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Obiano, Soludo disagree over N500m budget for inauguration

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and the state’s governor-elect, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo have disagreed on the size of the budget for the inauguration and handover on March 17, 2022.

It was gathered that the state government had budgeted N500 million for the programme which was meant cover making customized clothes, caps, banners, T-shirts and even hiring of rain makers.

But Prof. Soludo was said to have advised the governor to cut the budget down as he preferred a low-key ceremony.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor also reportedly asked Governor Obiano not to commit money in such flamboyant venture.

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Soludo nearly spilled the beans in his speech during the inauguration of the 80- member Transition Committee last Thursday when he said that there won’t be fanfare during his inauguration on March 17.

He had said that funds for such would be used to address more important development issues in the state.

To demonstrate that he attached no importance to flamboyant handover ceremony, Prof.  Soludo also said he would move from the inauguration venue to his office and from there to the slums in Onitsha and environs particularly Okpoko community where he plans to clean up.

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He had said, “I’ll be heading to Okpoko immediately after the inauguration. I’ll put in eight hours of work immediately after the inauguration. Don’t expect fanfare because it won’t take place”.

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Another area of contention is the venue of the inauguration, it was gathered.

While Governor Obiano prefers the inauguration and handover ceremony to hold at newly-constructed International Conference Centre, a source said that Prof. Soludo preferred a low-keyed hand over to take place at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, in Awka, the state capital.

It was also learnt that as he is being sworn-in, Prof. Soludo would have had the list of his Commissioners who will be screened by some members of the transition committee, the calibre of Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Pat Utomi and few others, before they are taken to the House of Assembly for final screening.

It was further gathered that the over 3,000 Executive Assistants, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants scattered all over the world may not find favour with  Governor Soludo’s administration.

It was learnt that a family in Obiano’s home town has up to 31 Executive Assistants, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants while another family has 27 members in the same category.