f you live in a country like Nigeria where so much is happening at the same time, it takes conscious effort to recognise and focus on the positives.
This is so because whenever you remember that the Chief Executive of the country and his wife are chilling abroad while Nigerians contend with fuel queues, high cost of diesel, ASUU strike, incessant blackouts, and skyrocketing food inflation, it takes another level of faith to believe that things may get better.
Nevertheless, I had reasons to believe there may just be hope for this great country after I sat through the inaugural speech of the newly sworn in governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo on Arise Television on Thursday, 17 March 2022.
Soludo not only promised to deliver on his campaign promises, saying the state would “win” under his watch, he assured the good people of Anambra State that every kobo of their tax money will be deployed to provide maximum value.
He also mentioned that the Anambra State Government will only patronize ‘Made in Anambra’ products and services unless such goods or services are not currently made in Anambra. It was at this moment that he pointed at the direction where his Innoson official vehicle was parked.
He then told everyone present that a light refreshment of abacha from Umunze, ukwa from Isuofia, Anambra rice with ofe akwu, nkwu enu from Awgbu, ngwo from Awa and Oba, and malt and bottled water from Onitsha would be served after the event.
Even though it’s been a while since I relished the taste of abacha and smoked fish, I couldn’t help but applaud the ingenuity of this erudite Professor of Economics and Econometrics who is determined to save costs while promoting home-grown delicacies.
Nevertheless, the part of his speech which got me excited was where he mentioned that the state will embark on a palm revolution by planting millions of palm trees which in the next few years will lead to the exportation of palm produce and fresh palm wine from Anambra State. I’m sure the gods must have smiled when he mentioned fresh palmwine.
While we wish Soludo the best as he embarks on fulfilling his campaign promises, we hope and pray that Anambra under his watch will become Nigeria’s compass to the future, and a testament of what an intellectual can do if given the opportunity.
By John Olugbemi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Olugbemi is a historian, creative writer and communications strategist. An avid reader with a passion for a system that works, he has consistently used his Facebook page to inform, encourage and entertain his friends and followers within and outside Nigeria.
A Google Certified Digital Business Developer, John presently heads the Marketing and Communications Unit of the Millard Fuller Foundation, an organisation with a vision to provide truly affordable homes to Nigerians who are in need.
His hobbies include writing, reading, cooking travelling, and jogging.
He is married to an adorable woman, and they are blessed with three beautiful daughters.