Cornucopia: Soludo, Simply The Best…

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By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD

The Head of Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Chioma Agbasimelo stood out during the 69th Board meeting and valedictory Board meeting of the Faculty of Social Sciences on Tuesday 14th May, 2024 when she said that the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone FAS was her destiny helper. She paused and said it shall be a story for another day. I was there and witnessed all that happened meticulously.

Hatchet jobbers have set the university on fire for their selfish gains. What business has the society with meeting of the senate of the university before it holds. It’s only a good outcome from Senate that supposed to be in the news. Newsmen are now fed with unnecessary things about the only university named after Zik of Africa. Anyways ……

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof Joseph Ikechebelu was outstanding during his brief remarks to usher in the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS. Let me leave it at that for now.

People don’t like those saying the truth. I was just worried at some of the people present at the various sendforth ceremonies and their eye services. What they say at the back and how they wanted the outgoing Unizik VC to notice them as their person. Shame!
They behave like the ostrich. I didn’t even do the needful I came to do as I decided to observe every action and pretenses thereto. I later focused on the wife of the Vice-Chancellor, Associate Prof Chinyere Esimone. I admired the Deputy Director, Center for Migration, Associate Prof Uju Ezenekwe but the person that swept me off my feet was Prof Ebele Nwokoye, let me not say it all. For the Sub-Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Associate Prof KK Osayi, he gave the microphone to a wrong person and got the shock… I shall tell you what transpired after…

I even saw Master blackmailer and king of hatchet jobbers galivanting unashamedly. Let me not spill the beans. I shall know the true characters once Prof Esimone bows out by first week of June, this year. Let me thank the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Frank-Collins Okafor and other Deans, Directors and Heads, for everything that happened at their various faculties, but particularly the coordination at Social Sciences and inviting my younger colleague to capture the event for memorial, because I got obsessed with interpretative journalism.

I nearly got choked up with laughter when I read the Founder of Madonna University Rev Fr Prof. Emmanuel Edeh saying virgins who are graduates are only found in Madonna University. Within minutes, my ears filled with people saying so many things about the university, but let me spare the story today, even though, Fr may have lost touch with realities on ground. It’s not a discuss for today.

Everytime, the society got fixated with journalists actions and inactions, but I ran into a lawyer whose academic is questionable. His behaviour, grammar and written briefs were mockery of the learned profession. I wanted to ask NBA Chairman Anambra State, Barr Bona Orakwe or my old friend, Barr Clems Ezike , what changed but I decided to stay action until the lawyer brings himself low enough for us to conclude with enough references because his action at a magistrate court got me dumbfounded and I wondered how he became a lawyer.

May 1, 2024, was sad for all workers in Anambra state as Mr Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo was unavailable for workers address. The workers were set to hear him. The anger, the worry, the hunger and the frustration were palpable but luckily he sent his Deputy to represent him. If it were the SSG, the story would have been different. The Deputy used street wisdom and overcame the unfriendly situation. He even opened a chapter everyone was interested in – man and woman affairs and like prey, the workers got captured and he won the day for Soludo against SSG and Shedrack who didn’t read the handwriting on the wall. Let me commend the NLC Anambra state chapter Chairman, Comrade Humphrey Emeka Nwafor for standing tall before, during and after this year’s Worker’s Day.

I am still wondering why Shedrack Nnanna, who bumped into me at the Alex Ekwueme Square and we exchanged pleasantries should be the one who castigated workers event, I shudder. He told me something about Soludo, but let me not disclose it before I become petty like him.
Could Shedrack be described as a quisling or was it just inciting government circles to hate us? Remember, it was workers Day, the birthday for workers. It was workers event in which they wanted to hear from their employer. Whose programme should be followed by the Protocol? That of workers or government? Simply put, you are giving me a programme to adhere to on my wedding day, right? We tailored the programmes to calm the workers.

