Valentine Ozigbo, the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the November 6 governorship election, was the star of the show as he presented his groundbreaking Ka Anambra Chawapu manifesto at a manifesto defence event held in Awka on Friday, September 24, 2021.
The event, organised by Kwechiri Forum, saw candidates of several political parties take turns presenting their manifestos and answering questions from a cross-section of judges. Dr Reuben Abati, a former presidential spokesperson, and Arise News anchor, led the panel.
Ozigbo, while presenting his manifesto, said he decided to leave his comfort zone in the corporate sector to run for office because he is grossly dissatisfied with the state of affairs in Anambra State.
“I am here because I am pained by the feedback I get from the people on the street. When you ask the younger ones and women how they feel, you get tales of pain and suffering,” Ozigbo said.
“Anambra deserves more, and I am confident that if we do the right things with the type of resources, people, and intellect we possess, we will set a new standard.
“With the proper framework, we take care of the basics and shift our mindset to exalt Anambra to become an exemplary state that we can all be proud of,” Ozigbo added.
Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, explained that in crafting his Ka Anambra Chawapu manifesto, he consulted widely with Ndi Anambra.
According to him, “The Ka Anambra Chawapu manifesto is a product of my engagement with Ndi Anambra. I visited all 21 local governments in Anambra, in most cases seven times. When I engage our people, my simple question is usually ‘What do you expect from your next governor?”
“When we were done with our fact-finding, we realised that the needs of Ndi Anambra differ based on location, age, and gender. So, we crafted the Ka Anambra Chawpu Manifesto, which tackles the core needs of Ndi Anambra through three approaches to development – The Cluster Approach, the Secor Approach, and the Partnership Approach.
“For the clusters, we will concentrate our energy on creating value based on unique demographies with peculiar economic potential, and we have mapped out five clusters in our dear state.
“We will transform the Onitsha cluster into a world-class commercial hub guided by discipline, law, and order. We will raise the competitiveness of Ndi Anambra, generate more resources, and make our people more prosperous. We will look to improve the infrastructure, quality of human capacity index, roads, and security of the Onitsha axis.
“We will create an industrial hub around the Nnewi, Ihiala, and Ekwusigo Cluster. We will leverage the industrial prowess of Ndi Anambra and ensure that people are employed.
“Our plan for the Awka Cluster is to transform it from a glorified village to a modern capital city. I will not abandon projects and start new ones because I want to have signage. We will leverage existing projects, like this venue, the Dora Akunyili Center, and others like the International Conference Center. We will ensure that the tourist, education, and health infrastructure are all working within the Awka metropolis.
“For the Omambala Cluster, which includes Oyi, Ayamelum, Ogbaru and Awka North, will move agriculture from the peasant level to processing and ultimately to export. We will situate a technology hub in the Old Aguata Cluster.
“The Sector Approach will solve the basics needs of Ndi Anambra and create a meaningful, lasting impact like education, healthcare, security, and infrastructure.
“We will focus on the quality, affordability, and relevance of education. We will ensure that the knowledge we impact on our young ones will enable them to solve modern problems with 21st-century methods.
“We will improve the quality of primary healthcare and make sure we give the proper budgetary allocation to the health sector. We will prioritise the welfare of health workers to boost their morale and exploit the power of Ndi Anambra in the diaspora to make sure that the proper infrastructure is in place.
“I will bring my experiences of managing multiple institutions to bear. I was the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hilton, one of the most secure pieces of real estate in Nigeria. We will provide more funding for our security forces and partner with the right embassies to translate our intelligence into creating a security structure that will stand the test of time. Our long-term security goal would be to ensure that regional, state, and local policing is well architected.
“On the partnership approach, we plan to leverage the resources of Ndi Anambra. If a wealthy Anambra person uses personal funds to provide infrastructure in their locality, our administration promises to equal the investment of the private individual. This will bring about competitiveness and rapid development,” Ozigbo, who is one of the few global Kaizen Champions, explained.
“I’m a great team player, and after listening to my fellow candidates, I can already assure you that these are the men who will support my administration when I become the next governor of Anambra State.
“On November 6, Ndi Anambra have a choice to abandon the retrogressive, ineffectual, divisive things we have done in the past that have never led us anywhere and cling on to freshness with an abundance of competence, capacity, character, and compassion.
“I am placing my bet on the collective intelligence of Ndi Anambra, and by the grace of God, behold your next governor,” Ozigbo declared to rapturous applause from the audience.
Other candidates who attended the event are Nze Sullivan Akachukwu Nwankpo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mr Ben Etiaba of the Action Alliance, Dr Godwin Maduka of the Accord Party, and Arc Col Geoffrey Onyejegbu of the Allied Peoples Movement. With the high-profile nature of the event, members of the audience questioned the absence of the candidates of some political parties like the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Kwechiri Forum is a social-political group formed from the desire to demand accountability and curtail many of the excesses of public officeholders. The group also seeks to inspire active and responsive citizenship.
Valentine Ozigbo is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Chartered Institue of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, Institute of Credit Administration, ICA.
As MD/CEO of Transcorp Hilton, Ozigbo’s team ensured the hotel was ranked as the Best Business Hotel in Africa for six consecutive years before he was elevated to the position of President and Group CEO of the hotel’s parent conglomerate to oversee Transcorp’s investments in power, oil and gas, hospitality, energy, and agribusiness.
Ozigbo also boasts 27 years of experience in banking, finance, sports development, philanthropy, peace advocacy, and entertainment.