As the November 6th, 2021 gubernatorial election in Anambra State draws closer, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo , the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) stands out, prominently, as the favoured candidate to win the elections due to his increasing grassroots popularity.
Although running on the platform of the ruling party in Anambra State, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Prof. Soludo’s candidacy has received tremendous support across party lines.
His popularity and acceptance transcends political divides and has united ndi Anambra, at home and the diaspora, under one cause – to sustain and improve all indices of development in Anambra State. This cause, according to analysts, has been responsible for the positive progression in leadership and development patterns in Anambra State in recent history.
Since the time of Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju as modestly captured by the erudite Professor of Economics in a speech recently, “past governors tried their best. Gov. Mbadinuju established Anambra State University; Governor Ngige built some strategic roads; while Gov
Peter Obi as an APGA governor built more roads and in compliance to APGA manifesto, touched other sectors.
“Our current governor and leader of APGA, (Obiano) has taken it to the next level by combining both the micro and macro dimensions of governance: unprecedented security, Light up Anambra, 17 bridges and roads, community choose your projects; institutionalization of governance; and now the Anambra international cargo/passenger airport, international conference centre, Awka township stadium, etc”.
This trajectory has manifested in various forms of development in Anambra State, progressing in positive flights from preceding administrations to succeeding ones. Same prevailed through the administrations of Dr Chris Ngige, Mr Peter Obi and currently, Dr Willie Obiano, each leaving undeniable marks of economic growth and development on the State and enjoying the support, loyalty and followership of ndi Anambra irrespective of political affiliations.
While political parties exist and are recognized by law as platforms for candidates for any elective position in Nigeria, ndi Anambra have gone beyond partisanship and other affiliations to choose a candidate that will best serve their cause. They have established a standard, an unwritten rule of sorts and will not lower the stakes any bit.
The compelling reality is that political parties need field only seasoned technocrats and persons with integrity for governorship and other elective positions in the State. That is the unfolding grundnorm. Anything less will be jettisoned. Political parties fielding candidates with the least modicum of doubt stand no chance in the race and they know this.
APGA has dutifully nominated a candidate that fits the mould. It is clear that among those jostling for the position, especially those who meet the standard and they are few, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo stands distinct, head and shoulders, above all.
Nonetheless, ndi Anambra remember lucidly and have aligned themselves to history and the progressive trend that elucidate their emancipatory pilgrimage.
They have trudged through trenches of political mediocrity and leadership disequilibrium, to a place of definitive socio-economic growth, technocratic administrative capacities and exemplary leadership qualities.
A return to the ignoble past on grounds of partisanship is no longer trendy. It has become antiquated, virtually forbidden. Little wonder Prof. Soludo became an easy choice, being an embodiment of stellar qualities and receiving support from a base traversing the entire political sphere in Anambra State and beyond.
Ikenna Aniagboso is a public affairs analyst.