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Before now, I read an unwarranted media attacks on Mr Valentine Ozigbo, Governorship Aspirant for 2025 Governorship election in Anambra State. Even, he was the Governorship candidate in the election that threw up Soludo. The attacks came in their torrents from Soludo’s camp and even Soludo’s main media handlers. It was shameful to say the least. The media attacks were unwarranted and unnecessary. Ozigbo has every right to critique this government and even aspire to be Governor for 4 years if that’s what he cherishes and nobody has an iota of rights to cajole him for aspiring or giving an innocent criticism. As a citizen of Anambra, who nearly governed the state and a Stakeholder, Ozigbo’s media attackers were unjust, uncultured, uncivilized, wicked and petty, even reducing the respect in the right thinking members of the society about Soludo’s government as one without room for tolerance on dissenting views. They made Ozigbo popular with hate reply they all went Frenzy with. I am not yet interested on the merits and demerits of what Val Ozigbo said or did not say.

Anyway, Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is two years in the office. Several communities have rolled drums to celebrate his feats particularly tarring roads that were believed to be impossible across several communities in the three senatorial zones of the state.

Some of these roads were awarded and constructed midway by the Peter Obi led administration before handing over to then Governor Willie Obiano, Akpokuedike global. Sycophants swam like bees around him and initiated a needless rival between him and his benefactor. Those roads were abandoned including a multi-million Neem Fertilizer factory at Amawbia at the commissioning stage. That project wasted with investments that would have given jobs to 500 people. Shameless power hungry aides advised that Peter Obi shall take credit and it was left to waste. A project at commissioning stage and spoken about internationally. Several agents still call me from across the world based on my reports online about the project. Amawbia people were even culpable having got key positions in Obiano’s tenure yet allowed Neem Fertilizer company to waste.

I was at Ugbenu, Awka North with journalists during NUJ, Anambra State council’s outreach where we gave back to society by spending over Five Million Naira on charity, and saw hero worship of the people of Awka North to Soludo for that Amansea-Ugbene-Ugbenu-Awba-Ofemmili road tarred. Same for Amansea- Ndiukwenu to Ufuma road, and particularly Okpoko in Ogbaru among others. If you speak ill about Soludo, some folks may stone you. Truly, he took the road construction by storm and achieved unprecedented mileage never witnessed before. That’s a fact. But, as a scholar, he denied credit to those who either awarded roads or abandoned them at varying stages.

Commissioner for Health, Hon Afam Obidike is smashing records silently in the health sector even though General Hospital Amanuke Awka North oldest General public Hospital is yet to recieve attention.

Still, on the issue of health, Mr Governor kept saying in many of his speeches that his administration renovated 326 primary health Centers in 326 political wards of Anambra State. Let me stay active in the health sector. Let me write about Education because, after May Day, so many NUT members and NASU in tertiary institutions brought forward unbelievable issues but investigations have confirmed them true. I have also reactions from other unions. Does the Soludo government have a presence in all the communities in Anambra State?

The activities around the youths and employment of teachers and other sectors and his regeneration policy of Okpoko among others are commendable but the greatest injustice to humanity by Soludo led administration was his hatred for journalists which led to closure of National Light Newspapers. He even sacked the entire staff without blinking before reinstating them to ministries after several face-off and appeals from our mother union via the organized Labour led by Comrade Humphrey Emeka Nwafor KSJI. Journalists have not been employed not even one but other professionals have gotten employment directly and indirectly from Soludo led government. Many others are in appointment, but journalists only deserved to be sacked, nothing more. The closure of National Light Newspapers remained his greatest injustice to mankind in Anambra State. Unknown to him, about 50 persons are plying their trade of Journalism with National Light Newspapers even when they’re not staff. Student Journalists across Mass Communication awarding institutions in Anambra have opportunities of visiting National Light on excursions to learn how it would be at graduation. Now, those opportunities are gone to the winds. I was granted an interview by a set of Journalists and my statement that Soludo hates journalists reverberated with official reactions from the Commissioner for Information, Hon Paul Nwosu and Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Aburime. I don’t want to react to their claims but let me commend them for being wise not to stoke a war in the media space becuase I was patiently waiting for the first baptism of fire on NUJ and it’s Chairman.

