WANTED: STRUCTURED CONVERSATIONS ON EXPECTATIONS FROM SOLUDO (PART 1)*

Joe C. Anatune*
Writes from Awa

There is intense, healthy and variegated conversation among Ndi Anambra about what the Anambra State Governor-Elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo will bring to the table. However, what seems to be missing in the conversation is familiarity with or knowledge of his agenda as succinctly spelt out in “Soludo Solution: A People’s Manifesto For A Greater Anambra State.”

We believe that proper literature review of this document should be the foundational precursor in shaping public debate on the policy thrusts of the Governor-Elect. It is therefore desirable that all critical stakeholders should go through the document so that we can move from the known to the unknown. Anambra will certainly be better off when the conversation is structured.

For instance, at the celebration of the remarkable life and times of the mother of my friend and brother Christian Onyemelukwe on December 3, 2021 in Enugwu-Nanka, the conversation on the subject centred on the priority sector the incoming administration should focus on. Some said roads, some industrialisation, some education, others energy while others said health, especially now that the omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is on the prowl. Anambra was here like an elephant being described from the angle each viewer saw it.

True, what is lacking in all the conversations is a central theme that drives the development agenda. The Manifesto document under reference has it and we think that understanding the overarching vision is imperative.

Yes, Soludo envisions a one-state Megacity that will be liveable and prosperous. Liveability is the underpinning concept here. A liveable city provides equitable access to the necessities of life such as housing, mobility, food, services, education and gainful employment. It affords all residents the opportunity to participate in the civic, economic and cultural life of the city. There are five key aspects of great livable cities namely, robust and complete neighbourhood, accessible and sustainable mobility, a diverse and resilient economy, vibrant public spaces and affordability. The city for instance should make walking a joy that is safe, comfortable and interesting. In short, a liveable city is a healthy city that promotes heath, well-being and equity.

The livability is the magnet that fascinates and attracts Ndi Anambra and the world to Anambra and engenders prosperity as people hardly invest in places where they can’t live. That’s why Soludo assures that as this grand vision is implemented, children born in Anambra will not have the lure to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

This is the game changer. Please read the manifesto and let the conversation begin as we get set to go forward together. http://www.thepeoplesmanifesto.ng

Be of good cheer!!

*Joe C. Anatune*
Writes from Awa

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