Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the newly inaugurated governor of Anambra State has called on the people of Anambra and Southeast to help make the region a liveable and prosperous place.
Soludo said this in his address soon after his inauguration at the Anambra Government House, Awka, on Thursday.
He said the insecurity in the region had led to sustained outflow of investment while Anambra alone lost about N19.6 billion every day ‘sit-at-home’ was declared and observed.
He said his accession to power in Anambra had given the platform to rally other leaders of the region for a peaceful homeland that would help the people optimise their potential under the Nigerian unitary federation.
According to him, due to the protracted breakdown of law and order, businesses are relocating outside Igboland, with growing unemployment, and traders who used to come to shop in Onitsha, Aba, etc are going elsewhere.
“By forcing our children, the future of Igboland, to stay at home instead of being in school, while even the critically sick people, including pregnant women, cannot go to hospital, we harm our future,” he said.
Soludo called on the various groups that claimed that they were not part of the senseless killings and kidnappings to step out and show leadership by joining hands with him towards checking the menace.
On the seperatist agitations, the erudite Economist said although they could be genuine calls for fairness, justice, equity and equality in the Nigerian Federation such should not be a basis to turn the area to a crime scene and all manners of criminality.
“No group has ever succeeded in any struggle in history by turning the sword against themselves; I am convinced that justice, peace and order will return to Anambra and the Southeast within the shortest horizon possible.
“I promise to work hard with other governors and leaders in the South East and others to take your agitations to the table of all Nigeria and we hope to bargain for a win-win solution for all Nigeria.
“I will engage all parties to the breakdown of peace and order in Anambra from a point of determination to solve problems and resolve disagreements with openness, integrity, equity and justice.
“I will absolutely invest my political capital within our State, our South East and with the Presidency, Federal Government and its establishments as a matter of topmost priority.
“If you love our homeland, there is no place for bloodshed. Our Lord Jesus Christ admonished in Matthew 26: 52: “put your sword back in its sheath, for all who live by the sword will die by the sword.”
“In the traditional religion, the land places a curse upon those who spill the blood of the innocent,” he said.
He called on all to cooperate with him to execute the real agenda for a livable and prosperous homeland of opportunities and jobs for youths.
“With Ohanaeze’s estimate that some 11.6 million Igbos live in the North and over seven million in Lagos state and over 70 per cent of our non-land assets scattered all over Nigeria and the world, we need Nigeria and Nigeria needs us.
“We need Africa and the world and they need us,” Soludo added.