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Soludo is said to have achieved tremendously in all sectors particularly Health, Education, road infrastructure and blue economy to mention but a few. However, sequel to his promises to turn Anambra State into Dubai-Taiwan if he wins, it’s two years, yet, none of his achievements is worthy of such celebration because we haven’t seen Abuja, talk of Dubai or Taiwan.

Soludo promised to conduct local government elections but till date that’s not his priority. He rather jointly recieves the Federal allocation for Local Government Areas in Anambra worth several Billions, around N80 Billion in the last 2 years.

Of all these achievements, a closer look at each shall reveal empty noise and lack of information by the Media handlers. I personally have information across all sectors on the shortcomings of the government hence there is no need to attack, even people without much information but expressing superficially what they observed. I listened to a contractor with UBEC saying things he ought not say ,just to be in the good book of someone who doesn’t even know he says such.

Education in Anambra state under Soludo, it’s a shame and a sham. The free education is a scam. For example, Anambra State runs two categories of public Schools: Public Public Schools and Public Mission Schools.

Thus, these two categories of Schools are run by the State Government as they pay their teachers and provide other infrastructure for the Schools. In primary schools, the State has over 1070 primary schools while some have been allegedly forced to close down due to one problem or the other. However, the Public Public schools are 331 and
Public Mission schools are 736, including 457 Catholic Public returned schools, 271 Anglican returned schools and 8 Salvation Army returned schools.
These schools have a total enrolment of about 244,813 pupils with Public Public having 56,242 pupils, Catholic 122,636 pupils, Anglican 64,698 pupils and Salvation Army 1,237 pupils.

Soludo teacher’s recruitment.

With the above data, the free education programme is for only 22.9% of the entire Public Schools enrolment. Not to talk of the greater number that is in the privately owned primary schools in the state. What do thet benefit?

Currently the over 6.7B being UBE intervention fund for basic education is only being spent on 31% of primary schools in Anambra while 69% of primary schools under the State Government are neglected because they have been returned to their original Mission owners and their teachers are still Government paid teachers. What’s that!

Look at the manner Headteachers in only 31% of primary schools are paid N50k monthly running cost. This isn’t up to N2k a day. Is this the free education? The most appalling situation is the UBEC SMART school at Isiagu, Awka South Local Government Area and other UBEC Vocational schools. They are now in sordid states.

UBEC established three Vocational Schools in Anambra State to curb out of School Children rate and reduce the number of drop out boys and girls in our basic education schools in the state but none of them are functional and the worst of all is that it was discovered that the multi million naira Vocational School at Uga , Aguata local government area was razed down by fire whereas the Nsugbe Vocational School despite the fact that it is located inside Nwafor Orizu College of Education is overgrown by bushes with its installations being vandalised many years after completion.

