Why Nigeria Needs Soludo to Succeed

Soludo’s speech at his inauguration should benefit from rigorous debate. But the man’s speech, promises, and barely hidden fears were hijacked by two women behaving badly in public. Thank God for technology. I finally got the chance to read the whole thing and have a few thoughts.

We can’t forget that the east has neither a Lagos nor an Abuja, both remarkably flawed cities, and yet both ahead of their peers in certain modern parameters. Reading Soludo’s speech, I see that the man has dreams but it appears that even he fears that he might not be able to do much — or as much as we would like for him to. I say this because of the note of caution he sounded towards the middle of his speech.

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“[A]ll of us wish that I could perform miracles — by waving my hands and all our problems will be solved. I hear you. I feel your pulse. For your sake I keep awake at night, sometimes having palpitations about not letting you down. Well, since God is the Miracle Worker, I will look up to Him in prayer and faith as we all start the work ahead of us.”

I understand that we are used to buffoons showing up as leaders making airy promises, so perhaps Soludo’s caution is the path less taken and so has its appeal. I just worry that he is worried and I don’t like that he’s worried. If a man who has had time to study the lay of the land over the years is worried, then the rest of us should panic. Soludo’s people have not voted God in; they chose Soludo for a reason. I would rather be gingered than be reminded that God is the miracle worker. None of us Christians forgot that, bros. Let’s focus on your vision, sir.

I get it to an extent but if fools can say what they can’t do during their own speeches, why can the brilliant candidate not provoke confidence in his people during his first speech? Was that part written by his speechwriter or did Soludo specifically pen those words? He mentions how he and Obiano had a gentleman’s agreement in 2017. Now considering Obiano’s shambolic reign, I have to wonder the dimensions of that agreement. And are there other people with whom Soludo agreed on one point or the other? Will these people allow him to be as effective as he was as the head of the CBN? We’ll have to see.

I like that he spent so much time talking about the security situation in his homeland. Where other people have either ignored what is happening or talked tough but were ultimately ineffectual, Soludo has asked for a discussion. I hope it works. I hope productive discussion is possible with the groups shaking the region. I like that he is focused on tech and has said that “Part of our future is in our past”, which implies the man is looking to take the best of the past in combination with the promise of the future and through some governmental alchemy make his state a wonder. I hope he succeeds.

He might think that his success is his and his state’s. Far from it. Soludo’s success will make it easier for other acclaimed brilliant persons to get accepted into positions of political power. His success will not — cannot — be his alone. Ditto the opposite.

I noticed he used elements taken from SWOT analysis in his speech — twice, I believe. I have never really agreed that thinking of an entity like a state (or a country, especially, a poor one) like a business is entirely wholesome. So, I hope Soludo gets the mix of profit and people right. The bottom line in a business may be pure numbers. But for a state, how those numbers are obtained is just as important.

Soludo will be looking at God, as he has said; a lot of people will be looking at him.

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