Saturday March 19, 2022/ 11:32 AM / by Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR Governor Anambra State/ Header Image Credit: Channels TV
Being Inaugural Address as Governor of Anambra State held at the Government House, Agu-Awka, Awka Anambra State on 17th March, 2022
Umunne m Ndi Anambra,
I applied for this job; my party, (the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA) shortlisted me, and you-umunne m Ndi Anambra--- interviewed and employed me as your chief servant, with Dr. Onyekachukwu Gilbert Ibezim as my deputy. God ordained this moment and we are grateful to Him and to you all for the privilege to serve you. Dr. Ibezim and I will work hard every day to make you proud. I ask millions of Ndi Anambra all over the world who have prayed for today to simply say a one minute prayer to commit this journey and Anambra State unto the hands of the Almighty God. Anambra will win.
Before I go further, let's pay special tributes to hundreds of thousands of our friends and supporters who worked tirelessly to see us to this moment. It is not possible to list all of you here. I remember with deep sense of grief the three gallant police officers ----Inspector Murtala Saudi, Sgt Mudassir Ahmed, and Sgt Samuel Ishaya--- who lost their lives to the Unknown Gunmen who attacked us at a meeting with the youths in my village last year. We pledge to continue to take care of their families.
Let me particularly thank my friend and outgoing governor of Anambra, HE (Sir) Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, for being an honourable gentleman and leader. On Sunday, 20th November, 2016, I accepted your proposal for gentlemen's understanding and partnership. I kept my part in 2017 and even after five years, you still kept yours in 2021. I always emphasize this point because it is rare these days to find people who keep their word in politics, and we will never take your support for granted. You are indeed a great leader. Thanks for believing in me. We will work hard to make you and Ndi Anambra proud.
To our indefatigable national Chairman, Ozonkpu (Dr) Victor Ike Oye, your visit of 27th August 2016 and unwavering support remain historical. I will continue to thank all our party members especially the members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), National Executive Committee ( NEC), State, LG and Ward Excos, Campaign Committees at all levels, etc, for the massive support.
I am grateful to all the stakeholders of the Anambra Project---the clergy and the church, traditional rulers, Association of Anambra Town Unions (ASATU), labour, market, trade and professional unions, youth and women organizations, non-indigenes associations, businessmen and captains of industry, the Diaspora community, persons with disabilities, etc. We thank especially the 41 self-funding support groups who propelled this movement. Our donors and the goodwill of other Nigerian stakeholders made a significant difference.
Thanks immensely to the 150 star-studded Transition Committee chaired by our own Dr (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili. Let me once again put on record our debt of gratitude to the federal institutions-the judiciary, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies for insisting on a transparent and credible electoral system. Eternal gratitude goes to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and The Presidency for remaining democrats.
In particular, I thank my wife, Nonye Frances Soludo, and children: Ozonna, Ifeatu, Chinua, Ekene, Oduko and Zikora for their love and sacrifices. Despite your deep reservations, you still allowed and supported me to step out in the service of our people. As I repeatedly promised, I will work hard every day never to disappoint you. My 90-year old father is watching this live, while my late beloved mother, Mgbafor, is smiling in her grave.
Today is my first day at work. I just reported for duty and will work for at least eight hours. We had more than a month since the election to celebrate our historic victory. Now is the time to work, and there is no minute or kobo to waste in fanfare. In a few minutes, I will announce some of the principal officers of the administration, and commence with serious meetings of the Anambra State Security Council, followed by a meeting with the permanent secretaries, a meeting on Okpoko, and with my Strategy, Execution and Evaluation (SEE) team.
Within the next one week, the list of commissioners will be laid before the House of Assembly. Tomorrow, we will head to Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area and parts of Onitsha and Idemili as we signpost our commitment to fundamental urban regeneration, beginning with the greater Onitsha metropolis.
As I stand here, I feel the weight of history. I stand on the foundation laid especially by our elected predecessors- Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe GCFR, PC, Dr Michael.I. Okpara, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Christian C. Onoh, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr Chris Ngige, OON, Mr Peter Obi, CON, and yes, our own Chief (Sir) Willie M. Obiano. You all did your best and well for our people, and I salute you all.
As I wear the APGA muffler on my neck, I feel the weight of Africa's historic progressives like the Great Zik of Africa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, GCFR, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Dr M.I. Okpara, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief Joseph Tarka, Malam Balarabe Musa, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, etc. Not to talk of the millions of living African progressives, who still dream of Renascent Africa. We will never let them down.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance ( (initially set up as the United Progressives Grand Alliance UPGA) is a nostalgic rebirth of the grand alliance of progressives in the First Republic comprising Azikiwe's NCNC, Awolowo's AG, Joseph Tarka's United Middle Belt Congress, Aminu Kano's Northern Elements Progressive Union NEPU, etc. As the first true progressive party in Nigeria since 1999, our ideology is a combination of Zik's neo welfarism, Awolowo's scientific socialism, and Aminu Kano's democratic humanism, to form what we see as the Pan African market progressivism.
It is a Pan Africanist ideology that integrates the social democratic values with the principles of competitive markets. Anambra under our watch will mirror this ideology, and we believe that this should be Nigeria's compass to the future. We will seek active collaboration and cooperation with the Federal Government, our neighbouring and other states as well as the international community to provide our state truly people-centred governance. We will consolidate the progress made under our predecessors to continue Anambra's upward trajectory.
Today, I stand up for the millions of Ndi Anambra for whom this mandate means everything. The hopes and expectations rise up to the heavens. Understandably, all of us wish that I could perform miracles - by waving my hands and all our problems will be solved. I hear you. I feel your pulse. For your sake I keep awake at night, sometimes having palpitations about not letting you down. Well, since God is the Miracle Worker, I will look up to Him in prayer and faith as we all start the work ahead of us. I see and feel all the humungous challenges. I know the lean financial base of the state. I know the limitations imposed upon a subnational state such as Anambra by the peculiar structure of our federation. But here's my promise: I will give it my all. I will work very hard every day, with you, to make Anambra proud. Every kobo of your tax money will be deployed to provide you maximum value.