Ten facts about Anambra's new governor, Soludo
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Ten facts about Anambra’s new governor, Soludo

Ten facts about Anambras new governor Soludo

Charles Chukwuma Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has been sworn in as the governor of Anambra State. On Thursday, he was sworn in.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Soludo, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the winner of the Anambra Governorship Election on November 6, 2021.

He was elected to 19 of the 21 local governments, including Ihiala LGA.

“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” Prof Florence Obi, the Returning Officer of the Anambra Governorship Election, said while announcing the election results.

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The following are some of the most important things you should know about Anambra’s new governor:

 1. Historical context

Soludo was born on July 28, 1960, in Isuofia, Anambra State’s Aguata Local Government Area. He lost his mother when he was a child.

2. Husband and father

The professor is married to Mrs Nonye Soludo, and they have six children. Soludo’s personal life was kept private prior to his election as governor.

3. Political adventure

In his first apparent effort, the professor of Economics ran for governor of Anambra State under the People’s Democratic Party in 2019, but lost to Peter Obi.

Following his failed attempt, he left the PDP on July 17, 2013 and joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance in preparation for the Anambra state governorship election in November 2013. However, in August 2013, the APGA Screening Committee disqualified Soludo and other candidates.

Soludo announced his intention to run for governor again in 2021. Soludo, who served as the apex bank’s governor from 2004 to 2009, was declared the winner after INEC declared the November 6 election inconclusive and a supplementary election was held in the state’s Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday. He was elected to 19 of the 21 local governments, including Ihiala LGA.

Soludo, 61, received 112,229 votes, defeating Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who received 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, who received 43,285 votes. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party finished fourth with 21,261 votes.

4. Academic career

Soludo earned a First Class Honours degree in 1984, an MSc in Economics in 1987, and a PhD in 1989, and was recognized as the best student at all three levels.

He has been trained and involved in research, teaching, and auditing in areas such as multi-country macro-econometric modeling, computable general equilibrium modeling techniques, survey methodology, and panel data econometrics, among others.

Soludo, a prolific macroeconomist, earned three degrees and a professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State.

5. A career in education

Soludo has held visiting positions at the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge, the Brookings Institution, the University of Warwick, and the University of Oxford, as well as Swarthmore College (USA). He has also served as a consultant for several international organizations, including the World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.

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Today, Soludo takes the oath of office as governor of Anambra.

Soludo was a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA, by 1999, and he was also a lecturer at Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick University. He’s also served as a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Brookings Institution.

6. Governor of the CBN

Soludo was appointed Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, and he was named Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on May 29, 2004. He also serves on the International Advisory Group of the British Department for International Development.

Soludo is credited with refocusing the Central Bank as an effective monetary authority, successfully implementing a fundamental restructuring that is said to have resulted in unprecedented consolidation of the Nigerian banking system during his tenure as CBN Governor.

According to a statement on the CBN’s official page, Soludo advocated for the establishment of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a continental, private-sector-driven investment bank.

7. The government

Soludo began working for the federal government in 2003. Prior to his May 2004 appointment as CBN chairman, he served as former President Obasanjo’s Chief Economic Adviser and as the Chief Executive of Nigeria’s National Planning Commission.

In a speech to the Nigerian Economic Society in January 2008, he predicted consolidation in the private banking industry, stating that “by the end of 2008, there will be fewer banks than there are today.”

8. Appointment to the Economic Advisory Council

On September 16, 2019, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), appointed Soludo to the newly formed Economic Advisory Council, which would report directly to the President.

9. Assault by gunmen

During the run-up to the election in April 2021, gunmen opened fire on Soludo and his security aides during a town hall meeting in his hometown of Isuofia in Anambra’s Aguata Local Government Area.

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Three of his police orderlies were killed in the “senseless” attack, he said. In his acceptance speech, Soludo dedicated his victory to the three police officers.

10. Legal squabble as an APGA candidate

Soludo’s path to victory was paved with stumbling blocks such as legal battles and intra-party squabbles, but the Supreme Court in Abuja confirmed him as the APGA governorship candidate. This followed the court’s dismissal of a former APGA candidate, Chukwuma Umeoji.

The court then decided to order INEC to replace Umeoji as the APGA’s validly elected governorship candidate with Soludo.

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