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Unfortunately, the one at Amanuke is still ongoing as contractor is still on site. The Amanuke Vocational School was attracted by the presentation made by former Commissioner for Education in the last administration Prof Kate Azuka Omenugha showing that Anambra has the prevailing problems of girl child drop out from school as a result of early pregnancy occasioned by teenage/early marriages and the Executive Secretary of UBEC fancied by the presentation granted the Second Chance School for Awka North which result showed was worst hit, and the School was situated in Amanuke but there is no State Government interest nor presence in the project site.
Disheartening, is the UBEC Model Smart School Isiagu which has been completed since two years now and the ASUBEB had advertised for it’s opening for admission last year but it was aborted. And going with the State Government desire to establish over 200 Model Smart Schools across the State, one thinks that they would have shown greater interest in the one already established but a visit to the School leaves one in despair as the whole school is overgrown by bushes and in total neglect as the transformer there has been vandalised with fallen fences. Not even the Civil Defence Headquarters close to the school is anything to talk about. The school has no electricity, so one wonders how it will operate digitally and the State is talking about establishing 200 new ones whereas the one given to the state in a platter of gold has not be maximally utilised.
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The State has also gone a step backwards in education ranking in Nigeria from 5th position to 6th position, so what is the free education in Anambra State all about?
Anambra SUBEB during the Administration of HE Peter Obi used to win the best performing SUBEB in South-East geopolitical zone but has since lost the position to Ebonyi and Enugu State.
The last time non-teaching staff were employed in ASUBEB and PPSSC was during the administration of HE Peter Obi and since then no new staff have been employed and we are employing about 8000 teachers for both sectors where are the non teaching staff that will supervise the teachers and carryout other administrative duties in the two Parastatals, and we are talking about free education in the State. The manipulation in the employment of the teachers were outrageous and unbelievable under Prof Soludo. Some subjects were not advertised but were included during interviews, excluding those who studied it but could not apply for it since it was not in the advertisement. It’s a whole day work to write on!

The State has no running education plan that is current and if we don’t have plan then we have planned to fail in education.
Nothing is being heard in our, technical, college of education Polytechnic and tertiary education in the State as if they are not part of the education sector the State should be planning for.

I had reported on a headline (Soludo’s 2 years: Tension in Anambra as EFCC, ICPC Invite ASUBEB Over N6.7B UBEC Contracts). I had expected media nuisance from Soludo’s team but it didn’t come. I stopped my duty as a societal barometer at that, particularly, when the Executive Chairman of Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board , ASUBEB, Associate Prof Vera Nkiru Nwadinobi didn’t misbehave like some government appointees wont to. They are frantically trying to remedy the situation and I allowed the sleeping dogs to continue sleeping.
I can go on and on the education sector, but let’s see their denials.

Cornucopia is a weekly column of Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD.
Odogwu is a known Journalist, Editor, Media & Public Relations Consultant, Media Entrepreneur, Teacher, Lecturer, Motivator, Unionist, Community leader, social analyst and Famous Blogger, as well as Social Media Entrepreneur, Publisher and Conversationalist @ www.odogwublog.com among others.
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Email: [email protected]

15 thoughts on “Cornucopia: Soludo, Simply The Best…

  1. It is good to be truthful and give room for cross examination. When you misplace priority in your campaign promises, sycophants will cook for you salty food.

  2. When misplaced priority in your campaign promises, sycophant will swam around you
    About the road being tarred
    It really a good thing for the community

  3. The governor hatred for journalists is sickening, journalism is one of the most important occupation, if the governor fails to recognize journalists, then it’s a big problem. But about the fixing of bad roads, he did well.

  4. In every organization there are still some that are wolves in sheep clothing.. especially in educational sector.. which I think is also one of the problems of Nigerian education aside government

  5. Every journalist deserves to be treated fairly, the government should re-instate their jobs in those media organizations, and also make efforts to uplift the Anambra education system to it’s peak.

  6. This article is a brilliant one for it highlights Soludo’s efforts to consolidate support for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) through various developmental projects and youth empowerment initiative also
    Soludo’s proactive governance approach and his administration’s focus on development, while also addressing the controversies and criticisms surrounding his political maneuvers. This comprehensive analysis provides a nuanced view of Soludo’s leadership and its impact on Anambra State.

    Kudos to Dr odogwu emeka for this masterpiece 👏

  7. Gov. Soludo says government working to help youths succeed

    Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra calling on youths to take back their future and their country.

    This is one of the very best approach so far knowing fully that the are the future

    This approach is a very good example of what other governor should exhibit especially when it comes to the Youth. only few of the governor has been able to come to know that they are aging that there is a need to breed the ones that are coming up

    This is a move that will definitely ensure the growth and development of our country the more better grooming of our youth the better the country gets

    He admonished youths to collaborate with his government to help create a good and prosperous society by joining to combat insecurity being fuelled by some youths.

