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Anambra 2021: Interrogating the  Soludo Personage

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By James Egbuna

Who is Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo is a rhetorical question.He is no masquerade that needs unmasking.His achievements and accomplishments announce him loudly.He has name- recognition.

Is he bottled in narrow prisms through which Anambrarians view him? NO! Therefore, John Ruskin’s timeless thought: “When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package” is not applicable to Soludo for he proudly takes his place in the gathering of Umunna (kinsmen)and and feels the pulse of his people.

Essentially, his life trajectory is an open book,widely read far and near.

Infact, there is no missing piece of puzzle in narrations and commentaries around his personage.

Here is serving you Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo uncensored as Anambra’s 2021 governorship beckons on him.

The cap fits him.It is tailor made because he won’t be coming to learn on the job, he is already imbued with the know-how, the nitty-gritty of management of people and resources by the virtue of his public sector experience, his academic erudition and vast knowledge of the primary kernel of governance especially as it applies to the peculiarity of Anambra.

With the permission of Anambra’s electorates, Professor Soludo, as the next governor, will be bringing his wealth of experience garnered over a period of years spanning over three decades to bear on the governance of that state.

Soludo won’t be scouting for proposals after election; he probably already has a master plan in his kitty.

The man who was hailed as “the Paragon” by admirers during his secondary school days due to his academic wizardry comes prepared, armed with innovative ideas as to how to take Anambra, in a quantum leap, to the next phase of socio- economic and infrastructural revolution.

As John Mason would say, “you cant travel the road to success without a puncture or two” ,  Soludo is a homeboy who tasted the vagaries of life at formative stages.Like any other child growing up in the post civil war East Central state, today’s South east geopolitical zone, he experienced vicissitudes and obsufucations.

Life was not rosy and it even became grimmer for him following the death of his mother when the young Soludo needed her most.

Thus, from ground zero, Soludo struggled to make meaning out of life,rising like Phoenix to a photogenic achievements and accomplishments.

Born 28 July 1960, Professor Soludo is a native of Isuofia in Aguata LGA, Anambra State.

On completing his secondary school education with a Distinction grade, he proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he studied Economics. He graduated with a first-class degree in 1984.
Afterwards, he went on to obtain his Master’s degree (MSc) in Economics in 1987, and a doctorate (PhD) in Economics in 1989, from the same University, graduating as the best student on all levels of his study.
Upon graduation, he won the departmental and faculty prizes for the best graduating student. These were followed by the best graduating masters degree student prize and the vice-chancellor’s prize for the university’s best graduating PhD student when he finished his doctorate programme.

In 1998, Charles Soludo became a professor of economics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and in 1999, he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA.

Professor Charles Soludo was a visiting research fellow at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick— all in the UK.
He lectured on multi-country macro-econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology, panel data econometrics, money and banking, public finance and fiscal policy, mathematical economics, international economics and finance, macroeconomics etc. Also, Charles Soludo has authored, co-edited, and co-authored about 14 books,  scores of journal articles and hundreds of technical and conference papers. Prof Soludo lived in Ethiopia, UK, and the USA and traveled to 45 other countries as itinerant scholar and consultant to 20 international organisations including: the World Bank, IMF, European Union, AfDB, USAID, UK-DFID, UNDP, UNCTAD, etc.

Because gold fish has no hiding place, in 2003, the love for fatherland spurned Soludo into answering a national call as the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo had no problem fishing him out to serve in his government as Economic Advier and Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria.

Soludo’s superlative performance as Economic Adviser and Chairman of the National Planning Commission was to be a catalyst for elevation to a higher calling.Thus in May 2004,President Obasanjo appointed him into the exalted office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as well as Chairman of its Governing Board.

Over a decade after leaving office as CBN Governor, Professor Soludo is still hailed as the man who brought sanity to the banking sector through the clinical  consolidation of the Nigerian banking system in 2005, during which he presided over the consolidation of the country’s 89 banks into 25 as part of a drive to create a new banking system to power new prosperity in Nigeria.

Economists and other financial experts agree that the 2005 bank consolidation exercise was the elixir that continue to boost the Nigeria economy, ensuring that country’s commercial banks now have the asset base to fund manufacturing, agriculture, trade and the services. Unltimately creating millions of jobs and stabilsing the economy.

Essentially, experts opine that without the much needed Soludo bank revolution, multinationals and major economic players especially in the oil and gas sector, wouldn’t have been in existence, as so many banks wouldn’t have the capacity to fund such.

Global Trade Review in 2007 had averred: “Nigeria’s banking sector consolidation programme was necessitated by the pervasive weaknesses and uncertainty of the banking system and the need to re-engineer and fast-track a system that will engender confidence and power a new economy”
A grateful nation never forgets the patriotism and expertise of it’s own.This explains why Professor Soludo was awarded the third highest national honour (CFR) in 2006 and again fished out by the current President and saddled with the task of reinventing  the economy.
Notedly, on 16 September 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as a member of a newly formed 8-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC), that will be reporting directly to the President.

