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“I am excited that Anambra people disappointed all bookmakers” – IBB

General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, the former military president, has congratulated Professor Charles Soludo, the governor-elect of Anambra State, saying that he is delighted that the people of the state disappointed all the bookmakers by ensuring that the election was free, fair, and credible, despite the high tensions and palpable fear of a violent election that engulfed the state prior to the polls.

In a statement signed by him and made available to journalists on Thursday, the former Military President urged Professor Soludo, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to jumpstart the process of gathering ideas on how to address the developmental challenges facing Anambra state. Professor Soludo is a personality who fully understands the nexus between promise and performance.

Babangida, who described Soludo as a dear friend, said the journey has only just begun, adding that what has pleased him the most is that the deserving winner has extended his hand of fellowship to his fellow contestants as part of efforts to create the right environment for Anambra state’s robust leadership engagement.

The statement entitled, ” Congratulations, Professor Soludo”, read, “The contest was keen, the campaigns were tense and tough, the outcome has proven once again that if anyone desires gold, he must dig deeper into the mould.

“After all the tempers and palpable fear of a violent election, I am excited that Anambra people disappointed all bookmakers by making sure that the election turned out free, fair and credible.

“What is most gratifying for me is that the deserved winner Professor Charles Soludo has extended his hand of fellowship to his fellow contestants to create the right atmosphere for a robust leadership engagement for Anambra state. That is the way to go in contemporary leadership contestation in a democracy to champion inclusive leadership that caters for all.

“The “battle” and contestations are over, this is the time to forge ahead in the light of so many challenges that deserve urgent attention.

“Let me congratulate Professor Charles Soludo on his victory after such a hard fought political “battle”, travelling round all the 21 Local Governments to solicit for votes.

“Aside from being such a brilliant mind, his understanding of the intricate logic of the Nigerian federation, having served in various capacities, would help broaden his horizon as he contends with the leadership of governing the good people of Anambra state.

“As a man who understands the nexus between promise and performance, he must immediately jumpstart the process of collating ideas on how to confront the developmental challenges facing Anambra state. He must reach out to great minds cut across the state to stimulate the right ideas and attract capable hands that would help him to actualize his manifesto. Victory is one, being able to achieve the purpose of governance is another. I wish him well.

“Going by our present political crises across the country particularly in the South-East, the fact that election held in Anambra despite initial fears is an eloquent statement that we all desire to live together as one indivisible country.

“What is required in my humble view is how to utilize our potentials and talents to drive national narrative through consensus building, cohesion and homogeneity of purpose. I am sure we can make a deeper meaning from the outcome of the Anambra election through dialogue and constructive engagement to move the country forward. I have no doubt in my mind that Professor Soludo would join that national narrative to deepen our democracy to endure the test of time. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that he would assuredly bring to bear in Anambra state leadership in particular, and Nigeria in general.

“Congratulations to you, my dear friend, Professor Soludo. The journey has just begun.”

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