Anambra 2021: The stars keep on aligning for PDP’S Valentine Ozigbo
By CJ Ubaka and Ima Matthew
In Anambra State, the coasts keep getting clearer for Valentine Ozigbo, the frontrunner in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the November 6, 2021 governorship election.
By the grace of God, the good people of Anambra State are about to witness, once again, what it means to have a competent governor who takes the mandate of his people with a high sense of responsibility. The leadership black hole created by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Governor Willie Obiano is now unbearable for the citizens. As it stands now, it is either we go for a complete change and elect a competent candidate on a brand new slate or face another cycle of backwardness, darkness, and cruelty from Agu Akwa.
One of the common excuses people give for enthroning incompetence is the scarcity of competent hands in the field. This is because, all too often, the real capable people who can bring the needed quality in governance prefer not to come out to seek the seat of power because of the long, dirty, and difficult road they are required to walk. Consequently, we find ourselves in the situation Plato talked about when he said that “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”.
It is against this backdrop that Valentine Ozigbo decided to step down from his exaulted position in Corporate Nigeria and offer himself to serve his people by joining the race for the governorship of his home state, Anambra. This bold step by this globally celebrated CEO and business mogul has changed the game completely.
Valentine Ozigbo seeks to enter into a partnership with Ndi Anambra to restore the lost glory of our dear state from the ashes of the atrocious governance of the past seven years. In his own words published on January 1, 2021, “I am stepping out to provide transformational leadership that replaces fear and divisions with faith and unity. The kind of leadership that is bold enough to ensure that every single child gets a world-class education. Leadership that empowers our youth to thrive and rule their world. I mean, the transformational leadership that brings on a new world where the powerful lift up the weak, and the rich organise and channel their wealth to causes that lift all of us.”
Ozigbo’s emergence into the Anambra state political space has changed the perception of the possibilities, especially among the power players in the polity. In the early days of his declaration, most persons went to sleep, thinking that he is coming to “try his luck” and would be outplayed by the so-called “experienced politicians”.
Unfortunately for the career wheelers and dealers of Anambra politics, and fortunately for Ndi Anambra, Valentine Ozigbo has gone ahead to surprise his naysayers, doubters, and detractors.
As it stands today, Val Ozigbo has become a household name in Anambra state politics. You cannot mention three aspirants under PDP without mentioning him either as the first or second. Such is the level of awareness he has created. This acceptability of his candidacy is a strong pointer that his inspirational Ka Anambra Chawapu message has resonated in the hearts and minds of our people.
The beautiful thing about democracy is that it gives the people the power to elect their leaders. Ozigbo’s candidacy has laid to rest the idea that the electorate does not have a choice of a competent leader this time around. The excellent news for Ndi Anambra is that Valentine Ozigbo comes fully prepared. Ozigbo has an intimidating profile with a long list of accomplishments and an unbroken track record for excellence.
As a multiple award-winning global CEO, one of a few international Kaizen champions, as a business leader with multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary experience in power, banking, international finance, agribusiness, oil and gas, hospitality, sports development, entertainment, energy, and technology, Valentine Ozigbo is armed with workable ideas and practical solutions to the problems that bedevil Anambra State.
In a field of close to 40 governorship aspirants, Ozigbo is the only one who has published a detailed manifesto telling Anambra people what he plans to do and how he intends to go about it. Others keep on making the usual empty promises, throwing about abstract buzzwords like “a new Anambra”, “infrastructure”, “development”, “rebuild”. When they are asked what these words mean in real practical terms of governance? Answers are tough to find.
Aside his unmatched professional pedigree, Ozigbo has the rare qualities of an evolved human, such as a high level of compassion, emotional intelligence, bridge-building, inter personal engagement, and personal effectiveness. He has this uncommon ability to get along with everyone irrespective of their status, education, background. He believes in the oneness of all humanity. It would be a major plus for Ndi Anambra if we embrace his candidacy and give him the responsibility of leading our state come November.
But first, the task before the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is to present him to us as their candidate. As the PDP inches closer to its primary on June 26, 2021, let us all hope and pray for a landslide victory for Ozigbo. As Chief Andy Azike, a prominent stakeholder in Anambra, said in his bold endorsement of Ozigbo in April, the best outcome for Anambra State in the next governorship election is a victory for the PDP, and the best chance the PDP has to win the November poll is to present Valentine Ozigbo as the party’s flagbearer.
There’s no doubt that a victory for Ozigbo and the PDP would translate into a new era of excellence in governance for the good people of Anambra State.
Chijioke ‘CJ’ Ubaka is a political analyst and communications professional who lives and works in Awka. He tweets from @CJ_Ubaka.
Ima Matthew is a journalist and advocate for social change based in Lagos. This is her Instagram handle, @_iamlilmizz.