an Absalom rebellion in Abia

Oge Omume in Anambra State is the “time to act!” and CHIDO NWAKANMA reveals what he could have done if he were qualified to vote this Saturday in Anambra gubernatorial elections

It is down to the brass tacks in Anambra State and up to the judgement of voters on Saturday, 6 November 2021. Eighteen candidates are on the ballot to determine who will govern the state from 2022 to 2026. It is a dicey race.

Oge omume in Anambra State

Many factors have coalesced to make Anambra Guber 2021 the pivotal race it has become and has gripped national attention as if it were a presidential ballot. Heightened insecurity in the state caused the loss of many lives and frightened the people, the IPOB sit-at-home and no elections in Anambra State, as well as the scorecard of the incumbent. Then there is the disputation about the standing of the founder and original impetus of the ruling party in the state, the late Dim Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu.

Even more significant are the personalities in the mix. Four contestants and parties stand out in a tall list of outstanding persons. They speak to the character of Anambra State.

I have noted that Anambra State represents the best and the worst of the Igbo person. It boasts our best and brightest. Anambra also showcases the worst tendencies of Ndigbo. All of that has come to play in the Anambra Guber 2021.

Arise TV collaborated with ABS TV & Radio to present three leading contestants in a debate on Monday 1 November. The discussion featured brilliant articulation, clever reading of the situation, and gross incompetence and unpreparedness.

A poll after the debate by Arise TV gave it to Prof Charles Chkwuma Soludo. Social media has many verdicts and disputations. Many citizens and netizens have various judgements. I passed a verdict on Facebook: “Soludo is the candidate. He shared more ideas, more data, and more insights”.

As the polls and most analysts agree, Charles Chukwuma Soludo appeared from the debate to be ready. He represented the mantra of the Boy Scouts: be prepared. His broad experience and exposure showed in the vibrancy of his ideas and the energy with which he expressed them. Soludo in Governor’s Office Awka will be an enactment of the dream of a philosopher-king. He knows the issues up to Point T. He has promised “transformational leadership”.

The World Bank recognises the imperatives of good ideas for development but, above all, the capacity to execute. Capacity to implement is the difference between performing governors and the lacklustre. From M.I. Okpara through Sam Mbakwe, Jim Nwobodo and Peter Obi, the capacity to execute saw these gentlemen leave lasting legacies.

Chukwuma Soludo evinced “capacity to execute’ and his transformational leadership as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria that pulled off the monumental banking reform that changed banking in Nigeria. Beyond the headlines of capitalisation and the number of banks, that reform pushed Nigerian banking to the front tier in payment systems and technology integration. It enabled the banking system to survive the global crash as our banks could withstand the tremors. Soludo came across during that debate as deficient in the emotional and social quotient, unfortunately. He took down Andy Uba in a show of one-upmanship. Many have complained of his arrogance. He ought to work on it.

Oge omume in Anambra State

Valentine Ozigbo, cool, calm and collected, was the number two at the debate. Many give it to him based on his calm disposition and focus on the task at hand during the discussion. He took advantage of the squabbling between Chukwuma Soludo and Andy Uba.

Ozigbo has an exciting profile of many successes at academic and professional engagements, though not at the level of Soludo. He appealed to many from that debate for his demeanour and the assumed failings of APGA in Anambra State. It is an appeal deserving of interrogation.

A supporter responded to my challenge by citing this quote as one of the critical plans of Ozigbo: “Harness the wealth of the people and involve the private sector”. It was an example of the glittering generalities that hallmarked Ozigbo’s assertions. Steps. What will he do in practical terms?

Ozigbo lacked an understanding of how the system works and the absence of study and reflection on what to do beyond the general brilliant boy approach. This weakness may yet be a strength in that it enables him to bring fresh eyes and practices if he survives the notorious barber chair of civil servants.

British comedy serial Yes, Prime Minister captured the shenanigans of the civil service. Here in Nigeria, civil servants from the military era played the barber chair with new appointees, from military administrators to commissioners. I witnessed it live in Umuahia when I visited my friend who an administrator appointed. I sat with him all day. During that day, he received about 66 correspondences.

The next day, I stopped by a bookshop, bought exercise books, and took them to him. We called his secretary. We had a simple task. Note down all letters, when they came in, the notations of the commissioner and the expected feedback and date. The Permanent Secretary was the first to protest when he knew the game was up.
Civil servants load the appointee with so much stuff -correspondences, inspection visits, courtesy calls- that all amount to motion without movement. After a while, he will bow to tradition and allow them to do as they have always done.

The race on Saturday is thus a four-horse race between Chukwuma Soludo, Val Ozigbo, Ifeanyi Uba and Andy Uba. Ordinarily, after that debate, Andy Uba ought to opt out as he has shown a lack of capacity and readiness.

Either Charles Soludo or Valentine Ozigbo would be suitable for Anambra State.
Anambra is significant for its history and what it represents as a light bearer for Ndigbo. Who governs Anambra State could make a difference in the Igbo journey. Please choose the right, Ndi Anambra.

Oge Omume in Anambra State

      A Maduka GodwinObi Ifeatu
      AAEtiaba ChukwuogoUchebo Mwao
     AACNwankwo ChidozieNwaebili Clare
     ADCAkachukwu NwankpoLawrence Ughamadu
     ADPUme-Ezeoke DouglasMaxwell Chukujama
     APCAndy UbaChukwuemeka Okafor
    APGACharles SoludoIbezim Gilbert
     APMOnyejegbu OkwudiliOnuora Letitia
     APPAzubuike EchetebuOgbonna Nnabike
      BPChika OkekeChika Adibe
      LPAgbasimalo EmmanuelMuokwue Peter
     NNPPOhajimkpo EmekaNwude Ebelechukwu
     NRMEzenwafor VictorOjukwu Chukwuma
     PDPValentine OzigboLilian Enemo
     PRPNnamdi NwawuoIgbo Gozie
     SDPUzoh GodwinChira Obiora
     YPPIfeanyi UbahOkechukwu Eze
      ZLPOkonkwo FrancisJessie Uka