A friend recently called my attention to an interview granted the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. As I read through the interview I was suddenly convulsed by laughter. Was I reading the words of a serious minded politician or just a comedy script starring the loudmouthed Chief Imo and the ever witty and satiric Osuofia. When I finished reading, I believed firmly, that whatever the Senator set out to say was wrongly said, and whatever political wisdom or intelligence he alluded to was wrongly assumed.
Firstly, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, shockingly stated that he needed just one term of four years as governor to catapult Anambra State to a pinnacle of excellence. Yes, this ambition is bold and assertive but remains what it is, a fantastic delusion powered by unbridled vaulting ambition, because governance is not as simple as buying refined fuel, storing in a tank farm and dispensing to buyers.
Asking candidly, does a governor or even a Senator need just four years to solve the problems of his people. We have heard failed promises of solving Nigeria’s electricity problems in just six months. It turned out that after eight years the maker of that promise was still studying the magnitude of the problem he boasted to redress in six months.
We have also heard of the promise of bringing Naira at par with the Dollar within few months. In those same few months that gullible people were expecting to see the Naira match the Dollar one to one, the woes of the Naira had escalated from #500 to beyond #1200 to one Dollar. The country is in the present mess because, with us, talk is cheap, and gullible Nigerians often pander to tales told by ignorant people, full of high sounding words but signifying and representing nothing but idiocy.
This is my view of Senator Ubah’s request for just four years to solve the problems of Anambra State. I am tempted to believe that he doesn’t yet understand or know the dimensions of the problems of the state or the fundamentals that should be present in tackling the problems.
The Senator is a politician like many others who also want to be governor but sadly, he does appear to be employing the obsolete strategy of cheap talk, always full of sound and fury but always signifying nothing. Incidentally, this strategy no longer works. Twenty four years of unbroken democracy has brought sophisticated political reasoning among the people and ndi Anambra now run away from people who make such fantastic promises.
Secondly, he said he would conduct Local Government elections within four months of his swearing-in. This statement is worse and more catastrophic than the request for just a term of four years. Assuming he wins the governorship election in November 2025 and gets sworn–in in March 2026, does anyone, even his diehard supporters, believe that by July 2026, Senator Ubah as governor, would have appointed the Commissioners and many others that would work with him, studied the handover dossier and wholistically studied the revenue traffic of the state, to be able to conduct Local Government elections within four months.
This is a flamboyant tale politicians should avoid. It mirrors the ignorance of the Senator and may portray him as someone who does not yet understand anything about the fundamentals of micro and macro economics or how a governor functions.
Thirdly, the Senator said he rated governance in the state in the past 18 years at 20% and that he would bring in 80% content that had never been discussed in governance before. According to him, “I have a burning desire to contest the next governorship election in Anambra State because this government (Soludo’s government) and others before it have not been able to put the state in the development trajectory we desire.” By this unfortunate statement he was saying that Peter Obi’s eight years administration was a failure, Willy Obiano’s eight years equally a failure. Is this as a result of insomnia, myopia or outright escalation of falsehood? Whichever, the truth is that the whole charade was aimed at Governor Soludo.
His opinion would have been regarded as good thinking or a wonderful speech if it was made in good faith and with analytical explanations. But as his statement was obviously not made in good faith would it be wrong then to ask the Senator, if the 80% content and the development trajectory he intends to bring into the state are the same as the ones he brought into his presently dysfunctional company, Capital Oil? I ask because since many of the company’s operational outlets were closed down and taken over by AMCON because of the company’s inability to pay its debts, many people have been rendered jobless and distressed. Nemo dat quod non habet as lawyers will say means that, you cannot give what you don’t have.
Can Senator Ifeanyi Ubah honestly bring to a state of more than ten million people what he could not bring to his business of a few hundred people? However, it does not mean that a failed businessman cannot aspire to be an administrator. It only means that a bad administrator cannot be a good businessman. Will it not amount to voluntary undertaking of avoidable risk to entrust Anambra State with over ten million people to someone who could not handle the affairs of a few hundred people. This is more especially when the indices that occasioned personal business failure are the same being canvassed for public office.
Governance is not cheap and the office of the governor of any state, including Anambra, is not reserved for anyone who could sing a lullaby.
In another paragraph of the interview, the Senator said, “voting for people with over-bloated personality and structure has failed us. It’s time to vote for people with passion, people with track record, that’s who I represent.”
I wish he didn’t turn this bend but he did. Since he will be running against Soludo, I suppose he was referring to the governor as one with over-bloated personality. I wish again the Senator did not swallow this bait of self delusion. There are repercussions for this kind of delusional attack on reputable people as Professor Soludo and I am sure, that the Senator, being a politician, knew the rules of the game and the most visible track record he has now is his inability to run Capital Oil successfully and keep the company afloat.
In any fight against real men, small men should avoid the temptation of flexing wrinkled and flabby muscles. Professor Soludo is a world acclaimed economist, a Consultant to the World Bank, Economic Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic and Governor of the Central Bank, who etched his name in gold, not only by his applauded efforts in the recapitalization of Nigerian banks but more for his role in steering the nation’s economy towards unprecedented success.
If this erudite scholar has bloated personality, what shall we say of a governorship aspirant, who few years ago paraded ordinary NECO Certificate as his highest educational success and now, a curious law degree, that the Federal Government is suspicious of it’s source and had placed that same source on suspension. It is sad we have to go down this abyss, but I am sure, that the Senator knowing the rules of the game expected to be given a candid answer. That’s what I have only done.
Politicians should desist from throwing stones, especially when they live in glass houses. They should minimize the pursuit of arrogance and focus on the acquisition of substance. Again, there is need for politicians to understand that to defeat Soludo in the coming election, they must borrow wisdom from the boxing king, Muhammed Ali. When Ali fought Ken Norton, Norton supposed he beat Ali in the fight and pranced around in jubilation until the judges announced Ali the winner. Ali told an intrigued Ken Norton, that to “beat a champ you gotta whip a champ.”
All I am trying to say is that to defeat Soludo in the next election, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and other aspirants must begin to convince Ndi Anambra, that the phenomenal developmental revolution going on simultaneously in the 21 Local Government Areas of the state is not real but tricks our eyes are playing on us.
Until they do this, the works of the Governor have made him a champ. The more pedestrian his opponents become and the more they advertise their ignorance, as seen in Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s interview, the more they turn Soludo into a more rugged and impregnable champ and the more Ndi Anambra see them as flamboyant ignorants.