Professor Soludo is a valuable  asset and catalyst for quality governance.He has proved so beyond doubt.Anambra needs him to supply oxygen to the socio- economic and industrial development of the state ignited by Chris Ngige, given quick acceleration by Peter Obi and expanded by Willie Obiàno.

Thankfully, indications are that he may offer himself once again, as he did in 2010 under the PDP and 2014 under APGA, to serve his dear state as governor.

Though the two previous attempts at the Anambra governorship, owing largely to pervasive intrigues, did not come to fruition, the general consensus in today’s Anambra is that for the state to continue on the tracks of uninterrupted development, Professor Soludo is the man whom the cap fits.

Egbuna wrote from Onitsha, Anambra State.

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Monica Commends Catholic Church for brokering peace amongst Umahi, Anyim and Egwu

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Technical Adviser to Governor Umahi on Media, Lady Monica Chidinma Ada Eze has commended the efforts of the Catholic Church in resolving the fuss among her boss who doubles as Chairman, South/East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi and two other key political leaders of Ebonyi State; former Senate President, Senator Pius Anyim and the first Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu.

In a statement made available to the media, Monica expressed delight over the truce, describing it as the greatest gift the church has given to the people of Ebonyi State in the New Year.

Referencing the Bible Book of Psalms 133:1 where the Psalmist exclaimed how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity, Lady Monica Chidinma Ada Eze who also doubles as the founder and President of David Umahi Nweze Akubaraoha Ebonyi Transformation Agenda (DUNAETA), a grassroots NGO based in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State, emphasised that no society can thrive and no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of chaos and prayed that the truce reached amongst the trio be nurtured and sustained for the greater good and  continuous growth of Ebonyi State.

She recalled that conflict arose among the leaders when Governor Umahi, in his foresight saw the need to take Ndi Igbo to the party at the centre, an idea which some leaders misconceived and as a result, hurriedly and ignorantly too, tried to make themselves available as clogs on the wheel of progress of the Igbo nation, contrary to the good intentions of the South/East political leader cum Chairman, Governors Forum, South/East zone, His Excellency, Dave Umahi.

With the establishment of peace and enthronement of harmony among the trio, Lady Monica, aka Ada Ebonyi expressed optimism that Senators Anyim and Egwu will soon join Governor Umahi in the APC as the party stands as the only alternative and machinery through which the Igbo’s can position themselves to vie for the office of the President of Nigeria as the PDP which Ndi Igbo laboured for over 16 years is hellbent at picking her presidential candidate from the North, unless Anyim and Egwu are not seeing the looming danger in the umbrella party which informed the defection of Umahi to the ruling APC.

Monica commended the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki diocese, Bishop Nnachi Okoro for wadding into the clash of political interest that had ensued between Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim and others, and brokering peace among them.

Recall that Umahi, Senator Anyim, Senator Sam Egwu, former Governor of the state and all the serving senators/members of the House of Representatives currently in the National Assembly have not been having good political relationship, since Umahi’s defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

This development had created a sharp political division, alignment, realignment, and reemergence of political camps among stakeholders in the State thereby placing the State in the likelihood of crisis.

The Bishop, in collaboration with the founding fathers of the state, engaged Governor Umahi, Sen. Anyim, Dr. Egwu and other political actors in a closed-door meeting that took place at the Bishop’s house. He tasked Umahi, Anyim, Egwu to give peace a chance and put away their differences for the sake of peace in the State. The Governor had some weeks ago apologized to his political opponents and charged them to stop attacking his opponents and leaders of the state.

Monica quoted her boss as saying, “I offer apologies to them. I am not going to sit on the judgment with anybody. This apology and forgiveness should be enough to settle all bad blood. And I have no regret for that. God directed me to do this. And I thank all our leaders who have intervened; I am the father of the state. And I should be ashamed of myself if the state of Ebonyi is allowed to go into bitterness and into disunity.”

Ada Ebonyi further quoted her boss as stating, “I thank the Catholic Bishop Nnachi Okoro, I thank CAN people led by the chairman Rev. Dr. Abraham Nwali. I thank the founding fathers, I thank the Ohanaeze leadership led by Chief Nnia Nwodo and all the leaders of the South-East, who made this reconciliation possible”.

“This feat simply demonstrates that Umahi is truly an Apostle of Christ”. Monica said.

In another development, Lady Monica congratulated and commended Senator Sunny Ogbuorji who was the erstwhile Ebonyi APC gubernatorial candidate in the last general election for resolving to work with the new leader of the party in the State, Governor Umahi into building a virile and vibrant chapter of the party in the State. This development surely will make the Ebonyi State one of the most organised chapters in the nation.

She however cautioned Barr. Silas Joseph Onu, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ebonyi State Chapter to desist forthwith, from any act or comment that is capable of causing disharmony and disaffection among people the State as his pleasure in raising false and unsubstantiated allegations against the Governor and the APC government in Ebonyi State will no longer be treated with kid’s glove.

