Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, has reacted to his victory in the Anambra State governorship election.
Giving his acceptance speech on Wednesday shortly after he was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the governor-elect described the feat as the will of God.
“Let me say that with utmost humility and gratitude to God, I accept the result of the 2021 Anambra governorship election, as declared by INEC,” said Soludo who contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“And this reflects the supreme will of the Almighty God and the overwhelming sacred mandate of the people.”
He thanked his wife and children for encouraging him despite their reservations at some point, saying his victory in the election was a result of his perseverance in the last 12 years.
The former CBN governor also thanked the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano; the leadership of APGA, party faithful, as well as the residents of the state for their love and support all through the events that lead to his victory in the poll.
While remembering the three policemen killed by gunmen in the period of the campaign, he extended a hand of fellowship to his co-contenders in the election to move the state forward.
Almost four days after the keenly contested election and a supplementary poll that ensued, INEC finally returned Soludo elected as the winner.
“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” said INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Professor Florence Obi.
He swept to victory in the election, winning 19 of the 21 local government areas of the state, while the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (Mr Valentine Ozigbo) and Young Progressives Party (Senator Ifeanyi Ubah) each won a local government.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, could not win any local government in the election.
Soludo, 61, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, secured 112,229 votes, twice more than his closes rival – PDP’s Ozigbo who polled 53,807 votes.
The other two frontline contenders – Uba and Ubah scored 43,285 and 21,261 votes respectively.
Professor Soludo ran on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the ruling party in the state.
While the APGA elected candidate is not new to the political circle, there are many who still don’t know much about him and his journey within the political realm.
It is on this premise that we have come up with nine things people need to know about the newly-elected governor of Anambra State.
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1. Aguata Born
Soludo hails from Isuanioma which is within the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Born on July 28, 1960, Soludo lost his mother at a tender age. However, the loss did not stop the young lad from doing excellently well in his studies and his flair for academics would eventually see him do his mother’s memory proud a few years after her death.
2. Erudite Scholar
Staying true to his genius, Soludo graduated with First Class Honours in 1984, obtained an MSc Economics in 1987, and a PhD in 1989, winning prizes for the best student at all three levels. A prolific macroeconomist, he obtained his three degrees and then a professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State.
3. Teacher extraordinaire
By 1999, Soludo became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA, he was also a lecturer at Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick University. He has also been a guest scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the the Brookings Institution.
The Aguata-born economist has worked as a consultant for a number of international organisations, including The World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.
Professor Soludo has authored and co-authored several books, most of which lay emphasis on multi-country macro-econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology, and panel data econometrics, etc.
4. Revolutionary CBN Governor
Based on his wealth of knowledge Professor Soludo was invited to serve his country in 2003 as the Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria. On May 2004, he was made governor and chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
As CBN Governor, Professor Soludo is credited with refocusing the Central Bank as an effective monetary authority, successfully implementing a fundamental restructuring which is said to have led to unprecedented consolidation of the Nigerian banking system.
According to a statement on the CBN official page, Soludo championed the establishment of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a continental, private -sector driven, investment bank.
Due to his good work while in charge of the CBN, Soludo got an appointment from President Mohammadu Buhari, to be part of the newly formed eight-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 16, 2019.
5. Dogged Politician
In 2009, the economics professor announced his intention to contest for the governorship seat in Anambra State, he was chosen as a consensus candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The gubernatorial bid was eventually unsuccessful as he lost to Peter Obi. Resigning from the PDP on July 17, 2013, Soludo joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in preparation for the November 2013, Anambra state governorship election.
However, he was dealt another sore blow as in mid-August 2013, he, along with five other qualified aspirants, was disqualified by the APGA Screening Committee.
Soludo would again declare his intention to run for the position of Governor on the APGA platform and this time, after a heated legal tussle, the former CBN governor was officially declared the candidate of the ruling party in the state.
6. Father of Six
Not so much focus has been thrown on Soludo’s private life in recent times, however, the professor is married to Mrs Nonye Soludo and they have been blessed with six children.
7. Multi-Award Winning Academic
Professor Soludo is the recipient of a plethora of awards and recognitions from various institutions and organisations. Most notable amongst these is the recognition by the Financial Times of London, as a ‘Great Reformer’.
