The end of every war leaves scars. It is inevitable. Politics in this part of the world has often been fought like a war which leaves huge scars long after the hostilities. That’s not exactly how politics should be defined; but the one played in these parts has unfortunately taken on that garb.
It is no less so in our state, Anambra, where every electoral contest inflicts gaping wounds (not physically) in the minds and consciousness of both participants and supporters. This usually makes it a mite difficult to forge friendships and alliances, as well as to build trust, in future elections as long as the same old gladiators remain on the scene.
The next governorship election in Anambra State comes up next year (2021). Many have tagged it as one that will be the most fiercely fought due to such factors as there not being an incumbent in the contest and the quality of the gladiators.
There is no doubt that the state is blessed with men and women of humongous capacities, some of whom have thrown their hats into the political ring for next year’s epic contest.
However, not many of them can claim not being part of past contests in one way or another, and consequently leaving scars on some people.
While the wounds may have healed, the scars have become sharp reminders of the bitterness and intrigues that usually characterise electioneering here.
With next year’s election already predicted to be one of the toughest, the emergence of a candidate who evokes no past animosities becomes a no-brainer. And if there’s anyone who fits the bill, that person is no other than Mr Valentine Ozigbo, immediate past CEO of Transcorp.
Indeed, Ozigbo is increasingly being perceived as a breath of fresh air at this material time in Anambra State.
Not entirely being a greenhorn in politics, having been supporting his party, the PDP, Ozigbo is nevertheless the new kid on the bloc, fresh from conquering the business sector.
Ozigbo is a man brimming with ideas with which he plans to develop his state. He’s got a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, showbiz and sports, with the latest edition of his freestyle football about to take off on July 1. It is tagged, “Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa”.
He’s Africa’s greatest promoter of this particular sport in which cash prizes of over $7, 000 will be splashed on both male and female versions of African and Nigerian Freestyle Football champions.
In fact, all that is needed to be a part of this competition is a ball, with skillful ball jugglers being tagged.
This is just a minute part of Ozigbo’s creative nous.
He’s also been involved in talent promotion through his novel Mbem and Oja Competition, as well as Ogene Music Competition.
Known as King of the Youth back home, Ozigbo has always invested in them via scholarships, just as he’s been a leading light in communal projects.
He’s also been involved in Unusual Praise through which he not only promotes talents in singing, but brings people closer to God.
Thus, Ozigbo is not a man aloof from his immediate environment but one responsive to it.
He will only be fifty in July, meaning that he’s still got the energy, zeal and fresh ideas to push through his vision for his people.
But above all, he carries no past baggage and is therefore not encumbered by any.
He is the ideal bridge between the past and the future; a personality that can be trusted and therefore one that can serve without bias.
His transformation of Transcorp to a leading global brand at a young age has made a huge statement as to what to expect from him.
Ozigbo has friends across many divides and thus is seen as a unifier. He’s a man whose word is his bond; a self-made man and one with a supreme confidence in his abilities.
He does not fear challenges but sees them as learning curves and pedestals to greatness.
In Ozigbo, Anambra is presented with a golden opportunity to have a bridge builder, a man anxious to make the difference and a man ready and willing to carry everyone along.
He’s a man that will give everyone a voice and a man for whom we can beat our chest and say, “This is our son with whom we are well pleased”.
Let’s listen to him.
Jude Obiora is a political commentator and freelance journalist. He writes from Awka, Anambra.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.+