David-Chyddy Eleke interrogates the personality and promises made by Valentine Ozigbo, one of the many indigenes of Anambra seeking to lead her as governor
‘Ka Anambra chawapu’ is a popular slogan among supporters of Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, a former President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation, otherwise known as Transcorp. Translated in Igbo, the phrase- ka Anambra chawapu means – let Anambra Glow. He is a governorship aspirant in Anambra on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and despite the huge number of very influential politicians and money bags in the race to succeed the incumbent governor, Chief Willie Obiano, Ozigbo’s supporters believe that only he can make Anambra Glow.
During a virtual press conference with journalists, Ozigbo announced his intention to run for the governorship position of Anambra State. He said, “I am running for the governorship position of Anambra State in the 2021 governorship election. I solicit the support of party faithfuls and entire people of the state in the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state. If given the opportunity to serve the state, I will bring to bear my experience as the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, as well as to consolidate on the achievements of the previous administrations in the state.
“Anambra lacks quality leadership. The last time we had it (quality leadership) was when Mr. Peter Obi was governor of the state. I am the most qualified for the position of governor of Anambra State, among all those contesting for the position, and I will offer the state quality leadership. “I have a verifiable past, and everyone knows the legacy I left behind as President of Transcorp. Before going to Transcorp, I had a glowing career in banking, spanning 17 years, and my achievements are verifiable.”
To make good his intention, recently, just as the Federal Government began easing off the lockdown in the country, Ozigbo in activities to mark his 50th birthday used the opportunity to also intimate the leadership of the PDP in the state with his intention. While donating food items to the PDP in Anambra as a way of cushioning the effect of COVID-19 on its members, Ozigbo said, “I am running for the governorship of Anambra State, but I am more interested in a united and strong PDP that will take over the government house in Anambra.
“I am seeking for a consensus candidate of the party and when that is achieved, what we used to experience in the party in the past will no longer be the case. I hope to emerge as that consensus candidate, and God willing, I will be your governor. However, I am a party man, if the outcome of the primary does not favour me, provided it is fair and transparent, which I know is going to be, I will continue to support PDP, not only for the governorship election but for all elections and activities of the party.”
Though Ozigbo hails from.the southern senatorial zone of the state, the state most favoured by a zoning formulate being championed by members of the party, he has refused to rely on this to push his governorship ambition. “
“I am not contesting as a result of the zoning arrangement, rather, I am contesting to give quality leadership to the state, which it yearns for.” He also dismissed the allegations that he was being sponsored by some top political godfathers in the state, saying he only maintains good relationship with all stakeholders and noted, “if given opportunity, Anambra state will experience good turn around in all sectors.
“I have the goodwill of PDP leaders in this state. They’ve linked me with Peter Obi, Chief Chris Uba, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu and a host of others and it shows I’m the most popular here. Don’t be surprised that very soon, you will even hear that it is APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance) that is sponsoring me. I have the support of people across party. I will win PDP primary and win the election to become the next governor of the state by the grace of God,” he said.
On why he chose to vie for the position, and how he will make the state glow, Ozigbo at a separate forum said, “For those who still wonder why I sacrificed my place of comfort in the entrepreneurial world to dedicate the rest of my life to public service here is the answer.
“I have looked around me and I am not comfortable and I can not keep staying on the sidelines. I am stepping out to make and be the change that I want to see. Politics impacts life so much that it can’t be left in the hands of the ill prepared.”
Ozigbo also stated that as a business leader, a lover of youths, a supporter of sports, a philanthropist and many more, he is in the right position to impact the state positively if given the opportunity to serve. For him, he is coming to the contest with a rich resume and rich experience, and has adequately prepared himself for the contest. As the date of the contest draws near, and contestants continue to unveil their manifesto for the contest, it would be clearer how far Ozigbo’s promise to the people to make Anambra shine can be attained.
In between time, he stated forcefully, “I want to serve my people, once again, in a role where I can make far reaching, sustainable improvements in their lives. In 2021, by God’s Grace and guidance, I will be running for the office of the governor of Anambra State.”
I am seeking for a consensus candidate of the party and when that is achieved, what we used to experience in the party in the past will no longer be the case. I hope to emerge as that consensus candidate, and God willing, I will be your governor. However, I am a party man, if the outcome of the primary does not favour me, provided it is fair and transparent, which I know is going to be, I will continue to support PDP, not only for the governorship election but for all elections and activities of the party