Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, on Saturday, September 4, 2021, held a well-attended town hall meeting with Anambra indigenes living in Ebonyi State where he detailed his plans for the development of Anambra.
The interactive town hall event, held at Salt Lake Hotel, Abakaliki, is the latest series of hugely successful events with Ndi Anambra in Lagos, Abuja, and Enugu State before the June 26 PDP primary at which, Ozigbo emerged as the party’s candidate.
In his opening address, the PDP National Vice Chairman for the South East Zone, Chief Ali Odefa, welcomed Mr Ozigbo to Ebonyi State. He submitted that Ndi Anambra is lucky to have “the respected and successful business mogul” vying for the governorship seat as Ozigbo possesses the right qualities to lead the state to greatness.
Chief Odefa revealed to the audience that Ozigbo’s emergence as the party’s flag-bearer was divinely orchestrated. According to him, predictors of the poll did not give Ozigbo a chance, but the corporate titan emerged the winner through a free and fair process that he oversaw as the leader of the South-East PDP.
The PDP stalwart announced that the party had put mechanisms in motion to ensure that the November 6 governorship poll would also be free and fair.
He warned those planning to “write the election” to desist as “nobody will ever be able to rig an election in Nigeria, ever again”, adding, “the days of hijacking the will of the people are long gone”.
“Anambra people, God has blessed you with a visionary gentleman as your incoming governor, and he will bring Anambra out of the trouble they currently find themselves and into the promised land,” Chief Odefa said.
“Those who think they will write the result should know that they have another thing coming. This is a democracy. Elections must be free and fair. Whether you are the ruling party at any level, you cannot write results again.
“We will mobilise people to come out and vote. We will use Anambra as a test case to continue to protect democracy in Nigeria. We will come out in large numbers to vote, and we will defend our votes.
“On November 6, every progressive Anambra person living in Ebonyi should go home and vote for PDP because Anambra is about to witness liberation, the same way Ebonyi will experience liberation.
“I am excited that our candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is an astute politician, a successful business mogul, a very humble person, an ordained man of God called to serve,” Odefa added to loud applause from the audience.
In his address, Valentine Ozigbo said that any well-meaning Anambra indigene should be angry over the conditions in the state.
“What we have experienced is enough reason to be angry, and our anger should drive us to change bad leadership everywhere in Nigeria. All our problems in Nigeria stem from poor leadership,” Ozigbo, one of the few global Kaizen champions, remarked.
“What is happening to our dear Anambra? It is time to rekindle the hope, change the story, transform the narrative, and lead Anambra to greater glory.
“I am grateful that you have all taken the time to listen to me and how we can create the Anambra of our dreams. Our mantra is Ka Anambra Chawapu. Anambra is supposed to be the light of the nation, but unfortunately, the light is dim,” he added.
A multiple-award-winning global CEO, Valentine Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, went on to break down his plans for the state as contained in the Ka Anambra Chawapu manifesto.
According to Ozigbo, if elected, his administration will apply three approaches to revolutionise statecraft and ensure Anambra’s rapid development.
“We will adopt a cluster approach, where we will concentrate effort, our attention, and resources on demographies with unique economic potential,” Ozigbo emphasised.
“Onitsha is a ghost of itself, and we plan to transform Onitsha and its environs into a proper commercial hub. We will develop the Awka Cluster to reflect its status as a capital city. We will harness the tourism potential of Anambra State and ensure that hospitality becomes a viable source of internally generated revenue.
“Nnewi, Ihiala, and the surrounding areas will be industrial hubs that will position Anambra as the king of industrialisation. The Old Aguata Cluster will house a never-before-seen technology hub. At the same time, the Omambala Cluster will be an agricultural hotbed that will go beyond mere production and into the processing of agricultural produce.
“Another is our sector approach. We will revamp education, healthcare, security, infrastructure, and other sectors. Education will become more affordable, qualitative, and relevant. We will upgrade our health facilities to global standards and reduce medical tourism. Every sector that needs attention will receive a facelift.
“The third approach is our community partnerships, in which the government will match any effort made by private citizens to develop their communities.
“In drawing up our Ka Anambra Chawapu manifesto, we went round all the twenty-one local government areas in Anambra State and asked the people what they wanted from their governor.
“All I have said here today is only possible when you have a leader with exemplary character, competence, and compassion, and by the grace of God, I believe I am that leader,” Ozigbo concluded.
Dignitaries at the event include Dr Hyginius Nwokwu, a former Secretary to the Ebonyi State Government; Elder Fred Udeogu, the Ebonyi PDP State Chairman; Chief Christopher Lebara, the Ebonyi PDP State Deputy Chairman; Monday Chukwu, the Ebonyi PDP State Treasurer; Amaka Igbokwe, the Ebonyi PDP Woman Leader; Barr James Onah, the Ebonyi PDP Assistant Financial Secretary; and James Alaska, the Ebonyi PDP Organising Secretary.
Others are Chief Hon Ugo Martins Okolie, the former State PDP Deputy Chairman; Barr Uche Mpiatu, the President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions in Ebonyi State, Benue and Cross River State, and Comrade Ifeanyi Elom.
Several directors and leaders of the Anambra PDP Governorship Campaign Council were present, including Chief Ejike Oguebego, the Director for Inter-Party and Intra-Party Activities; Ichie Sunday Ezeobiora, an agribusiness mogul; Chief Ugochukwu Okeke, the Secretary of the council; Ms Aziza Uko, the Director for Media and Communications; Lady Juliet Anaeme, the Director for Artisans, Unions and CSOs; Dame Love Ebe, the Deputy Director for Non-Indigenous groups; Chief Ikechukwu Akaeze, a former Chairman of the PDP in Dunukofia LGA; and many others.
Chief Emeka Ezeofor, a prominent Anambra indigene, based in Ebonyi, led the event organising committee.
After the event, Chief Anyichuks Odii, an influential business mogul and community leader, hosted Mr Ozigbo to an elaborate reception at his residence in Isuachara in Onicha Local Government Area.
A grassroots favourite and natural crowd puller, Valentine Ozigbo, since emerging as the PDP candidate for the November 6 guber election, Ozigbo continues to engage Ndi Anambra and inspirethem with his Ka Anambra Chawapu message of hope.
SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT: