Thursday, October 22, 2020

PROF CHUKWUMA CHARLES SOLUDO: A COMPENDIUM OF IMMORTAL WORDS OF AN ICONIC LEADER AND A LIVING LEGEND @ 60

By Christian ABURIME

 

On Tuesday, 28 July 2020; Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo clocked 60 years.

From his childhood days to this very day, Soludo has remained an enigma, a phenomenon, a dreamer, a thinker, an idealist, a reformer, an uncommon achiever and a performer.

John Maxwell, one of the world’s best selling authors and motivational speakers once said: “Goals may give focus, but dreams give power”

Today, as a special birthday tribute to Prof Charles Soludo, we examine the ‘POWER’ in his dreams and thoughts as a great thinker, a visionary leader and a living legend of our time, as expressed by him (in his own words)

Speaking about himself in 2010 when he contested for Anambra governorship, Soludo said:

“… I believe that God has a purpose and a plan for everyone. From my humble beginning, it is only through the grace of God that I could have earned a Distinction grade at the secondary school; a B.Sc (First Class Honours) Economics; an M.Sc and a Ph.D Economics; winning Departmental, Faculty and University awards as best Graduating student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka”

On his accomplishments as the CBN Governor 2004 – 2009:

“…I have been decorated with scores of awards, including being awarded the African and Global Central Bank Governor of the year 2006, by the Banker (Financial Times) and the Financial Times of London has described me as ‘ a great reformer’. The Federal Government has conferred the third highest national honour ( Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR) on me in 2006… in recognition of accomplished performance ”

On why he was eager to go back to Nigeria instead of settling down to work in the USA:

“…If God in His infinite wisdom decided to make me an African/Nigeria, there must be a purpose. That purpose, in my view, could not be fulfilled by living a comfortable life in the United States. I believe that on the judgment day, God will ask how I used the talents and gifts He bestowed upon me to serve Him by leaving the society better than I met it. It is not an accident that God decided that I should come from Anambra State/Nigeria”

On Anambra State:

“I believe that only the best is good for Anambra State. Politics remains the major platform for changing society. As I argued elsewhere, there can be no sustainable wealth creation without sustained interest in politics”

Still speaking on Anambra State:

“Anambra has all it takes to be a modern and prosperous state, and some have argued that Anambra is well-positioned to be Africa’s Taiwan, Singapore or Dubai…”

On his ultimate desire for Anambra

” There is no reason why Anambra cannot be designed to be another Dubai”

For the people of Anambra state while contesting for governorship in 2010:

“Our Agenda for a New Beginning will build upon the potentials and capabilities of the State (human and material resources) and will hope to minimize its weaknesses in order to create wealth, create jobs, reduce poverty and re-orient the values of the people”

On the African Dubai -Taiwan (ADT) dream:

” The  African Dubai – Taiwan (ADT) is my dream for my people. I am convinced that God has willed that this dream is one whose time has come: there is no going back!”

On the actualization of the African Dubai-Taiwan (ADT) in Anambra state:

“Let us all roll our sleeves and go to work. With a clear vision, a comprehensive plan, and a people mobilized to go beyond self into collective action, I dream to see the skyline along the Niger river bank; to see five-star hotels in Onitsha and Awka; to see the tourist zones along the Anambra river; the recreational centres; the elite and middle-class residential areas planned; private world-class schools; world-class infrastructure…”

On investment in the state:

“Anambra has men and women to make things happen. Anambra people invest everywhere except in Anambra. But if Anambra people do not invest in Anambra, nobody will. We must draw a thick line between our past and the future. We must have a new beginning.”

On the uniqueness of Onitsha:

“Onitsha is clearly the largest market in West Africa (some even say in Africa) and is a unique city in which almost every building/house is a part of the market. Onitsha is also the largest city in the South-East, and there is hardly any Igbo man who does not have a relation living in Onitsha”

In an address to the Bankers Committee on July 6, 2004; on consolidating the Nigerian Banking Industry:

“The goal of the reforms is to help you become stronger players and in a manner that will ensure longevity and hence higher returns to your shareholders over time and greater impacts on the Nigerian economy. We strongly believe that the ultimate beneficiaries of this policy shift would be the Nigerian economy, the ordinary men and women who can put their deposits in the banks and have a restful sleep: the entrepreneurial Nigerians who can now have a stronger financial system to finance their businesses, and Nigerian economy which will benefit from internationally connected and competitive banks that would also mobilize international capital for Nigerian development”

On the future of Technology in Nigeria at the Founder’s Day lecture delivered at the University of Benin, Edo State, on November 23, 2006:

“Nigeria needs to revolutionalise its science and technology infrastructure. Dependence on natural resources for growth is not sustainable and since science and technology hold the key to the future, the time to lay the future is now”

His overview of Nigeria in a lecture delivered at the 2005 Democracy Day, May 29, 2005

“Nigeria has all it takes to be a great country. It has a population now estimated at about 140 million (clearly one of the most populous 10 countries in the world), one-quarter of sub-Sahara Africans, and one-sixth of the black race. Given its abundant human and natural resources, Nigeria is potentially Africa’s largest economy. Every year, the country produces over 200,000 graduates of tertiary institutions (including 65 universities); Has the 6the largest gas reserve in the world; 8the largest oil producer; with abundant but largely untapped natural resources comprising gold, columbite, bitumen, iron ore, coal, limestone, etc; and with 69 percent of its arable land lying fallow. Nigeria has also millions of its citizens in Diaspora ( with an estimated 100,000 Nigerians medical doctors and scientists abroad). Given Nigeria’s size and its strategic importance in Africa, if it fails to develop, Africa will continue to lag behind other regions of the world”

On his clarion call for Ndi Anambra to close ranks and collectively work for the growth of Anambra state:

“I invite you to join the train. In time of crisis, there is no such thing as neutrality or setting on the fence: you are either for the people or against them. I urge you to stand up to be counted. To those who equivocate or are still undecided, I ask: ” if not you, who?; If not now, when?”

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