Anambra State will today, enter a new phase as the democratically elected governor, prof. Charles Soludo takes over the governorship mantle from Willie Obiano who has successfully ruled the state for 8 years under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Chukwuma Soludo of APGA the winner of the November 6 governorship election in the State.
While Soludo polled a total of112,229 votes to defeat his closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 53, 807 to emerge second.
Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate got a total of 43,285 votes to emerge the third position.
Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) came fourth with 21,261 votes. Mr Ubah also won in one local government, same as Mr Ozigbo, with Mr Soludo winning in the remaining 19 local governments.
Here are five major things you should know about the governor-elect
1. Aguata Born
Soludo hails from Isuanioma which is within the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Born on July 28, 1960, Soludo lost his mother at a tender age. However, the loss did not stop the young lad from doing excellently well in his studies and his flair for academics would eventually see him do his mother’s memory proud a few years after her death.
2. Erudite scholar
Staying true to his genius, Soludo graduated with First Class Honours in 1984, obtained an MSc Economics in 1987, and a PhD in 1989, winning prizes for the best student at all three levels. A prolific macroeconomist, he obtained his three degrees and then a professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State.
3. Teacher extraordinaire
By 1999, Soludo became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA, he was also a lecturer at Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick University. He has also been a guest scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the the Brookings Institution.
The Aguata-born economist has worked as a consultant for a number of international organisations, including The World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.
Professor Soludo has authored and co-authored several books, most of which lay emphasis on multi-country macro-econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology, and panel data econometrics, etc.
4. Revolutionary CBN Governor
Based on his wealth of knowledge Professor Soludo was invited to serve his country in 2003 as the Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria. On May 2004, he was made governor and chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
As CBN Governor, Professor Soludo is credited with refocusing the Central Bank as an effective monetary authority, successfully implementing a fundamental restructuring which is said to have led to unprecedented consolidation of the Nigerian banking system.
According to a statement on the CBN official page, Soludo championed the establishment of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a continental, private -sector driven, investment bank.
Due to his good work while in charge of the CBN, Soludo got an appointment from President Mohammadu Buhari, to be part of the newly formed eight-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 16, 2019.
5. Persistent Politician
In 2009, the economics professor announced his intention to contest for the Governorship seat in Anambra State, he was chosen as a consensus candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The gubernatorial bid was eventually unsuccessful as he lost to Peter Obi. Resigning from the PDP on July 17, 2013, Soludo joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in preparation for the November 2013, Anambra state governorship election.
However, he was dealt another sore blow as in mid-August 2013, he, along with five other qualified aspirants, were disqualified by the APGA Screening Committee.
Soludo would again declare his intention to run for the position of Governor on the APGA platform and this time, after a heated legal tussle, the former CBN governor was officially declared candidate of the ruling party in the state.
6. Father of Six
Not so much focus has been thrown on Soludo’s private life in recent times, however, the professor is married to Mrs Nonye Soludo and they have been blessed with six children.
Soludo first came out as a governorship aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party in 2009.