I am one of Peter Obi’s supporters who is not very disturbed about Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s treatise of illogicality and a bad attempt at journalistic warfare with, unfortunately himself. Peter Obi and his official communication team are not interested in joining issues with him, nor any other person or group who is or are on a mercenary mission to distract the team from their focus of rescuing Nigeria from the shackles of bad governance brought about by years of incompetence, insensibility and corruption, which characters like Soludo, who has strove all these years to portray himself as an intellectual or even a technocrat, contributed more than a lot to.
Those who know Soludo closely have held strongly to the convinction that he is a “well packaged fraud” and a clay-brained intellectual, who was driven to the top by a combination of good fortunes, deceptive loyalty, inveigle, and a dangerous willingness to do dirty jobs for money or for power. Many of us, especially, those of my age who were undergraduate activists at the onset of the Fourth Republic, when his likes were packaged as saints and geniuses and given a lot more credit than they deserve. I have a Comrade, who was apparently taken over by the media creation of a sterling, brilliant image of the now better unveiled invidious Isuofia Chief.
We have since seen the real Stars of that Obasanjo era move on to higher callings in the international community, with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is actually the star of that administration now holding sway at the World Trade Organisation after many other notable international appointments. But, in what should be the clearest evidence of his intellectual inefficiency, Soludo has rather been shuttling from Aso Rock to Agu Awka, with bowl in hand seeking anointing to be governor or to be settled with one appointment or the other by the federal government.
For a man who would want us to recognise and probably prostrate before him as an economic egghead, yet, his adviced and recommendations are partly responsible for the economic disaster we are confronted with in the current Buhari administration, as he is one of the few men appointed into the Buhari Economic Advisory Board. How can a man who advised Nigeria into an unprecedented crash in the value of the Naira, lowest ever GDP in recent history, highest ever inflation since 1999, worse cost of living crisis in the history of Nigeria and of course, the most negative economic outlook in recent Nigerian history, consider himself qualified to pontificate on the right economic practices?
When Soludo took up his tablet or any device he wrote with, he probably thought very lowly of Nigerians, if he thought anyone would take him seriously, giving his self-glorifying panegyric. Let me try to interrogate paragraph by paragraph, Soludo’s ignominious drivel into historical infamy.
It is obvious from the first paragraph of the long-winded venom, that our Isuofia brother was out for a dirty job. Not for himself, nor for his Party, but for his employers; the Abuja cabal and the bat. If an executive governor could sit down and personally author a piece of humourless comedy in response to what he aptly described as social media trolling of his by individuals he couldn’t identify by name or their official positions, then there is no better way to describe such a governor, but as an insecure miscast in power. If Soludo was not a miscast in Agu Awka, he should have known that he would only need to respond to statements made from official quarters or those that come directly from his “peers”. Unfortunately, like every intellectual error, like a village cat who would always shout to roar his tigritude. Soludo only wanted to remind people that he is a Professor and that he can write. Expectedly, he wrote gibberish.
I do not agree with him that he reads “The Man in the Arena” regularly, because if he did, he wouldn’t have gone ahead in a later paragraph to categorically dismiss the chances of the real man in the arena as long as the 2023 election is concerned. He would have taken to heart a stanza in that epigram which reads;
“…who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
If Soludo got his training right, he would have known that there is nowhere in Igbo custom or belief system where it is assumed or affirmed that saying the truth is suicidal or dangerous. We say in Igbo that “Eziokwu bu ndu” and we are always encouraged to say the truth always. Mischievous elders like Chief Soludo are the ones who consider saying the truth a dangerous act, hence, speak equivocally and tell us it is being diplomatic. Like it is obvious in his long and misdirected recrimination, Chief Soludo has nothing to say but to pour out his bitterness and deliver on a dirty job for which he was deployed by his Abuja bosses. So, it is nonsensical for him to say he would refrain from saying certain things. That was a subtle appeal for ceasefire from the Obidients. He wants us to become afraid that he might spill the beans, hence, leave him alone. That’s an overused blackmailing strategy which doesn’t work on people like us.
No matter how stringently he tries to deny it, Soludo is clearly envious of Peter Obi, and I will give you five reasons why he is; 1. Peter Obi is a multibillionaire with clear evidences of how he made his every Kobo, and who, even though has never been indicted by any anti-graft agency in this country. If Soludo claims that he is a billionaire today, we will subject him to thorough investigation because he has been a salary earner all his life, and with what we know about his legitimate earnings, he would be a thief to be a billionaire. 2. Peter Obi is the most popular and masses-oriented Nigerian politician alive. Soludo would be ready to sacrifice everything he has to enjoy 10% of the love Peter Obi enjoys from Nigerians. 3. Peter Obi has kept a clean record throughout his stay in public office. Had Soludo not been desperately romancing with every government in power, he would probably had been in jail now for the multibillion Naira scam he is being investigated for by the EFCC. 4. Peter Obi’s first political outing was on his own terms, when he won the governorship of Anambra State, Soludo may be one obscure and probably frustrated lecturer in some not too ivy league University somewhere, if Obasanjo hadn’t been sold a dummy that he was hiring a firebrand economist, who turned out to be the shockiest appointee in Obasanjo’s economic and who would have wrecked our economy had Obasanjo not had an Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the helm of the economic team. 5. Peter Obi governed Anambra for eight years without using the power of a governor or the resources of Ndi Anambra to fund his children’s career. In less than one year as Anambra governor, Chief Soludo has used Anambra’s resources and his powers as governor to organise a fashion show for his daughter and to launch an album for his son. It is clear enough that without him becoming Anambra governor, these children of his might have as well not got any mention in the industry they are trying to play in.
