Charles Soludo has been sworn in as the fifth governor of Anambra State in a modest event that took place at the Government House on Thursday. Soludo took over from Willie Obiano.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor took the oath of office alongside his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim.
In his inaugural speech, Soludo promised to make the state an economic hub, calling on sons and daughters of the state to work with him to achieve that goal.
Some of those who attended the event include the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Oye and wife; Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Uchenna Okafor and wife; Sen. Victor Umeh and wife; Bianca Ojukwu, clergymen, traditional rulers among others.
There was heavy security at the venue, hours before the event as guests began to arrive for the programme. Routine security checks were carried out on them before entering the venue.
A circular by the state government showed that about 50 persons were invited for the ceremony as Soludo said he wanted a low-profile event.
Thursday’s swearing-in is the culmination of a series of events leading to the handover. A day earlier, the former governor had handed over some state documents to the new leader.
In his farewell speech, Obiano had thanked the state for the privilege to serve, asking for forgiveness from those he offended. According to him, his intentions were pure even though he might have stepped on some toes.
He believes in his eight-year stint, his administration delivered on his campaign promises.
Soludo’s inauguration came about four months after a landslide victory in the governorship poll. The flagbearer of APGA, defeated his closest rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Valentine Ozigbo. The Isuofia-born banker won 19 of the 21 local government areas of the state to clinch the post. He got 112,229 votes, twice higher than Ozigbo who had 53,807 votes.
A month after he won the election, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a suit to invalidate the victory.
The suit sought to nullify his win on allegations that Soludo provided false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Taiwo Taiwo in dismissing the suit said it lacked merit and was a waste of the court’s time. He told the plaintiffs not to use the court as a tool to stagnate democracy and also awarded N2 million to APGA, Soludo, and Ibezim who were the second, third, and fourth respondents in the suit. INEC was the first defendant.