Anambra Decides: SOLUDO WINS!!!

At this moment, we must remember and will continue to remember all those who died in the course of this movement, especially the three policemen who were killed by unknown gunmen during our town hall meeting with youths in my ward. May God continue to grant their souls eternal rest.

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Charles Chukwuma Soludo

Following INEC’s declaration of Chukwuma Charles Soludo of APGA as the winner of the Gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, Soludo has released the following speech:

A Divine Journey Whose Time Has Come

Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR

Acceptance Speech following the Declaration of the Results of the Anambra State Governorship Election, November 2021, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC): November 10th, 2021.

With utmost humility and gratitude to God, I accept the results of the 2021 Anambra Governorship election as declared by INEC. This reflects the supreme will of the almighty God, and an overwhelming sacred mandate of the people. For 12 years since the massive clamour by the people of Anambra for us to serve them, we persevered to this Divine moment. This is a divine journey whose time has come. To God be all the glory and adoration!

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We have a very long list of persons whom God used to make this moment a reality. In particular, we thank all members of APGA especially our national leader, HE (Sir) Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, our national Chairman, Ozonkpu Victor Ike Oye, members of the BOT, NEC, state Exco, etc for availing me the opportunity to fly the APGA flag and the cohesive party support.  Many thanks to our able Campaign Committee, our first rate legal team, and all other stakeholders who worked tirelessly and informally to see us through. We are grateful to all the stakeholders of the Anambra project— the clergy and the church, traditional rulers, ASATU, labour, market, trade and professional unions, youth and women organizations, non-indigene associations, businessmen and captains of industry, the Diaspora community, persons with disability, etc.

We thank all our donors, especially the hundreds of thousands of members of the 41 self-funding support groups who, for two years, put in their sweat and personal funds to propel this project. Never mind that all of you could not vote. The limited number that voted is still representative of the wishes of the people.

We are humbled by the massive support of stakeholders and Nigerians across the entire country. Your donations and goodwill are treasured. In particular, I thank my wife, Queen Frances Nonye Soludo, and children: Ozonna, Ifeatu, Chinua, Ekene, Oduko and Zikora for their love and sacrifices. Despite your deep reservations, you still allowed and supported me to step out in the service of our people. As I promised, I will work hard every day never to disappoint you.

At this moment, we must remember and will continue to remember all those who died in the course of this movement, especially the three policemen who were killed by unknown gunmen during our town hall meeting with youths in my ward. May God continue to grant their souls eternal rest.

The run-up to this election and the election itself tested the resilience and integrity of our federal institutions.  Many times there were tensions especially as one party boasted that it must “take” or “conquer” Anambra by all means. Our institutions proved again and again that this country can achieve eminent greatness when our institutions rise up to the occasion.

The judiciary, led by the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, stood for the integrity of the judiciary. We salute the eminent justices of the Anambra High court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court for standing up for justice. Your names will be written in gold. We thank President Buhari, the presidency, and our security agencies for ensuring a level playing field. We must particularly commend the Chairman, Management and staff of INEC for systematically striving to bequeath a legacy of free, fair and transparent electoral system to Nigeria.

The use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) represents a massive improvement over the Card Reader and manual accreditation system. With a continuous refinement of the technology, upscaling of the skills of its operators, collaboration with telecommunication companies, improvement in logistical deployment and security, and stringent punishment for anyone involved in electoral malpractice, Nigeria will be on course to a robust and exemplary electoral system. Aside from the initial glitches in the operations of the BVAS machines in some places including at my polling unit, the election has been adjudged as the most peaceful, free, fair and credible. There is joy in the land. Kudos to INEC!

To my fellow candidates in the election, I wish to congratulate you for the gallant contest. Our people have spoken overwhelmingly, and surely that loud voice is the voice of God. The ultimate winner is Anambra people: we are all winners. I hereby extend my hand of fellowship to all of you. I need all of you to succeed. Politics aside, we are all brothers. Let’s come together for the “Project Anambra”.

There is enough room for everyone to contribute in the service of our homeland. On February 7th, 2010, INEC declared as winner of the Anambra governorship election a candidate who had described the election as a sham on Channels TV and refused to vote in protest. Two hours after the declaration, I addressed a press conference and congratulated him, and walked away without a legal challenge. I was probably the first candidate of a major political party to do that in Nigeria. In Anambra, we fight hard during elections but meet the next weekend at traditional weddings and funerals and throw banters and share drinks.

