The new governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo has announced new appointments as he hit the ground running following his inauguration yesterday.
He retained Prof Solo Chukwulobelu as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG),
He also announced the appointment of Dr Chukwudi Okoli as the Accountant General and Chinedu Nwoye as the Deputy Chief of Staff/Chief of Protocol.
Soludo said his list of commissioners will be forwarded to the House of Assembly next week.
The governor and his deputy, Dr Onyekachi Ibezim, were sworn in by the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, at 10.55 am.
The event was held at the Government House in Awka, the state capital.
In his inauguration speech, Soludo, a former Central Bank governor, promised to transform the state.
He urged the people of Anambra to volunteer their time and treasure to create “the homeland of our dream”.
“Everybody is important in this journey and I need your help to succeed,” the governor said.
“We must all strive to die empty—to give our all, in aid of God’s creation. Each day, every Onye Anambra must ask himself or /herself: ‘What have I done today to make my home state livable and prosperous?’ It should be part of our daily devotion.
“There must be a purpose why God in His infinite wisdom decided to make you Onye Anambra—and that must be to leave it better than you met it. No one is too poor to give or do something for Anambra. If not you, then who; if not now, then when?”
Articulating his profound vision for Anambra, Soludo said: “As I close my eyes and visualise our future, I can see millions of Ndi Anambra holding hands and working hard for a glorious future.
“I see the skyscrapers along the banks of River Niger in Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, Ekwulobia, etc.
“I see a smart megacity with millions of happy and prosperous people.
“I see us exporting massively to the world and the world coming to Anambra as a preferred destination to live, work, invest, learn, relax and enjoy.
“History beckons. Seize this moment Ndi Anambra, and together, let us make it count. Anambra: the Light of the Nation shines!”
Praising his predecessor Willie Obiano, Soludo said: “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 emphasise 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.”
Soludo said it was time to work, adding that there was “no minute or kobo to waste in fanfare”.
He said he would meet the state security council, permanent secretaries and with his Strategy, Execution and Evaluation (SEE) team yesterday.
Soludo announced the suspension of all revenue collections in the state for one month and outlawed all cash payments to the Anambra government in motor parks.
Governor urges IPOB to embrace dialogue
Soludo emphasised the need for peace and called on youths, politicians and agitators, especially the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to embrace dialogue.
“There is no conflict that dialogue, in good faith, cannot resolve.
“Our government is determined to urgently restore peace and security in Anambra, and we will seek the active cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders.
“To IPOB-ESN, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), as well as the disparate armed groups in the forests, it is time to interrogate both the purpose and means of your campaign.
“To the politicians playing politics with the insecurity, you are riding a tiger. The current trajectory is a road to desolation.
“Let us get around the table and talk. Let the elite in the closet come out, and let’s debate our future and forge a consensus.
“The conspiracy of silence by the elite and some community leaders must end.
“If you see something, say or do something! Securing Igboland and Nigeria must be our collective responsibility,” Soludo said.
He believes the sit-at-home costs Anambra alone an estimated N19.6 billion every Monday.
Soludo said: “Due to the protracted breakdown of law and order, businesses are relocating outside Igboland, with growing unemployment, and traders who used to come to shop in Onitsha, Aba etc are going elsewhere.
“Who is losing? By forcing our children—the future of Igboland—to stay at home instead of being in school, while even the critically sick people (including pregnant women) cannot go to the hospital, we harm our future.
“I hereby challenge any of the disparate groups that claim that it is not part of the senseless killings and kidnappings to step out and show leadership by joining hands with us to do something about it.
“If you love our homeland, there is no place for bloodshed.”