Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has insisted that his comment that a candidate with questionable NECO certificate should not be allowed to govern Anambra State was in order.
Soludo was reacting to a challenge posed to him by the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who recently challenged him to a public debate.
In a press Statement by the former CBN governor which was signed on his behalf by his media aide, Mr Joe Anatune and made available to News Desk, Soludo said he was fully prepared for the governorship contest, including any debate and presentation of manifesto.
Soludo, however, said even though he was ready for any governorship debate, he would not be part of a compromised one organized and funded by Senator Ubah.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the YPP, challenging Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo to provide his manifesto within 48 hours and a public debate within 7 days of presentation of his manifesto.
“In the said statement, Prof Soludo was also accused of making disruptive comment to the effect that WAEC certificate holders cannot govern Anambra State.
“We are amused and surprised that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the YPP candidate in the November Anambra gubernatorial election is exhibiting so soon ominous signs of a man in a panic mode even when the gubernatorial election is still few months away.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Prof Soludo is fully prepared and ready for any public debate in regard to the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State. However, as a man of honour, he will not succumb or be coerced into a hasty debate not organised by a credible organisation/institution and also not wholly supported by the people of Anambra State.
“In this regard, we consider this invitation as the usual charade of politicians seeking every available medium to court public attention. We therefore see the entire statement as self-serving and an act of unnecessary showmanship and brigandage which are not part of the culture of Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo.
On whether Soludo made derogatory statements about School Certificate holders, Anatune said: “It is also pertinent, to state categorically, that Prof Soludo’s statement bordering on the issue of WAEC was not meant to disparage or denigrate anyone.
“He merely spoke on the need of Ndi Anambra to be vigilant by upholding the culture of excellence which the state is known for; and avoid those parading questionable school certificates in their desperate quest to become Governor of Anambra State.
“It is also important to emphasis that the issue is about ” lowering the Anambra standard” as the State does not operate on a minimum standard. Anambra prides itself as the frontline state that has produced some of the best brains and educationally sound administrators cum politicians in the country.
“The likes of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr Chris Ngige, Mr Peter Obi, including our current governor, Chief Willie Obiano are all products of sound educational background which have become the acceptable trend in the state.
“Our founding fathers who built the fastest growing economy in the world 60 years ago were also all best educated individuals. Sixty years after, we can’t go down to being governed by people with questionable NECO.
“Changing the subject by pointing to successful business men who are not necessarily University graduates but would employ graduates to run their businesses still point to the fact that solid and sound educational background remain an important prerequisite in any given endeavours.
“There is no successful businessman today whose General Manager is a NECO holder or any of the global players whose business is run by secondary school graduate. Moreover, there is no society that want to develop or that is already developed that was governed or is being governed by a secondary school holder. Those who have questionable certificates have every reason to be apprehensive as the long arm of the law would come knocking soon,” Anatune said.