She however counseled Silas Onu and his perforated umbrella party –

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Demand for Oxygen Jumps From 70 To 350 Cylinders Per Day In IDH – SANWO-OLU

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Following the increase in number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said that any malaria-like symptoms should henceforth be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until proven not to be one.

He therefore advised that anyone with such symptoms should proceed to any of the State’s public health facilities or laboratories to get tested for free, noting that “Seeking help early and quickly significantly improves the chances of survival for severe to critical cases.”

Speaking during a Press Conference on COVID-19 Update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said it is important that Lagos State residents begin to learn to live and act responsibly, in order to augment the government’s efforts and previous success of flattening the curve.

The Governor also said that the increase in the positivity of coronavirus cases in the second wave has necessitated the greater amount of oxygen for the moderate to severe cases of admission in all the isolation centres.

He said the alarming trend of COVID-19 has necessitated the reopening of some of the previously closed isolation centres, such as the INDO Isolation Centre and Gbagada Isolation Center to contain the rising cases and re-flattening the curve in the shortest possible time.

“Over the last few weeks, the demands for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 six-cylinders, before the end of January 2021.

“ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks. Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them.

“Five of these 10 oxygen centers have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks. It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required.

“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy,” he said.

Speaking on issues surrounding the resumption of schools in Lagos State in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government, Governor Sanwo-Olu said commencement of school activities yesterday (Monday) “was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of covid-19, but I assure you it was the best decision for our children’s safety and long-term development, especially our most vulnerable children.”

Stressing the need for students to return to school to continue their education at various levels, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that almost 24,000 students are yet to report in public schools after last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.

“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also revealed that Lagos State Government has opened discussions with some vaccine manufacturers to ensure that residents are catered for.

He said: “We are closely monitoring ongoing action by the Federal Government to procure COVID-19 vaccines for use in Nigeria. We have also opened discussions with vaccine manufacturers so that when the vaccine comes eventually we can ensure that Lagosians are catered for.

“In the meantime we are developing a strategy that will articulate the criteria, guidelines and regulatory framework for providing and monitoring vaccinations in Lagos.

“The Lagos State Government is actively partnering with the private sector in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of testing, oxygen deployment, as well as the clinical management of moderate to severe cases. These partnerships have helped enhance the State’s response to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic.

“In a bid to further explore this proven synergistic approach, the Lagos State Government is currently reviewing the feasibility of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the management of some of our public isolation centres. It is our hope that this would expedite the re-opening of previously closed centres, and also avail us the benefits of the operational cost-efficiencies that experienced private sector management can bring to bear.”

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2023: USE WISDOM NOT POWER, OONI URGES TINUBU CAMPAIGNERS

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www.securenigeria365.com

The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Monday urged politicians promoting the presidential ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to deploy wisdom and avoid arbitrary use of power.

The Ooni who doubles as the Spiritual Head of the Oduduwa Race worldwide explained this while receiving organizers of the South West Agenda (SWAGA); a political group projecting the ambition of Senator Tinubu.

Ooni Ogunwusi who explained that the reported ambition of the former Lagos State Governor is a good signal for the Yoruba race, added that such lofty dream could only be realized through unity.

“Asiwaju Tinubu is a very great descendant of Oduduwa. He’s such a unique Yoruba son and we are always proud of him. He is popular and known for uprightness.

“But first, I want to challenge all politicians here this afternoon to first go and work on yourselves, you must be United if you are indeed for the Yoruba race. It is you people that form political parties, change from one party to another among other things.

“With all that said, I want you to know that many will rise with similar interest and it is allowed. I implore you and your principal to deploy wisdom not power so that we will all be on the same page.

“We Yorubas are Omoluabis and I want you all to know that everything is not politics. With these in mind, it shall be well with us and we are good to go.” The Ooni admonished.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman for the South West Agenda (SWAGA), Senator Dayo Adeyeye, explained that the visit was to seek the spiritual blessings of the Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) in recognition of his status as the head of the Yoruba race worldwide.

“Baba, this is the highest throne in Yorubaland and Ile-Ife is the town that gave birth to all the entire Yoruba race. We have come here today seek your blessings and support towards the actualization of having a Yoruba man as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023. In this quest, we have found Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu worthy and that is why we have embarked on this assignment even without being sent.

“We Yorubas must unite ourselves to realize this and not make ourselves tools in the hands of those who might be willing to divide use against ourselves. SWAGA is well known to almost everyone in the country including those from other parts who have declared support for the movement.”

In the same vein, Osun State coordinator of the group, Hon. (Mrs) Ayo Omidiran, noted that they are always in touch with the Ooni and will always keep him informed on all activities.

The event which was spiced with several traditional performances was well attended by top politicians across the country including Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Hon. Bisi Odewumi, Tilewa Sijuwade among others.

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