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100 Days That Challenged Soludo




THE best thing about the first 100 days of Anambra State Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is that he is the first to admit that the days were bumpy and challenged him. Anything else was beside the point.
Celebration of the “first 100 days” is a tradition of the American presidency which Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of America instituted.

According to Wikipedia, the 100th day of his presidency was 11 June 1933 which passed without any remarkable event.
It was on 24 July 1933, that Roosevelt in a radio address used the term “first 100 days.”
He said, “we all wanted the opportunity of a little quiet thought to examine and assimilate in a mental picture the crowding events of the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal.”

The pace of his administration was not lost on anyone. In 100 days, he signed 76 laws, 15 of which were major laws on banking that addressed bankruptcy, restored the public’s confidence in putting their money in banks and reviewed vigour of the stock market. Other laws on agriculture and projects protected rural farmers, stabilised product prices and created more jobs and electricity (the Tennessee Valley projects) to get America out of the Great Depression.
Roosevelt could not have done all these alone. He had a special session of Congress that lasted three months to get the money and legal backing he required to get things done. How he did it is a matter for deeper studies for imitation or adaptation.

He was most prominent applicator of “spending out of depression” with the creation of a works corps that engaged in public works which some considered a waste. The idea was government’s way of getting money into their pocket to include more people in the economy.
Soup kitchens, and other social policies helped pull the poor, weak, and elderly out of poverty. Roosevelt was determined. No doubts attended his stand on these decisions.

Soludo, Professor of Economics, former Central Bank Governor knows these and more. The people’s expectations he fired during the campaigns with his proposed Soludo Solutions have not ebbed an inch.
People are waiting for his magic wand or versions of it. What has Soludo done in 100 days? He could not lay a hand on any except to give unknown gunmen more credit than they deserve for slowing him down.
Insecurity in Anambra State – like in most parts of Nigeria – is real. People would not accept it as a reason, maybe as excuse for much not being done in the early days to establish a momentum for the administration.
Chima Christian, an informed commentator on the State points out Borno, where another professor is doing wonders in the midst of insecurity, to Soludo.
“Borno State’s Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum is one such shining example. Ndị Anambra who eagerly await the transformation they ordered through their votes will benefit greatly if Gov. Soludo and his team embark on a fact-finding mission to Borno State.
Anambra’s new leadership may need to understudy how Gov. Zulum did, and is still doing, almost unbelievable developmental strides amid the massive crime scene and war zone Borno, unfortunately, degenerated into,” Christian noted in one of his write ups on Anambra State.

Zulum has made poor performances untenable. The war raging around him, assassination attempts, and resources have not slowed him down. He has not used the war as explanation for doing less.
“I am not a fan of marking 100 days in office. I prefer to give you annual report and we look forward to the first one in March next year,” Soludo said of, “the last 100 days” which he described as “very bumpy and challenging. It has been a case of so far, so bumpy, but so good.”
Soludo has to learn quickly that broadcasts are important public engagements that deserve better attention that he gives it.
Was he forced to mark the first 100 days? Did he expect that having agreed to mark it the people expected a sloppy account like his preference for an annual report? If he wasn’t marking it he could have moved on without it.
Any close observer would notice that blame shifting and blame sharing form strong elements of his administration where he is his own leader.
Even with insecurity that has affronted him, Soludo has at best been heady and loud in his reactions. Is it possible for him to fight insecurity without any alliance with the seven surrounding States of Kogi, Enugu, Abia, Imo, Rivers, Delta and Edo?

Soludo blamed delay in commencement of road construction on non-passage of revised 2022 budget. Another blame but the more tasking one to believe.
What did he do to get his budget passed? Supposed the budget was passed, what roads would he construct in the middle of the rains?

The first 100 days are great reminder that time is ticking away. If he neglects exploring the pace such milestones are, Governor Soludo would be shocked how misty March can be each year.
Soludo was inaugurated on 17 March 2022. His first 100 days marked on 25 June 2022 have chirped his 1906 first tenure to 996 days.
Whether he counts them or not, the next 100 days would be counted. Hopefully, the Governor would make them count.

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