theme? What is there to hold their interest, translate it to desire and ultimately to action – voting for APGA?

Continuity pre-supposes that a programme is already in place and current actions are required to further it’s progress. For continuity to pass the test of being campaignable, it must first be acceptable to the general public. There must, in fact, be a discernible programme that can be evaluated and whose outcome is capable of satisfying human need.

Analysts are of the opinion that the Obiano government had no programme. It then becomes difficult to assess his administrations successes and failures. Conversely, one could hear about “ANIDS” – Anambra Integrated Development Strategy, a programme that was once run in the State, which stands as a good example.

Listening to Chief Obiano speak, one would not hear a coordinated field of results emanating from planned and programmed activities. You would rather hear something like: building bridges and other peripheral projects and recently of the Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, hastily constructed in a record 15 months, which has no history of fiscal appropriation by the State House of Assembly. But the hardest knock which even some party members of APGA join in giving to Chief Obiano is his rapacity to abandon projects started by his administration.

Continuity not a campaignable theme for Soludo

His abandoned projects, especially roads abound in most communities. His CCTV project at security flashpoints in the State has become a mirage as Upper Iweka in Onitsha continues in it’s unenviable role as travelers nightmare. What of the vegetable export business, is it still going on? Good road network, an asset cherished by Ndi Anambra is in bad shape due to lack of maintenance. In the absence of a discernible programme and tangible results, is there any propriety in using CONTINUITY as campaign theme?. What programme is there for one to continue?

It may well be appropriate for Professor Charles Soludo to refocus his campaign. His personal profile and experience can be more assuring. His capabilities can earn him confidence and trust. These attributes are more marketable than a Null continuity. He has strength in being an exposed and experienced development economist. He is a man of ideas who can pilot Anambra affairs and steer the State away from impending economic and political woes.

We are in a trying time. The youths of Anambra and of Igbo generally are getting impatient and restive every day. There is hunger, there is ill health, and there is death everywhere. Challenging times call for people with exceptional disposition to lead. Time for dancing OWAMBE in government house is over. This time is for serious minds. Soludo is a seriously minded fellow who would not accept failure as result. With Soludo as APGA flag bearer, Anambra is assured.

Nkea bu Nkeanyi has brought a measure of political stability to Anambra State despite some short comings. Truly, APGA in Anambra has brought some degree of stability to the state. This is why opinions of independent minded analysts should not be maligned and, the views thrown into a trash.

We wish Soludo and his campaign organization good luck