Also highly noteworthy is his winning 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 which is published by the Financial Times of London. In 2006, he received a Global Banker’s Award in London.
He has also been conferred with Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) – Nigeria’s third-highest national honour.
8. Jolly Good Fellow
In addition to his myriad of accolades, Soludo is a member of the International Advisory Group for the UK Department for International Development (DFID). He is also a member of the Chief Economist Advisory Council of the World Bank, as well as a member of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD). Soludo is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and a fellow of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES). He is also a member of the British Department for International Development’s International Advisory Group.
The former CBN governor has a D.SC (Honoris Causa) from the University of Calabar and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi. In 2018, he received Red Cross awards for his contributions to the development of society.
In 2008, Soludo made his mark as an economist with great vision during a speech to the Nigerian Economic Society, he predicted a consolidation in the private banking industry.
“By the end of 2008, there will be fewer banks than there are today. The restructuring of the banking industry has been attracting funds from local and foreign investors, which have increased banks’ ability to lend to customers,” the professor declared.
In his speeches, the scholar has always expressed a hope to see Nigeria become Africa’s financial hub, and he considers microfinance an integral part of the federal government’s economic policies.
The device is used to accredit voters to enable them cast their ballot.
According to a Channels Television reporter at the scene, only 27 persons had voted out of 717 registered voters in the polling unit.
Soludo is also yet to cast his vote as he maintains that it makes no sense to vote when his crowd of supporters is yet to vote.
‘Let’s be patient’
Soludo had earlier decried the failure of INEC’s technology in the voting process.
He alleged that the situation in his polling unit was similar in many parts of the state.
However, he called for his supporters to exercise patience, describing himself as a “process person”.
“Voting is yet to start in most of the polling units in the state. And for the few places where they are doing, I understand that accreditation that is supposed to be done in seconds, takes up to 30 minutes,” Soludo said. “With the crowd here, you don’t need a mathematician to know that people standing here, will not be exhausted.
“So this raises fundamental questions about the technology. I’m quite a bit shocked. And this is all over the state. I’ve been getting calls from virtually every local government without exception, about the glitches, and the fact that people are not voting. Places where you have about 800, 900 people there you probably have about five, six that have voted so far.
“The fundamental problem is the failure of the technology that is being tried in Anambra; it just hasn’t worked up to till this minute.”
Soludo also lamented the paucity of INEC staff in many polling units.
“There is hardly any ward that there are INEC officials in all the polling units,” he said.
“There is one at Uke that is supposed to be 17 polling units, but you have INEC officials in only five.
“Also, the security. As you can see, there is no police official here. And that is also widespread across the state. In Ihiala local government, the latest report I have is that the materials haven’t even left the local government, let alone get to the polling unit.
“I’m a diehard optimist. I’m still hoping to see if we can have water out of the stone, so to speak. I believe I’m a process person. I’m very confident about the process. The INEC Chairman assured us of the robustness of this new technology, that they tried it somewhere for a rerun of the state assembly; but that’s a small location, depending on how the network is in place. Now, the fundamental thing they are complaining about is the network. It’s 1 pm, it hasn’t worked.
“My message to all our supporters, millions of them across the state, that have enthusiastically looked forward to this day, I say to you: let’s be patient. They told us it’s going to work. And I am patient.”
Nine suspects have been arrested over the attack on a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo.
This is according to the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, who stated this on Wednesday at the Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre in Awka, the state capital, assuring that other suspects will be apprehended.
“What happened last month is unfortunate. But let me tell you, we have re-strategised and we are coming out like a smoking gun,” Obiano said.
Four more suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack on a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, police authorities in Anambra State have said.
The arrest was made on Thursday – a day after the incident during which three policemen were killed at the Isuofia Civic Center in Aguata Local Government Area of the state.
Those apprehended were Mbah Victor – 30, John Olisakwe – 21, Chigozie Omeh – 20, and Emmanuel Nnobi – 28.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra, Ikenga Tochukwu, the suspects confessed to have actively taken part in the attack and subsequent abduction of the Commissioner for Public and Utilities, Emeka Ezenwanne.