You do not say that someone is your friend, you show that you are someone’s friend. Yours is certainly not the kind of friendship anyone would want to keep, because you are a dangerous friend. No true friend takes to the public to sing about purported private discussions he had with a friend.
Assuming you actually offered Peter Obi the option of joining APGA to run for presidency, it is because Peter Obi has seen through your treachery and knows that APGA would not provide the platform for him to run an effective and successful presidential campaign, that he turned down that poisoned chalice of a gift. And you cannot claim to be a true democrat in one breath and in another boast about how you planned to impose someone as your party’s candidate without following the laid down democratic principles of election. Peter Obi joined Labour Party because no single individual would decide what happens to him and what doesn’t. The APGA ticket was a setup to extinguish the fire of his campaign. And, would he have been joining the Victor Oye illegal executive or the authentic executive led by Edozie Njoku?
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Describing majority of Nigerians, especially, the youths, as a headless mob, is the height of your insolence to Nigerians and confirms that you are an illegitimate democrat. Nigerians who are frustrated with perennial bad governance, incompetence and wickedness of your ilk, cannot be so disrespected by you without consequences. And I know that the day of reckoning won’t be far away.
It is unfortunate but no longer surprising that in your desperation to please your paymasters you choose to ridicule the Igbo nation by portraying us, in public, as political illiterates and a tribe of thugs and emotive mob of irrational partisans. I will like to educate you that no one who has ever sold off his family land to strangers ever gets a good resting place. One day, you shall answer for this ascerbic derogation of the Igbo race for political convenience, and if you do not, I assure you, your children shall. Peter Obi is not running as an Igbo candidate, but as a candidate of all truly displeased and patriotic Nigerians. I will be glad to read your contribution to the Igbo political development and liberation or even education, beyond your sycophancy to Aso Rock, and any power bloc you believed could assist your ascent to Agu Awka.
You might have read the best books in economics and probably written wonderful essays in economic theories, but you are certainly not the kind of economist I would want to hire to manage any investment for me if you could argue that it is better to throw money around in hosting Iche na mmadu bu ewu kind of parties than saving for the rainy days or investing with an intent for bigger returns in future. I am not an aide to Peter Obi, hence, I do not have any briefing on this subject matter, and I also consider this as unserious writing, hence, won’t waste my useful time digging for certain information I know is in the public domain, but as someone who has traded since he knew how to walk and talk, I can tell you that an investment can never go wrong and saving money can never be a wrong decision. My elementary economics teacher taught me about scale of preference and opportunity cost, and I know by commonsense that no leader or business executive would ever be able to solve all the problems of an institution or a State. Peter Obi saved, because he knew he wasn’t going to be governor forever and he left enough money in the banks for his successor to fund his own ideas and continue from where he stopped.
Your claim to building Nigeria’s foreign reserves to “an all time 63 billion dollars” and paying off external debts validates your notoriety for chalartanism and arrogance in ignorance. You were neither the Commander-in-Chief, nor the head of the Nigerian Economic team. You were not even the Minister of Finance, but a mere banker, whose biggest achievement was awarding contentious contracts for the reprinting of the Naira and the controversial and scandal ridden bank reforms. Your loudest policy proposal was the failed redenomination of the Naira, which better trained economists confirmed would have made the Nigerian currency a wreck of valueless papers and useless metals as coins.
As for the question of what our great leaders Nnamdi Azikiwe and M.I Okpara would have done had they been around at this period in our political history. My simple answer is that they would have recommended your type to be served as burnt offering to whatever deity the Isuofians hold sacred, because over the last 23 years, you have been closely associated with those in Aso Rock, it has never been found that you used your contacts for the development of Ala Igbo or the advancement of her political causes.
You know, I am still babysitting and my dear wife needs some rest, so let me cut your few remaining paragraphs short so I can tend to my little baby.
I want to tell you that the lines I love most in your envy-laden dirty job are the areas where you tried to sound like the bad analyst that you are, by adducing lousy arguments why Peter Obi cannot win. You also made a not very smart attempt to directly campaign for your boss, Bola Tinubu. But I will pray that the good God keeps us alive and mentally lucid to be come back to that argument after February 2023.
We are going into an election, and elections are not called until the final ballots are tallied and counted. But you claim that Peter Obi cannot win any state and that he is only going to get 25% in only four states. This part of your essay is what interests me most, because at the end, it will serve to better unravel you before Nigerians as a fortunate, sneaky and bookwormish economist, who only knows how to copy and paste and cram and vomit, but who lacks the most basic mental alacrity to arrive at good judgements or analysis on any issue.
I will throw this challenge to you and wait for the D-day; Peter Obi will win at least 10 states outright, and garner the 25% required in a number of States. The Obidients are not going to be complacent, hence, I am not going to tell you most assuredly, that we will win, but I will assure you that we will work out asses out to ensure that we win. Go back and read the man in the Arena again, only this time replace “the man” with “the Nigerians in the Arena”. Only be assured that we will not be deterred by the “cold and timid souls” like Soludo, because we know that even if “we fail, at least we fail while daring greatly.”
•Onwuasoanya FCC Jones, aformer Imo State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), writes from Abuja.