That’s the Anambra way! Let’s keep the “spirit of Anambra” alive and strong, and with it, collectively take our homeland to the moon. So far and even before the official declaration, I have received congratulatory messages from thousands of Ndi Anambra and Nigerians from around the world including some of my fellow candidates. I deeply treasure the massive goodwill.

To the estimated 17 million Ndi Anambra within and outside our homeland (state), this is your moment, seize it! This victory is your victory. My role will be that of your chief servant, and I will work every minute of the day with you to make you profoundly proud. I will need the guidance, advice and contribution of everyone to succeed. Our state is one of infinite possibilities and humungous opportunities.  Working in collaboration with other states, the federal government, and the international community, we have all that it takes to make our state whatever we collectively will that it can be. As we transit to a post-oil world and into the 4th Industrial Revolution, let us work together to build upon the foundations of our founding fathers and predecessors to create that livable and prosperous homeland that is the industrial, technology and leisure hub of West Africa. This is our manifest destiny, and collectively we shall get there!

Finally, let us work together to support our ably working Governor, Akpokuedike Aguleri, to finish very strong.  Together, we can, and by the grace of God, we will!

Long live APGA!

Long live Anambra State!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

 

ABOUT SOLUDO

Professor Chukwuma C. Soludo was born on 28th July, 1960, and hails from Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. After his secondary school education, he proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he graduated with a first class degree in Economics. He also undertook his post-graduate and doctorate degrees in Economics from the same University winning on both occasions, the prize for the best graduating student.

 

Professor Soludo had cumulative four years of post-doctoral training in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, including: The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; University of Cambridge, UK, as Smuts Research Fellow and Fellow of the Wolfson College; the UN Economic Commission for Africa as a Post-Doctoral Fellow; University of Warwick as a Visiting scholar and Visiting Research Scholar at Center for African Economies, University of Oxford (with funding by the Rhodes committee). He also attended over a dozen specialized courses and has had extensive research, teaching and consultancy works in different areas of economics.

He has worked at the World Bank both as a short and long-term consultant since 1993 and also at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa. He was a consultant to UNCTAD; European Union (EU); Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); United Nations (UN) New York; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); African Development Bank (ADB); Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); African Union (AU); International Development Research Council (IDRC) Canada; Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); among others.

Professor Soludo has served as Senior Technical Advisor/Consultant as well as a Visiting Scholar at the IMF since 1994, and also taught IMF’s Financial Programming and Policy course to senior staff of Central Banks in West Africa and other developing regions. He has served as: Member, Technical Committees that drafted economic and trade policies for the Federal Government of Nigeria; and Executive Director of the African Institute for Applied Economics (AlAE).

Professor Soludo joined the Federal Government of Nigeria in July 2003 as the Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo and the Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission (NPC). Among other accomplishments during the 10 months in office, he was the Chairman/Coordinator of the team that drafted Nigeria’s economic and social reform program (2003-2007), the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), and also pioneered the collaborative planning framework in the Nigerian federation by initiating and assisting state governments in designing their State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS).

As Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since May, 2004, Prof. Soludo has refocused the Central Bank as an effective monetary authority and successfully implemented a fundamental restructuring which has led to unprecedented consolidation of the Nigerian banking system.

On account of this, the Nigerian banking system has been rated the fastest growing in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world. He has also championed the establishment of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a continental, private -sector driven, investment bank. He is promoting the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020), the blue-print to grow Nigeria’s financial system to become Africa’s financial hub and to drive the Nigerian economy into the global league of top 20 economies by 2020. For his achievements, Professor Soludo is the recipient of scores of awards and recognitions from civil society organizations; NGOs; private sector organizations; religious groups; the Press; professional associations; student unions; universities; among others. The Financial Times of London has described him as Ita Great Reformer’. He is the winner of the ‘Global and African Central Bank Governor of the Year, in 2005, 2006 and 2007 by different international media institutions including The Banker Magazine published by the Financial Times of London.

He is currently a Member of the International Advisory Group for the UK-DFID; a member of the Chief Economist Advisory Council of the World Bank and the International Advisory Group of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). He is also a member of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a global network of more than 200 leading economists, political scientists, and practitioners to help developing countries explore policy alternatives, and enable wider civic participation in economic policymaking. He holds Nigeria’s third highest national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Fellow of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) and has been awarded D.SC (Honoris Causa) by the University of Calabar and also by the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Professor Soludo is married to Nonye and blessed with children.

 

 

 

 

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