He noted that the police were working assiduously to rescue the commissioner and making efforts to apprehend other fleeing suspects and unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Monday Kuryas, also confirmed the arrest of four suspects to Channels Television.
Although the police said they had arrested a suspect whose name was not disclosed, it is believed that the suspect is among those mentioned in the latest update by the command.
Kuryas reiterated the commitment of the police to ensuring the safety and security of the people of the state.
He also appealed to the residents not to relent in supporting the police with useful information that would help in curbing all forms of criminality in the state.
Professor Soludo, who is aspiring to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra, attended a stakeholders’ meeting with some politicians and others at the Isuofia Civic Centre on Wednesday.
While the meeting was ongoing, a group of gunmen attacked the venue and engaged the security personnel there in a gunfight.
As a result, the assailants abducted the Commissioner of Public and Utilities in the state, Emeka Ezenwanne, while three policemen were killed.
The police have arrested a suspect in connection with the attack on a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, in Anambra State.
Ikenga Tochukwum, who is the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday.
Professor Soludo, who is aspiring to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra, had attended a stakeholders’ meeting with some politicians and others at the Isuofia Civic Centre in Aguata Local Government Area of the state.
While the meeting was ongoing on Wednesday evening, a group of gunmen attacked the venue and engaged the security personnel there in a gunfight.
As a result, the assailants abducted the Commissioner of Public and Utilities in the state, Emeka Ezenwanne.
Following the incident, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Monday Kuryas, led a crack team of police operatives on an on-the-spot assessment to the venue.
Tochukwum said three police operatives sustained severe gunshot injuries during the encounter with the gunmen.
He added that the security operatives were later confirmed dead in the hospital, and their bodies have been deposited in the mortuary.
The command’s spokesman noted that Kuryas and the police team have also visited Professor Soludo to reinforce the security in his house and Isuofia community in general.
According to him, the police commissioner condemned the incident and commiserate with the family and friends of the officers who paid the supreme price.
He also ordered the immediate commencement of an investigation to unravel the mystery behind the incidence and bring perpetrators to book.
Kuryas called on the people of the state to join hands with the police in the fight against crime and criminality in Anambra.
A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, says it is important for Nigeria to be innovative.
He explained that this was necessary for the country to remain relevant among the comity of nations, noting the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
“The implication (of the signing) is that insularity will no longer be an option; the name of the game of the future in an increasingly integrated world is innovate, compete or die,” Soludo said while giving a speech at The Platform, an annual programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre.
He noted that the world was already on the fourth industrial revolution with the digital economy while Nigeria was struggling with the basic stages of growth.
“While electric cars are fast replacing diesel and petrol cars, many of our people are still building petrol stations.
“The ordinary people who can’t explain what has hit them resort to all sorts of criminal activities to survive. Economic structuring will entail thinking through the alternative scenarios and mapping out to alternative possible proactive responses,” the former CBN boss added.
Prominent Igbo cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has advocated a single tenure of six years for the nation’s president.
The group made its position known on Monday during the South East Summit on Restructuring Nigeria in Awka, the Anambra State capital, through a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo,
“The tenure of office of the President shall be a single term of six years,” Soludo said. “There shall be five Vice Presidents. One from each of the six geopolitical zones.”
According to Soludo, the Igbos demand a nation that works in order to give everyone a sense of belonging.
This, he noted, was why some aggrieved members of the Igbo nation were canvassing for seceding from Nigeria.
Despite the different political differences, Soludo believes that the Igbos firmly speak with one voice on the issue of restructuring.
Top on the demands of Ndigbo known for their entrepreneur skills in the country and across the world is the creation of the nation’s constitution and a constitutional conference enacted by the National Assembly.
He added, “We demand a new constitution of Nigeria. We demand a constitutional conference backed by a law enacted by the National Assembly where the people of Nigeria will agree on a new, truly, federal constitution.
“A constituent assembly should be constituted to agree on a new constitution for a new Nigeria. Such a constitution, the People’s Constitution should be approved by the people of Nigeria through a referendum to give it legitimacy and validity.”
