Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) gubernatorial candidate for 2021, has said that the main opposition party must get it right at the upcoming presidential primary to position itself to win the general election next year.
Mr Ozigbo made these remarks at a town hall meeting he hosted for Anambra South PDP delegates, aspirants, and stakeholders on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Ozigbo, a celebrated global CEO, received an overwhelming endorsement for the PDP’s Senatorial ticket for Anambra South from the delegates at the event held at Hollywood Event Centre in Awka, the capital of Anambra State.
While speaking on national politics, Ozigbo said that Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State and one of the leading presidential aspirants in the PDP, would “actually make a fantastic president if given the opportunity”.
“How do we ensure that PDP wins this election? Indeed, APC (All Progressives Congress) has failed Nigeria,” Ozigbo said.
“This battle at the national level is one between APC and PDP.
“We must ensure that the right person emerges as the candidate of the PDP for the 2023 election,” he added.
He asked the delegates to indicate who they feel are the top 3 of the PDP presidential aspirants. The essence of this was to know what was in the mind of Anambra delegates.
The conclusion of the survey was that the delegates declared Peter Obi, first, second, and third in the race. While Ozigbo pressed to know if any other presidential aspirant was coming to mind, the audience was resolute that no other aspirant was in the race.
Ozigbo, the recipient of the Anambra Man of the Year 2021 Award, went on to declare Peter Obi is “the best of the best of the presidential aspirants”.
“If you look at Nigeria today. The level of corruption is at an all-time high. We are facing the height of insecurity where people can just murder anybody, anywhere. Criminality is at an all-time high, and all these crimes are going unpunished.
“The level of unemployment is unimaginable. The decay in our infrastructure, from roads to all forms of infrastructure, across the board, is beyond belief.
“Based on these, we can only consider people based on competence, character, and experience.
“By all means, Peter Obi will actually make a fantastic president if given the opportunity,” he said to loud applause from the audience.
Mr Ozigbo indicated the effort he and other party leaders were making to get critical stakeholders like former presidents, former governors, sitting governors, and several others to commit to the Peter Obi presidential aspiration.
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The venue was packed to its capacity of 1,000 with stakeholders, aspirants, and delegates from the seven local government areas that make up the Anambra South senatorial zone.
In his powerful speech, Ozigbo emphasised the importance of a free and fair primary for all tickets to ensure party unity and victory at the polls.
“Let me reiterate that the only reason I left the comforts of corporate Nigeria and ventured into politics is my discomfort with the desolate state of our country and dissatisfaction with the status quo,” Ozigbo said.
“I have chosen to stop complaining from the sidelines and be part of the solution. So far, we have recorded tremendous wins, and I thank you all for coming with me on this journey.
Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, further charged the PDP delegates to consider the weight of their decisions and ensure that credible candidates emerge.
“Our party’s primary election holds in a week, and I urge our delegates to be resolute, unbiased, and fair. Examine everyone who has declared an interest and vote for who your conscience tells you can give you a quality representation,” Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO, added.
“My solemn promise is to support all candidates who emerge from the primary election process, and I expect the same from everyone. We must unite and win together.”
Among the high-ranking PDP stalwarts at the event were Chief Tony Offiah, who served as the Director of Finance for the 2021 PDP Governorship Campaign Council; Rt Hon. Eurcharia Azodo, a former federal lawmaker and speaker of the Anambra House of Assembly; Chief Andy Azike, an aspirant for the house of representatives; Sir Izuchukwu Oraelesi, the General Manager of the VCO Foundation; Hon Johnbosco Akaegbobi, the lawmaker representing Nnewi South II Constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly; Hon Onyebuchi Offor, the lawmaker representing Ekwusigo Constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly; and Mrs Justina Nwafor, the immediate past Woman Leader of the PDP in Anambra State.