By Kenny Adewole
“Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat”
Soludo is at it again. He has said that Peter Obi is not having the chance to win the 2023 Presidential election
Soludo, we all know, is obsessed with attention-seeking and saying fictitious things from time to time. Once he feels he has not received enough attention or has been forgotten by the media, he explodes; he just says anything, indeed anything so long as it draws enough public attention to him. Little wonder, he always says that he enjoys talking from the comfort of his ‘expensive’ balcony.
Well, yes, Soludo, no doubt is entitled to his personal opinion. But is he equally entitled to his facts? Of course, that is where the line should be drawn.
But before we go into the subject matter, a quick rundown on how Soludo ran the CBN from 2004-2009 is important to give us a clear picture of where he’s coming from. In particular, we should examine how he ran the apex bank as though an academic institution with textbook theories gussied up within the fanciful precincts of mathematical equations. Agreeing with his idealized neoliberal monetarist specifications and lax banking regulations, bankers became ‘banksters,’ who were assured of getting away with their fraudulent schemes as long as they did so while massaging Soludo’s huge ego.
As a result of his Las Vegas kind of casino banking consolidation, banks dishonestly searched for quick and easy funds in full violation of most banking and financial laws of the land. The most violated became Article 15 (e) and section 32 of the Investment and Security Act (ISA). Millions of unsuspecting Nigerian investors became the victims of banksters who lured them into buying overvalued bank stocks thanks to insider trading. As a result, the life savings and pensions, worth N2.5 trillion, of these Nigerians were pocketed by these so-called bankers.
In fact, under Soludo’s watch, Intercontinental Bank fraudulently purchased over 30% of its share capital with depositors’ money. Afribank too used depositors’ funds to illegally purchase 80% of its IPO. Unbelievably too, through special purpose vehicles (SPVs), Cecilia Ibru illegally used depositors’ money to buy her 35% ownership of Oceanic Bank’s shares.
While the banking and financial sector were literally on fire, Soludo shocked the entire world, when he announced 2008 his bizarre naira redenomination policy — a year to the end of his tenure. Soludo saw himself above the law of the land, simply because he fought and won his CBN full independence as if a sovereign entity thanks to the 2007 CBN Act. But rather than patriotism, it was the $40bn he hoped to spend in printing a new set of naira notes that drove him. Saving the country from another of Soludo’s wild projects, not only did President Yar’Adua call him to order, he quickly canceled this mind-boggling project.
To clean up the five years mess caused by Soludo, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had to inject a whopping N620 billion of taxpayers’ money into the bailout the banks are now mostly in a coma. Also, AMCON had to spend close to N4 trillion taxpayers’ money purchasing banks’ non-performing loans and the entire financial sector’s toxic assets, mostly resulting from the Soludo-led Ponzi scheme. Because Soludo walked away from all the mess caused by his neoliberal textbook central banking, he seems to be enjoying his freedom of free speech, including turning facts upside-down.
In his recent outburst, he claimed that Obi would not win the 2023 presidential election. (Even though Soludo is not God).
Under Soludo, Anambra continues to drift into a Hobbesian state. It is left to be determined whether there is any functional police station in Anambra today as being a uniform-wearing law enforcement officer has become a death sentence across the state.
Police personnel has all taken a hide, working in muftis to sustain their extortions on the weak. Under this atmosphere of lawlessness, Anambra is daily drifting into becoming southern Nigeria’s most unsafe state. It is perhaps head-to-head in pole position with Imo in terms of mindless killings.
Under this atmosphere, the bloodsuckers are killing with reckless abandon with most incidents unreported. On May 4, they got South Africa-based Kene Mbeegbu in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area. They ensnared and shot at him as he tried to escape in his black Jeep Wrangler. They dragged him out, stripped him to his pants and shot him in the chest, murdered him in cold blood. The community had been thrown into mourning less than a week earlier over a similar killing.
A few months ago, a man transporting an Anambra family from Delta State for a homecoming event had a bitter taste of the reign of terror. He was shot in the head, and throat, and left to die on the journey into the state. His being alive today remains a mystery.
Hardly anyone is safe in Anambra today, except for Soludo, co-office-holders, and individuals with means to buy their safety in the hands of the bloodsuckers.
This is the task before Soludo. Governing a comfort zone CBN is nothing like governing Anambra. The two are extremely different ball games.
The earlier Soludo realizes this and wakes up from his slumber, the better for the legacy he wishes to leave behind for his people when he serves his time. Anambra is bleeding. A cheap oratory won’t save her. Radical actions must be taken to rescue Anambra from its drift into a state of nature.
I know that Peter Obi and his media team won’t respond to Charles Soludo but the Obidient family will not allow Soludo’s treatise of illogicality and a bad attempt at journalistic warfare to go away like that.
Soludo’s anti-Obi vituperation is known in Mathematics as Regression.
The unintended consequence of it is that support from Nigerians for Peter Obi will grow even bigger and better, that is for sure.
If Soludo had thrown his support for Peter Obi, it will be seen as one person supporting him, but the way it is now, his opposition to Obi’s Presidential ambition is -1+ probably 3 million.
In 1999, the people of South West opposed Obasanjo’s Presidential ambition based on their perception of him, which made Nigerians vote for him overwhelmingly.
It is called the principle of “if your people hate you, other people will adopt you”. It is also known as Cobra Effect.
I need to remind Soludo that Peter Obi is not an Igbo project but a Nigerian youth project.
In all honesty, Soludo was overrated. He has nothing to offer as a governor. He is becoming worthless and deeply clueless by antagonizing Peter Obi.
On a final note, Obi’s campaign has been leveraging Stella’s performance and stewardship in Anambra state. His prudential management of the state resources through savings and investments has won him a lot of admirers and earned him credibility.
I just hope Soludo has not crumbled the investment Obi brought to Anambra State even though he has squandered the savings Obi left in Government coffers with his latest request for an N100 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria!
On a final note, Peter Obi has become conscious. A lot of people think, eat, sleep, and walk Peter Obi.
Soludo! Soludo!! Soludo!!! How many times did I call you? Something is coming up in 2023, which will define the political mantra and equation in Nigeria. It is going to be like a revolution.
Kenny Adewole is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja and can be reached via email@example.com