Valentine Ozigbo, the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, has reiterated the importance of regional integration to the development of southeastern Nigeria.
Mr Ozigbo made the remark on Sunday, October 3, 2021, when he held a town hall meeting with Anambra indigenes in Abia State.
The well-attended event, held at the Main Hall of the Aba Sports Club, Aba, is the latest instalment in a series of interactive sessions with Ndi Anambra living. It follows similar hugely successful engagements held in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Ebonyi and Rivers states.
While addressing the gathering, Ozigbo maintained that the South East could drive an economic revolution that will inspire the rest of Nigeria if visionary leaders who can lead a culture of co-operation are elected to office the region.
Ozigbo further explained that southeastern Nigeria is blessed with enough human and capital resources to be pacesetters in Africa but is limited primarily by a bane in leadership.
“Governance affects every aspect of our lives. It determines the type of education we give our children, the places we work, the quality of our lives and sets the tone for our culture and social norms,” the multiple-award-winning global CEO said.
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, explained that the leadership vacuum in Anambra State drove him to step down from his plum job at the head of corporate Nigeria and offer himself for public service.
“I am uncomfortable with the dysfunction in governance, and I feel it will be irresponsible if I continue to stay out of public service, especially when I know I have something to offer my people and make a difference,” Ozigbo said.
“Ndi Anambra deserve a leader who will solve their immediate needs and make plans for their future. My vision is to change the course of destiny of my people by implementing a roadmap that can inspire rapid development that will begin in Anambra and spill over to the rest of the South East, and eventually all of Nigeria.
“I am calling on you to rise to the challenge and help elect a governor that will make us hopeful about the future once again, and that governor is me,” Ozigbo stated.
Ozigbo, a respected business mogul, seized the opportunity to present his Ka Anambra Chawapu Manifesto to Ndi Anambra in Abia State, explaining how his 3-pronged approach will uniquely redirect Anambra for greatness.
He, therefore, urged the people to ensure they return home to participate in the November 6 poll, which he described as “critical for the future of Anambra.”
While speaking earlier, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, the Minority Leader of the Nigerian Senate, said that Anambra’s election is important to him because his wife and daughter-in-law are both from Anambra State.
Sen Abaribe, who is the lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial Zone, spoke glowingly of the PDP candidate, urging the people to play their part to ensure the success of Ozigbo, who he described as ‘trustworthy, hardworking, and reliable.
“I’ve known Ozigbo for many years, and I can attest to his ingenuity, capacity, and industry. Val is one of the most dependable people I have ever met, and I am confident that electing him would be the best decision for the people of Anambra,” Sen Abaribe added.
In her address, the Chairperson of the Anambra PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, Senator Uche Ekwunife, lamented the result of poor governance in Anambra State, which has resulted in decay in all kinds of infrastructure in the state.
Senator Ekwunife, who represents Anambra Central in the Nigerian Senate, expressed confidence that if elected, Ozigbo will run a functional government that will be modern and provide the basic needs of Ndi Anambra.
Several leaders of the PDP in Anambra State were present at the event, including some directors and members of the Anambra PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, members of the Anambra State House of Assembly and the Anambra PDP Working Committee led by the Chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu and the Woman Leader, Mrs Justina Nwafor.
Valene Ozigbo emerged as the PDP candidate after scoring a majority of the votes in the primary election held in Awka on June 26, 2021. Since his emergence, his candidacy continues to inspire Ndi Anambra at home and abroad, thereby growing the Ka Anambra Chawapu movement to one of the most formidable political forces in the country.
In July 2021, Ozigbo announced Mrs Azuka Enemo, a seasoned public administrator and two-time Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, as his running mate. This decision has been applauded by political leaders, the clergy, women groups, and Ndi Anambra at the grassroots.