For the records: EXCERPTS OF GOVERNOR CHUKWUMA CHARLES SOLUDO’S EXTEMPORÉ SPEECH AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS OF APGA IN AWKA

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Protocols!

 

I am here to do two things. Number one, gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. And number two is that we have come to unveil history- building to last.

 

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Number one, on our gratitude; as the National Chairman was speaking, I was getting a little bit emotional and I held myself. You were speaking about the travails, the begining. This is the biblical parable of the rich man who was going on errand and gave some gifts. The one that was given little in the bible went and buried it.

 

You were given little and you did not bury. The little was multiplied thousand times over. We have come to say to you and to the NWC, leadership of the party under you; we are grateful and would remain very grateful.

 

You’ve written your name and your names, not just gold, in platinum. In the history of political parties in Nigeria, you have written your names in platinum.

 

We can spend the whole day giving our gratitude, given the circumstances which you came, given the Nigerian factor or what people understand to be leadership.

 

People look for the opportunity, the seat for their own. You got and occupy the seat in order to leave the place better than you met it.

 

That is the public purpose for public service. Today, we’ve come to say we are grateful, because you have done what Goliath couldn’t do.

 

Bigger parties that came before APGA, I don’t know where they are. I don’t know what they have, but I used to know one of them. I used to go to one rented apartment in Abuja. I know during the nomination process, people pay to buy some forms. Some political parties realise well over 10 billion naira and more each four years. But go back after a few months and ask where all those have gone. Absolutely nothing.

 

Here we are; the All Progressives Grand Alliance- the only grand alliance of the progressives in Nigeria. Today, we not only have a National Headquarters that is our own property, we now have a five floor building as a monumental regional office that is also our own property. When you have a full market valuation of the assets of the political parties, I want to believe that APGA, in terms of the frugality of the management of the meagre resources that have passed through the National secretariat Vis a Vis the assets of the party in comparison with other political parties without going to have an audited accounts of anybody else, I think it is fair to assert that you met the party as a tenant, today, you are leaving the party not just as a landlord but a very wealthy landlord.

 

A proper evaluation of those assets, will no doubt leave APGA as the wealthiest political party in Nigeria.

 

History will bear proper testimony. To all those of you who worked with him at the National Working Committee, it is a testament to the character, integrity and public purpose drive of the members of this NWC that we are able achieve all of this. This is so “unNigerian”, in terms of attitude to public resource, attitude to political party. And it is a lesson to all of us at the lower levels.

 

If you look at political parties today. When I started my own political party journey which by August this year, I will be 43 years. In August 1980, we formed the Ekwueme movement and that was my entry into partisan politics. Then after each meeting, the financial secretary will produce the financial reports and the treasurer will confirm. And that is why this is a very important lesson about building to last.

 

When the National Chairman was speaking, you heard him say that at inception, he received a particular amount and that he will hand over ten times of what he received to his successor. How many local governments will be able to say the same thing? How many states will be able to say the same thing? Because, this one is not coming from below. This leadership is being demonstrated at the highest level but this message that you leave with is is something that we must cascade down. It is a message that we have to carry down to the wards and base of the party. You’ve shown leadership. It is not just to talk about it. You’ve lived it.

 

APGA as the grand alliance of progressives in Nigeria is a party that is built and we are building to last. We have come to stay. Each floor here represents fifty years, that’s about two hundred and fifty years. Thank you immensely. You’ve done marvelously well.

 

Extracted by Christian Aburime-

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