By Daniel Ezeigwe
It takes a tiger-claw courage to fix a wrong philosophy.
And in a case where a particular political, religious, social or cultural anomaly has become a traditional fixture, it takes something outside of the arsenal of ordinariness – or someone whose management ideologies are deeply cut in pragmatic disruption – to correct.
The Igbos in their remarkable witticism put it in a succinct, evergreen proverb: “Ihe ojoo gba afo, oburu omenala.” Loosely translated to mean that “when a wrong or forbidden practice is allowed to exist for a long time, it becomes a tradition or a way of life.” Wrong traditional practices come with a deadly hit back.
Most times they leave practicers at the perpetual mercy of haphazardness, inconsistency and social decline. The elementary conclusion is simple: No one backslides and anticipates progress.
Pre-Soludo’s Anambra State existed largely in that incongruent circumference. Governor Soludo would offer to incorporate a management philosophy that is highly welfarist but does not negate administrative and economic benchmarks. Most people have often criticized Governor Soludo’s political perspectives as taking an unpopular route; a miserly pattern that does not throw up the usual political fiesta that seemed traditionally right in Anambra’s political environment. Some have even described the governor’s management ideas as parsimonious and stingy.
But who would you blame? Nobody! The political mentality in Nigeria is culturally hinged on splurge, extravagance and prodigality. Dishearteningly, the concept of “bazaar politics” has thrived through so many administrations and, like that Igbo proverb, has become a tradition; an anomalous fixity. A leader that gives up such squander some affairs on the altar of service and good governance, is seen as impassive and ungenerous. Stingy is the right word!
Governor Soludo’s leadership principles dwell more on positive effects, especially as they relate with the common man. Each of his policies take passionate cognizance of how those whose economic expectations are meager can become greatest beneficiaries.
The recent announcement that antenatal care and delivery services in Anambra State are to be done free of cost for any woman living in Anambra State until the end of tenure of his administration, gives ample description of what Professor Soludo stands for, as a leader and as a man who wants the best for his people.
It says even more that the Anambra State Governor prefers to invest in the lives of his people than in wine glass clinks and flamboyant political carnivals. It is important to note that no state in Nigeria has rolled out more extenuative measure against the current economic hard time in Nigeria than Soludo’s Anambra State. It would never be so if the governor spends more on remunerating thousands of political appointees than on the retirement benefits of that civil servant who retired in 2018 and was hoping to use her gratuity to start up a small scale trade just down the street. Neither would it ever tolerate suggestions to top up workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions by twelve thousand naira for the rest of the year.
These timely interventions may not look significant to the eyes of a perennial critic whose judgement angle is marred by bitter sentiments. But to over fifty thousand beneficiaries of that monetary palliative, it is a mark of responsiveness from a government that thinks constantly about what to do reduce the burdens on the shoulders of its people. To that low-income family that would no longer have to struggle to pay antenatal and childbirth bills, the heave of relief will re-echo through testimonies.
It shows Governor Soludo’s humaneness, and willingness to sow directly where it matters the most: In the lives of his people!
It is important for Ndi Anambra to understand that Governor Soludo’s economic mastery has played vital part in how he has ingeniously managed the state’s finances, and is using every penny for a worthy venture. Not a man who condones financial waste and stagnant investment, the governor believes unrepentantly in the laws of saving and wise investment. In Governor Soludo, Ndi Anambra have brought in the most prudent manager, not a waster. A governor that believes in outputs and results and rewards hard work and productivity. Professor Chukwuma Soludo is here to fix Anambra State.
Not to run her pockets dry. Those who describe his management style as stingy would have to live with the disappointment that no penny will fall out from the newly-stitched Anambra coffers. May Soludo’s Anambra Succeed!