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Insolubility of Soludo

October 19, 2009

The amount of money that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has spent in a vain attempt to capture Anambra State in the past many years is simply mindboggling. When Andy Uba served as the closest man to then President Olusegun Obasanjo, his younger brother Chris Uba was empowered with so much cash to do and undo in the state. Chris Uba claimed that he spent obscene billions of Naira to rig Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige into the Government House at Awka; such that the entire budget of the state should be his for the having. A stubborn Ngige refused to play ball and he was promptly kidnapped by Uba and cohorts. The rest, as they say, is history.

As a parting gift while quitting power in 2007, Obasanjo boasted that he would hand over the governorship of Anambra State to his loyal servant Andy. Of course the election was so thoroughly rigged that Andy ended up having more votes than the entire population of the state! The figures had to be readjusted when people cried foul. Andy reportedly declared that he was worth trillions of Naira, and he deployed a big chunk of the money to manipulate the elections. Poor Andy, he spent only a couple of weeks in office before he was given a sucker punch by the Supreme Court courtesy of Peter Obi’s tenure validation suit. I was reliably informed that good old Andy ran to Otta in Ogun State to ask his mentor Obasanjo to call the Supreme Court to order as the Owu man used to do in his days as emperor. “I no dey kampe again,” Obasanjo reportedly lamented to his forlorn minion Andy.

The Uba family name is all but ruined in Anambra State; whence the need for the PDP to look elsewhere for another name to get a foothold on the preeminent state in the Southeast. The party has since settled for Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the former Governor of the Central Bank. On the face of it, Soludo boasts of very intimidating credentials: Distinction in secondary school certificate exam, First Class in the University, a professor to boot, ex-Governor of CBN etc. Even so, there is more to winning a free and fair election than ordinary curriculum vitae. Soludo carries so much baggage that would make him quite insoluble in the murky waters of Anambra politics.

Soludo comes from my mother’s hometown of Isuofia in Aguata Local Government Area; so I know the terrain especially as I am also from the selfsame local government. Soludo is at war with his hometown. He would lose woefully any election conducted in his town. It is as simple as that. He is a champion of the fractious “Autonomous Community” syndrome in Igboland. This way, he carved out his own village of Umueze and named it Isuanaoma in gross opposition to the other five villages that make up Isuofia town. When he was building a hospital in memory of his mother during his tenure as CBN Governor, he invited Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to visit “Isuanaoma”. VeePee Jonathan entered a helicopter but could not decipher any place on the map known as Isuanaoma and ended up landing in the nearby town of Nanka, the hometown of Professor Dora Akunyili. That was how the Vice-President’s entourage missed out on Soludo’s hospital launch!
    Because of the divisions wrought in the polity by Soludo’s Autonomous Community campaign he is up in arms with literally all the traditional rulers in Anambra State. The 177 town unions in the state are so closely knit as to make Soludo’s gubernatorial ambition go up in smoke. It would take some bloody rigging to make Soludo’s candidacy to fly. So Soludo’s adoption by the PDP can be aptly described as chronicle of a rigging foretold.

If Soludo hopes to latch on to the rigging arsenal of the Uba brothers, there is equally a catch in the matter. Soludo’s appointment to the CBN post owed not a little pint to the Ubas. But then when Soludo got close to Obasanjo he turned coat on the Ubas. During the contest for the House of Representatives seat in Aguata Local Government Soludo ensured that his anointed candidate Chike Anyaonu defeated Andy Uba’s man in the PDP primaries. Then Andy Uba applied the joker by asking his chosen candidate, Chukwuma Umeorji, to pick the ticket of the Labour Party whereupon the wily Andy used his connection with Prof Maurice Iwu’s INEC to rig his own man into the House of Reps. That is why we have the curious reality of having a Labour Party man representing the local government of PDP’s leading man Andy Uba in the House of Reps!

Anybody you ask would tell how atrociously arrogant Soludo became while in office as CBN Governor. He became unapproachable to the extent that he rendered no help to his home state during his tenure. The bad past is coming back now to haunt him badly. He needs more than spin doctors to survive, given that his service as CBN Governor is now being questioned nationally. 

It bears repeating that Soludo is not soluble in the stream of the gubernatorial polls holding in Anambra State on February 6, 2010. The PDP with Soludo cannot even place second if the election is anywhere near credible. At best, Soludo can only manage a very distant third position. The contest is effectively between incumbent Governor Peter Obi of APGA and Dr Chris Ngige of the Action Congress (AC). But then, given the desperation that the PDP has shown in wanting to capture Anambra State it may not be out of place to see Soludo declared winner, even if the election does not hold at all. In that case, we may get back to the scenario where Peter Obi, armed as ever with his Catholic rosary, will head to court and kick the impostor out as he did to Andy Uba in 2007! 

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