…Says palm wine only alcohol served in govt house
Stephen Ukandu (News/Features Editor)
Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has explained that his patronage of Akwete cloth and other home-made products, was borne out of his passion and resolve to grow the economy through promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products.
The Professor of Economics was responding to inquiries by Ikengaonline on his penchant for Akwete local fabrics which he has consistently won since he came to power.
Ikengaonline had gone to Akwete, a rural community in Abia State for investigation of the women’s ingenuity and resilience in the weaving craft when Soludo’s name was mentioned by virtually every weaver as a chief promoter of the local fabrics.
The Governor who spoke on the heels of the testimony of the locals said that patronage of locally-made products remained the only way Nigeria’s economy could grow.
Gov. Soludo who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr Christian Aburime, said that since he became Governor on March 17, 2022, he had consistently won only Akwete fabrics in all his official outings.
He said: “Professor Soludo is not everyday politician; he is a statesman, and a leader who is not a boss. He is a visionary leader who always thinks about the future.
“Before he became Governor he told me he would be patronising Akwete cloth to encourage the women engaged in the craft. He even showed me pictures of Akwete cloth he had ordered for. That’s the only way to empower the women and grow the economy.
“From his inauguration till today Gov. Soludo has always won Akwete cloths in his official functions. He is also encouraging those around him to wear Akwete cloth, and members of his cabinet including his appointees, all have it.”
The Governor further said that all his foot wears were made at Ogbunike in Anambra State.
He further revealed that as a matter of policy, no imported wine is taken in Anambra Government House, disclosing that in its stead, locally-produced fresh palm wine is served to guests willing to have a sip.
“Apart from wearing Akwete cloth, Gov. Soludo also wears shoes produced in Ogbunike in Anambra State.
“Most of his official vehicles are Innoson vehicles. He is the first Governor to make it a policy. If you come to Government House Awka, you won’t see imported wine or Champagne. The most treasured drink here is palm wine.
“The Governor has always said it that you can’t go to Germany and see the German Chancellor drive any vehicle other than BMW. Foreign leaders patronise their own home made goods otherwise their government will not last.”
Aburime recalled how Gov. Soludo had during the just-concluded South-East security and economic summit in Owerri, Imo State, in plain language, told his brother South-East Governors to begin to patronise home-made products.
He noted that Soludo had also at the summit, advocated a regional development plan for 50-100 years, to transform South-East economy.
On whether Gov. Soludo would want to intervene in some of the needs of Akwete people in addition to patronising their products, Aburime said the Governor “is a philanthropist of note,” adding that he may show empathy if his attention were drawn to them.
“Outside politics, Soludo is a philanthropist. It’s not beyond what he can do if it’s brought to his notice,” he said.