    This is a good approach he could have sent someone to represent him I love the fact he chose to do all by himself which has serve as big hope for the youth of our generation coming from a Governor is actually the best

    “We have a huge agenda for youths in terms of employment and empowerment, learn skills and the state government will support you; we have N2.5 billion for that purpose,” he said.
    For this I say thank you Sir

    Mr Innocent Nduanya, National Vice President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN)
    Mr Patrick Aghamba, the Commissioner for Youth Development
    Prof. Kate Omenugha, former Commissioner for Basic Education, delivered the lecture entitled “Solution for Digital Transformation”.(NAN)

    With all other commissionersagreeing there would certainly be a huge progress in Anambra

  8. Gov. Soludo’s effort at tarring roads is appreciated but I also believe there are lots of projects that need attention. I commend his for his works for the period of this two years and I urge him to do more.

  9. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD, the author of the “Cornucopia” column on http://www.odogwublog.com, has shared his perspective on the topic “Soludo, simply the best…” The article highlights the author’s admiration for Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, expressing confidence in his abilities and leadership style.
    Dr. Odogwu emphasizes Governor Soludo’s focus on addressing crucial issues in the state, such as security, economic development, and infrastructure improvement. He also acknowledges the governor’s determination to overcome challenges and build a stronger, more prosperous Anambra State.

    Udoye Chiamaka Doris
    2022014001
    African and Asian studies department.

  10. Kudos to Odogwu Emeka Odogwu PhD for another insightful piece in the latest Cornucopia! The article ‘Soludo: Simply the Best…’ is a thought-provoking analysis of GOV. Soludo’s leadership and vision. Dr. Odogwu’s use of engaging language and relatable examples makes the article a compelling read. I particularly appreciate Dr. Odogwu on his emphasis for Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to be more committed to innovation and progress, which resonates with the needs of Anambra State and our rapidly changing world. Prof. Odogwu Emeka expertise and passion for responsible leadership shine through in this well-crafted article. Well done, and I look forward to more thought-provoking pieces in the future.

    Nwabueze Peace Chinecherem
    2023124256
    Mass Communication Department.

  11. Gov soludo attention to the needs of anambra states , thier physical needs of construction of roads, security etc should be applauded unlike other governors who gives manifesto and end up not fulfilling. I admire give soludo

  12. Here is my view on the latest Cornucopia by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu PhD
    The hatred Governor Chukwuma Charles soludo has for Journalists is sickening,journalists are appealing to have a voice in the State.The author of this article requests Governor Soludo to establish a new National Light Newspaper company with 115 staff already factored in for employment
    Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has been praised for his achievements, including the construction of tarring roads that were believed to be impossible across several communities in the three senatorial zones of the state.He took the construction by storm and achieved record breaking distance never witnessed before.
    The Governor also renovated 326 primary health Centers in 326 political wards of Anambra state.

  13. After going through the article, here’s my view:
    Governor Chukwuma soludo has committed to his duties and responsibilities as a governor and is well deserving of the praise given to him.
    But I’ve come to notice that in the socio-economic development, public services, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and others aspect of governance, the least committed part is the Educational system which brings me to the question: are the youths still the leaders of tomorrow?, Cause I don’t see a future when the youths can’t even boast of quality education.
    Chinaecherem Christabel Ezulu
    2022024010
    Igbo and African communication studies department.

  14. After going through the article, here’s my view:
    Governor Chukwuma soludo has committed to his duties and responsibilities as a governor and is well deserving of the praise given to him.
    But I’ve come to notice that in the socio-economic development, public services, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and others aspect of governance, the least committed part is the Educational system which brings me to the question: are the youths still the leaders of tomorrow?, Cause I don’t see a future when the youths can’t even boast of quality education.
    Chinaecherem Christabel Ezulu
    2022014010
    Igbo and African communication studies department.

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