The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has said that the nation needs leaders who truly believe in the country.

Soludo, who said the election was not a matter of life and death, described the Ndigbo as an itinerant people who could not afford to be an intolerant tribe.

The Governor said this when the New Peoples National Party presidential candidate Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso paid him a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Anambra State.

This was according to a statement made available to journalists in Awka on Thursday night.

Soludo said: “I want to congratulate his tenacity and faith in the country, his exemplary public service and his commitment to our nation.

“I have always said that those who have something to offer must offer it through the public service. Public service is the greatest philanthropy.

“In Anambra and indeed in the South East, we pride ourselves on being Republican and that is freedom of speech.

“Here in Anambra is the home of Azikiwe, Akweke, Chinua Achebe, Okadigbo, etc., and here, we are known as people who express themselves freely and associate.

“As a wandering people, we cannot afford to be a bigoted tribe. We have a popular saying that goes ‘Oje mba, enwe ilo’.

“My position is that everyone should be allowed to campaign freely and allow people to make their choice.

“It is a serious matter where the country is and where the country will be in the future. It’s time for progressives to start thinking about the common person,” said Governor Soludo.

“The hard work goes beyond the elections. Whoever wins, we have to filter and draw almost as a like-minded government for the transformation of this country.

“We are blessed. We have many challenges, but we need people who firmly believe in this country. Nigeria may be one of the top seven best economies in the world.

“We wish them the best of luck in this move, although I have been intensely focused on what is happening in my match. This state is blessed. We are trying everything to make it work.

“A large population of our people are in Kano. As NdịIgbo, we are a great actor in all places.

“Here in Anambra, our policy is such that when we run, we can fight among ourselves, but after the election, you see our people together, chatting. It is not a matter of life and death. Everyone should campaign freely.”

The Governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, the Governor’s Principal Secretary, JPC Anetoh, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chiefdom Affairs, Mr. Collins Nwabunwanne, their Information and Special Duty Counterparts, Sir Paul Nwosu and Sly Ezeokenwa, among others. They were also present during the visit.