November 1, 2021, my friend, Professor James Agazie (who lives at Atlanta, Georgia, USA, he is from Anambra state) sent to me a video of the debate by Charles Soludo, Vincent Ezigbo and Andy Uba, candidates for the governorship of Anambra state. Since Dr. Agazie asked for my feedback on the debate, I am going to throw caution to the wind and hazard an opinion.
I do not know much about the three gentlemen doing the debating. I have heard of Charles Soludo when he was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria but did not care to know much about him; I have also heard about Andy Uba when he was a chum of President Olusegun Obasanjo. I had not heard a word about Vincent Ezigbo before the debate.
My impression is that Andy Uba is an illiterate; he was barely able to articulate his thoughts in passable English; however, he seems like what Americans call a political hack. He seems the kind that would do well breaking the arms of the opponents of rootless politicians but as an individual he has underdeveloped intellect. He said nothing during the debate that a person with only elementary school education would not be able to say. I am not impressed by him.
Charles Soludo came across as an arrogant, know nothing prick; he appears proud and empty headed but was trying extremely hard to impress his audience with his erudition and accomplishment. He kept trying to say that he has facts and data backing whatever silly cause he espouses. Well, he appeared flippant and silly, a narcissistic showboat. He did not come across as a man who possesses leadership abilities, if by that we mean a person who posits goals and dedicates his life to pursuing and achieving them. He did not even come across as a seasoned manager of large organizations, which he should have been if he ran the joint called the Central Bank of Nigeria. It would be interesting to corner him and talk monetary and fiscal policies with him and see if he is as smart as he pretends to be. He stood by the podium acting like a secondary school boy, fidgeting, making weird movements with his body and always trying to cut into what other folks are saying but not making much sense. In my view he is not qualified to be the chief executive officer of Anambra state.
Vincent Ezigbo came across as a very humble man, the type that if there is a job to be done, he would get to it and get it done without boasting about his background. He genuinely came across as an experienced bureaucrat, even technocrat and I would hire him for a chief executive officer job. Of the three on the stage, I would vote for him.
Let me reiterate that I had no prior knowledge of the political antecedents of these three men in real life, I am basing my observation solely on what I garnered from watching their performance at a debate.
Under no circumstances would I vote for Soludo (how did the apparent empty head get his Central Bank job, polishing shoes?). The man seems an empty suit, and a coward to boot; he seems the type who would please bosses to get what he wants but lacks the courage to struggle for a goal he deems worthwhile and fight for it.
Mr. Uba appears a wheeler-dealer but not capable of intellectual discourse. Uba probably would fit right in the thieving ruling class of Nigeria.
Regarding their professed programs, what they are going to do if elected, I did not pay much attention to them for since when have Nigerian politicians even posited blueprints on what they are going to do and went after doing them and if they fail resign from office? Nigerian politicians’ idea of being in office is to use it to steal money from the people’s treasury and with looted money masquerade as African big men.
There is no burning commitment to doing something that improves the people’s lives in the trio’s eyes and body movement. They seem like what we are used to seeing in Nigerian politicians, folks not driven by economic and political ideologies, folks who exist for the sake of existing; in other words, they seem like nothing men. They do not matter.
They are not the leaders that we are looking for; they may not even know what leadership is (Soludo pretends to be intelligent, and I would like to have an evening with him and talk to him and assess his level of education and technocracy; I would like to wipe off that arrogant smirk on his childish mouth).
Well, Professor Agazie, the above is my impression of the video you sent to me. Make of it what you like, I just gave you my knee jerk response to it. I do not claim to be an expert on Nigerian politics.
Reuben Abati and his lady cohost did a professional job moderating the debate.
Professor Ozodi Osuji, PhD (UCLA)