Soludo’s comments further reawaken the calls for restructuring Africa’s most populous nations made by prominent Nigerians.
The calls for restructuring, with the nation going back to true federalism, gathered momentum late last year with many Nigerians seeking their support for it.
Most notable among them are President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr John Nwodo; former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode; Ayo Adebanjo, representative of Afenifere leader, Mr Reuben Fasoranti and Executive Secretary of United Niger Delta energy development and security Tony Uranta, among others.
Despite the various calls, however, President Muhammadu Buhari and a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Retired) have differed on the subject matter.
Buhari, in his New Year message, insisted that restructuring was not the most pressing issue in Nigeria because the country’s problems have more to do with the process.
A Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo says the lack of proper leadership ideas contributed to the nation’s economic crash in 2016.
The academic made the comments in a lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra, southeast Nigeria.
“At a time of oil pricing over 100, we were actually borrowing for recurrent expenditure for consumption. The total recurrent expenditure exceeded the total revenue meaning that from 2010 to 2014, that was the foundation and since 2015 we have carried on the same way. We borrow for consumption.
“Every penny spent on capital has been borrowed,” he stressed.
Professor Soludo, however, suggested the adoption of nominal price adjustment during a fall in commodity prices.
Legal practitioners, Liborous Oshomah and Kenneth Odidika on Saturday listed what they found wrong in Lamido Sanusi’s five year reign as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, while speaking on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise.
Oshomah, who was of the opinion that the government fell out of favour with Sanusi, argued that the suspended governor’s tenure was characterised by crisis and inconsistencies.
While praising the former CBN Governor, Charles Soludo, for managing challenges without raising alarms, Oshomah stressed that many of the decisions taken by Sanusi, while in office, were controversial.
He also mentioned the issue of the banking crisis which resulted in several banks folding up and thousands of workers being laid off, stressing that banks are still unable to recover from it.
While commenting on the controversies exposed by Sanusi including the 25% allocation of the national budget to the National Assembly, and the NNPC missing money, Oshomah said the suspended governor waited until the near end of his tenure to hit the government he is a part and parcel of.
“If you want to be a critic of the government, it is better to be out of that government,” he said.
On the inconsistency which trailed the figures released by the CBN as NNPC missing money, Oshomah asked why it took Sanusi so long to raise the alarm and faulted inconsistencies in the figures disclosed, adding that, calculations should have been done privately before going public.
“I think all of this should have been done underground so when you come out with your figures, people would solidly believe you, stand behind you and say that look this man knows what he’s talking about. But the way he went about it showed that all of a sudden the amount went from 49 to 10 billion.
10 billion is much, I agree, but for somebody at that level, I think once you speak we ought to believe.”
Speaking on the powers vested on the CBN governor, Oshomah said the apex bank is not a sovereign on its own and faulted Sanusi for acting as if the CBN was a country on its own and he the president.
On his part, Kenneth Odidika described Sanusi as a “very brilliant man who seemed not to appreciate the enormity of the responsibilities of the office he occupied.”
Odidika went ahead to label the suspended governor a ‘talkative’ whose good diction and spoken English and “musical voice” is mere theatrics ‘from Hollywood.’
“For a central bank governor to be in every forum, talking both about the economy and all things that are not related about the economy, that was unbecoming of Sanusi, as Central Bank Governor. I could go as far as saying that Sanusi was irresponsible in discharging or not discharging his responsibilities as central bank governor.”
The Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh has said that the process for nominating a candidate to represent a party during an election is an internal affair of the party; stating that the court cannot have a say in it.
Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, Mr. Umeh explained that the party had to screen aspirants who were interested in contesting for the party’s ticket and unfortunately the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo was part of the people that were not cleared, revealing that Soludo took the party to court and the court dismissed the case.
Mr. Umeh mentioned that it’s the subjective decision of the party that will determine who will qualify for the primary election, he said “if the party looks at the aspirants and screens them within its own criteria and judgment, the party has the right to say these are the people they consider viable to go for the election on its behalf”. He added that the people that were not cleared were given reasons why they weren’t cleared.
He debunked the allegation that the governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi is trying to impose the former governor of Central Bank as his successor, stating that “it is not the case”.