Viewpoint - November 20, 2022

SUNDAY MUSINGS: Soludo’s Insoluble Verbal Diarrhoea

By Innocent Okon

Many have made efforts to add value or deconstruct life as a phenomenon. Such efforts are encapsulated in philosophies, discoveries and even wise cracks. It must have been in this pursuit that Abraham Maslow, a renowned Management Scholar, propounded the timeless human development matrix credited to him as “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”.

The theory stratifies the needs of man from physical basics to the egoistic apex in a pyramid model.

According to Maslow’s model, man at a pristine level needs basic physical satisfaction like food, clothes and shelter. These needs once achieved would graduate to quest for intangibles like self-recognition, acquisition of power, and control of other men and resources.

The theory even has an extension to the point where, after acquiring recognition, power and wealth, man’s preoccupation and concern often centres on security and consolidation – how to build a formidable hedge around his acquired fortune against invasion by predators. That’s why the security fences around the property of rich men are not only higher than all others in their neighbourhood, but fitted with best security gadgets to check the incursions of trespassers.

Maslow’s pyramid of needs theory has stood the test of time for its empirical deductions and presence across climes, cultures and generations. It captures in graphic terms the restless and insatiable nature of man from birth to grave!

Armed with this theory, you can’t question the rationale of a multi-billionaire like Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly called MKO, risking his massive business empire for a foray into the murky waters of politics.

You can’t question a certain Donald Trump in the United States of America showing interest again so soon for another tenancy in the White House come 2024 after what many think his previous shot did not end well.

It explains why men and women in many sought after professions would abandon their careers for politics and public service! Man is perpetually in pursuit of power.

Since 1983, the year my biological age gave me the constitutional privilege to cast my first ballot, I have seen a lot of them taking turns to attain Maslow’s summit of needs in business and politics.

In 1979, a jolly good fellow from Borno state called Waziri Ibrahim, abandoned his multi-million private business for politics. And thrilled many with his philosophy of “politics without bitterness”!

Intellectuals from the academia followed suit and deserted classrooms for soap boxes. Amongst them were Professor Ambrose Alli who governed the former Bendel state; Ishaya Audu, former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Dr. Clement Nyong Isong, a one time Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and former academic at the University of Ibadan, and Dr. Chuba Okadigbo of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

They provided the mix the polity and politics needed to capture and sustain interests of both the young and old.

After a long military interregnum, 1999 also ushered in a pot pourri of professional politicians and academics. Late President Musa Yar’dua holds the record of being the first University graduate to be elected and inaugurated as a President in 2007.

In Cross River state, two Professors are holding sway as Governor and deputy since 2015! This year, after past attempts, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, took the oath of office as Governor of Anambra state after leaving his seat as the Governor of CBN and returning to the academia.

Soludo parades a distinguished academic credentials. From his impressive resume`, no one can say that he was driven into politics by basic physical needs as expounded by Maslow. By any standard, Soludo cannot be accused to be craving for either food, clothing nor shelter at his age. And many believe this opinion must have activated the support for him at the polls in a State where “politics of stomach infrastructure” has been taken captive by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people! His gubernatorial campaign slogan was ‘Soludo for Solution’. But since his election, the people are still waiting for this solution(s) to their myriad of problems. They want to see Soludo solutions in internal security, quality education, provision of key infrastructure and improved investments! But it seems this academic has mistaken governance for a post-Graduate class on Nigerian Contemporary Politics!

Few weeks ago, he abandoned the immediate concerns of his home state, which include, but not limited to insecurity, to make scathing remarks on the service score sheet of one of his predecessors in office, Peter Obi

If it were that Obi was Soludo’s immediate predecessor, the sense in his attack would have been understandable.

For records, Peter Obi is not the immediate past Governor of Anambra state! Between Peter Obi and Soludo’s arrival in Government House, Awka there is a distant space and time of at least 16 years!

In the interview he granted Channels Television, Soludo described Obi’s investments as poor on returns as the yield from the investments were next to nothing! Soludo view on Obi’s investments did not disguise his opposition to the man’s bid for the Presidency come 2023. Some say Soludo’s view betrayed his innate jealousy of Obi’s good fortune to achieve what he has as a fawning dream.

Some questions are pertinent here before Soludo runs away with his intellectual hubris and warped conclusions. Have the polymer notes introduced by Soludo when he was the Governor of CBN not depreciated in value and quality since he left office several years ago? Why should the achievements of Peter Obi be such a big concern to him than the welfare of Ndi Anambra who are waiting on him “to show his solutions are working”?

Academics sojourn in government in Nigeria always achieve little results due to their romance with theories which are often a disconnect from the aspirations of the people! And arrogant application of theoretical solutions to practical problems often avails but little.

In 1979, Prof. Ambrose Alli ruled then Bendel state with little success, except the establishment of a state university, which is now named after him. Largely due to his abysmal score card, Samuel Ogbemudia, a retired General, dusted him in the gubernatorial elections in 1983. The rest of the Unity Party of Nigeria Governors like Lateef Jakande of Lagos, Bisi j=Onabanjo of Ogun and Pa Adekunle Ajasin of Ondo states, who were arguably not in the intelligentsia constituency, retained their seats for second terms!

Although am yet to make up my mind on this frenzy about the raving wave of this OBI-DIENT mania, but I think unguarded criticisms of Obi’s past service and vision for Nigeria should come from his opponents in the field, at least not by a baby Governor who is still learning the ropes on the job!

In months and years to come, the challenges of leadership will make Soludo know that “GOVERNMENT HOUSE NO BE CLASSROOM “!

Okon, a journalist and lawyer, is based in Uyo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

AFREXIMBANK opens talks with Geregu Power to acquire its shares

MEDIATRACNET The AFREXIMBANK has opened talks with Geregu Power Plc on prospects for the a…