BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
The immediate past Anambra State Commissioner of Information, C-Don Adinuba, has commended the state of readiness of the newly sworn in governor of the state, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, describing him as the most prepared governor in Nigeria’s history.
Taking over from the out-gone governor, Willie Obiano, Soludo, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was inaugurated into office alongside his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim, at the state Government House on Thursday in a low-key event.
Speaking to The Point about Soludo’s assumption into office, an elated Adinuba stated, “He’s the most prepared governor in Nigeria’s history. From 2009 actually till now, that’s thirteen years, he wrote his manifesto. Not a regular manifesto but what I will call an action plan, what he will do from this period to that period and the expected result, prepared by education, experience, exposure and such personal virtues as courage and knowledge and farsightedness.
“He has made it clear to follow the path of Dubai, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, in moving Anambra State from its third world status to that of a fully developed economy. This is the summary of everything. Why are these countries and territories exemplary? How were they able to make it in thirty years, which is a generation? He feels if Dubai, the United Arab Emirates could do it, Anambra too can do it. This is all that bothers him now.
“This has been my very close friend for decades. We are on the same page. I have spent the past 25 years of my life studying how these countries and territories I’ve mentioned to you, were able to make it. He and I share the same values and views on transformational leadership on what not just Anambra, but the whole of Nigeria and Africa can do, to join the rest of the world and step into the 21st century,” Adinuba added.
Soludo in 2021, won the governorship election with a landslide victory after winning 19 out of the 21 local governments in the state with 112,229 votes, defeating his closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party who had 53,807 votes.
The election of the Aguata-born economist and banker was challenged at a Federal High Court in Abuja but the suit which sought to invalidate his victory over an alleged provision of false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission, was dismissed.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his judgment said the suit lacked merit and was a waste of the court’s time and told the plaintiffs not to use the court as a tool to stagnate democracy. He also awarded N2 million to APGA, Soludo and Ibezim who were second, third and fourth respondents in the suit.
“Today is my first day at work. I just reported for duty at 8:55 am to be precise and will work for at least eight hours today. We had more than a month since the election to celebrate our historic victory. Now is the time to work and there is no minute or kobo to waste in a funfair”
Soludo in his inaugural speech as governor said, “Today is my first day at work. I just reported for duty at 8:55 am to be precise and will work for at least eight hours today. We had more than a month since the election to celebrate our historic victory. Now is the time to work and there is no minute or kobo to waste in a funfair.”
“In a few minutes, I will announce some of the principal officers of my administration and commence with serious meetings of the Anambra Security Council followed by a meeting with the permanent secretaries, a meeting on Okpoko, and with my Strategy, Execution, and Evaluation (SEE) team.
Keeping to his word, Governor Soludo in a statement released by his media aide, Joe Anatune in Awka, just less than six hours after his swearing in, announced the appointment of three persons into his administration.
According to the statement, Osita Chukwulobelu, a professor, was retained as Secretary of the State Government. Chukwulobelu was also SSG under the Obiano administration. Chukwudi Okoli was appointed as the Accountant General while Chinedu Nwoye was named the Deputy Chief of Staff/State Chief of Protocol.
The newly sworn-in governor also assured that the list of the nominees for commissioners will be presented before the House of Assembly within the next few weeks. He also promised to implement his urban regeneration plan in the state and reiterated his administration’s resolve to only rely on made-in-Anambra products to encourage local production.
Dignitaries at the event included the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Oye and his wife; Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Uchenna Okafor and wife; Sen. Victor Umeh and his wife; Bianca Ojukwu, clergymen, traditional rulers among others.
The former Information Commissioner also confirmed the unfortunate incident between the now former first lady, Osodieme Obiano and Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu, the wife of late Biafra warlord, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu. Adinuba denied reports that it was Mrs. Obiano that slapped Mrs. Ojukwu, describing the news as misleading.
Corroborating Adinuba’s claim, videos later emerged on Thursday after the inauguration that showed it was Bianca who gave the slap and not the other way round. This was after Mrs. Obiano stood up from her seat, walked to where Lady Bianca was seated and after an exchange of words; Lady Bianca could be seen landing the slap. This happened after Governor Soludo took his oath of office.
Governor Soludo has however in a statement apologised for the show of shame which seemed to have over-shadowed his swearing in. He attributed the development to improper communication by both parties as the cause of the breach of protocol.