In my college days at University of Houston Downtown, I was taking a class on ‘Second law of thermodynamics’, a course in Physical chemistry. There was a fellow in the class, though smart but he was full of himself, with overflowing pride. The professor was tackling a serious chemistry equation equipped with calculus calculations. The professor was literally sweating in a fully air conditioned room struggling with the evasive calculation, the ‘smart Alex’ from nowhere, without invitation offered to solve it. His wish was granted but he could not solve the problem. The student sole intention was to be noticed as he was being propelled by his gigantic ego, always attracting attention to himself, even when unsolicited or uninvited.
Americans tauntingly called out such a character with this saying: “You think you are all that and a bag of chips”.
That’s the problem with the governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. He has an oversized ego and believes he is the smartest person in the room. Of course, he is academically brilliant and has proven himself in the world of academia. He even went further to become the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and after many trials; he eventually made his way to the seat of power in Awka as the present governor of Anambra State.
After observing his latest unprovoked attack against the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter obi, I was left with the conclusion that Soludo may be lacking emotional intelligence, which literally means that he may be academically brilliant but lacks street smarts. He is book smart without main market sensibility and savvy.
As he acknowledged in his anti-write up against Peter Obi, he insisted on freedom of expression and without doubt, in a free society all citizens are entitled to that. But with freedom comes responsibility, if you are willing to dish it out, you must be willing to take it too. He used his article and interview to de-market and diminish Obi’s standing and think that millions of Obi’s supporters who are popularly known as Obidients will keep quiet and fold their hands as he throws mud on the face of their hero and possibly the next president of Nigeria.
The Obidients are mostly Nigerian youths that cut across tribe, religion and region. They are from east, west, north and south of Nigeria. And yes, some of them are from Anambra State and probably voted for Soludo to fulfill his ambition of becoming the executive governor of Anambra State. But Gov. Soludo labeled and called them ‘mobs’ simply because they are tired of being taken for granted by the old guard politicians which Soludo is definitely one of them. These youths, a sizable number of them, were in their parents homes for more than eight months because of the ASUU strike. They will not allow anybody including clueless Soludo to be denigrating their hero Obi, whom they believed to be the one to usher in a new Nigeria.
The people of Anambra State did not vote for Soludo to become the referee and matador for the 2023 presidential election. He was elected to fix the problems confronting Anambra State. And there are numerous issues to be occupying the time of the governor, including safety problems, law and order, poverty, out of school children, roads, tap water provision, environmental degradation including erosion and gullies. Maybe those issues are not adequately attractive for him.
Now he has veered off the pressing needs at the moment while wandering into national politics uninvited. Anambra State, Igbos and South East have not made Soludo a king or their spokesperson on the issue of national election and politics. That job belongs to the cultural and social groups that are ubiquitous on the scene including Ohana Eze, Aka Ikenga and others.
Governor Soludo should stay away from the shenanigans and distractions of national politics and most importantly focus on the job of being the governor. He promised to make Anambra State the Dubai of Nigeria with his Soludo solutions. Time flies and before you know it four years will be here. Sit up, wash your face, put your ego in the pocket and do the job at hand.
Peter Obi as governor of Anambra State “saved N48,629,473,469 in local currency, some of which we tied to specific projects like payment of two-year salary of civil servants we employed for him not to be encumbered. There was also money set aside for Agulu and Onitsha Hotels, the Awka and Nnewi Malls and some critical roads, like the completion of the dual carriage road over which we had got permission from the federal government to do and to be paid back by the Federal Government. We also left some for him to continue what we were doing aggressively. There was also US$156 million (about N27 billion at that time and about N75 billion today when the yields are added)”
Now it is your turn to do your own.
Presently, Peter Obi is doing his own thing trying to unite a fractured Nigeria where tribe, religion and region will be the things of the past, while antiquated Soludo is trying to reinforce the divisions. We need a united Nigeria not a further balkanized one as engineered by the old guards.
Biko, Please Governor Soludo go back obediently to the job of being the governor of Anambra State and leave Peter Obi alone to his destiny.
Emeka Chiakwelu is a strategist @AFRIPOL