By Nna Anulumadu
It is another sign of victory for Valentine Ozigbo, the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, as indigenes of Anambra living in neighbouring Delta State endorsed for his candidacy and vowed to give him their mandates
The hugely successful town hall event hosted by a support group, Friends of Val Ozigbo, in the Delta State capital on Monday, October 11, 2021, had over 600 in attendance, including dignitaries like a federal lawmaker, Hon Obinna Chidoka; a former deputy governorship candidate in Anambra, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe; and several directors in the State PDP Campaign Council for 2021.
While endorsing Ozigbo, the Chairman of the Igbo Forum in Asaba, Chief Chinedu Obodo, said that Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc had excelled everywhere he worked and is best positioned to replicate the same in Anambra State.
“We singled out Valentine Ozigbo from other candidates because we need a new Anambra and the PDP candidate has shown enough to provide it,” Chief Obodo said.
“This election provides us with the opportunity to tell ourselves the bitter truth that we need somebody with proven integrity to lead us to the promised Land, and that person is Mr Valentine Ozigbo.
“The welfare of Igbo people lies in Anambra State. If Anambra gets it right, Igboland will experience transformation. Ndi Igbo in Delta State want Ozigbo to take over the helm of affairs because his Ka Anambra Chawapu Manifesto has the keys to unlock the potentials of the state,” he added.
While speaking to the audience at the Crescendo Events Centre, Mr Ozigbo thanked the organisers of the event and all the speakers who spoke before him. He also expressed gratitude to Chief Chinedu Obodo and all the members of the Igbo Forum in Asaba who endorsed his candidacy.
The respected business mogul went on to promise that he would actively “foster healthy and productive bilateral relations with neighbouring states” if he is elected into office in November.
Ozigbo noted that Anambra and Delta States are dependent on each other for economic reasons and could expand bilateral relations to maximise their economic potential.
“In terms of economy, Anambra has as close a bond with Delta State as with other southeastern states. If we maximise the economic potential of the Onitsha-Asaba axis alone, we could establish one of Nigeria’s biggest micro-economies,” Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO, said.
According to Ozigbo, it is imperative that PDP wins the November 6 election because it will also aid the political integration of both states and boost confidence in the Party ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“I want us to also see this election as an opportunity to set Anambra on a new path of advancement. We must take our campaigns to the doorsteps of Ndi Anambra and ensure that our people become ambassadors of the Ka Anambra Chawapu message.
“I know the power of the grassroots, and I’m banking on your support. We’re coming to bring development that will positively touch the State and effect change in every area of the Anambra’s economy –so that wherever you are, you’ll be proud to say that you’re from Anambra State.
“The key to effective change is electing transformational leaders who possess the combination of character, compassion, capacity, competence and commitment, Ozigbo added.
The event is the latest in a series of town hall engagements with Ndi Anambra outside the southeastern states following similar successful events in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Rivers, Ebonyi, and Abia States.
Hon Obinna Chidoka, the lawmaker representing Idemili North and Idemili South Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, who gave a brief speech, urged the Anambra people in Delta State to mobilise and return home in November and vote for Ozigbo.
In her remarks, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2017 election, described Valentine Ozigbo as the perfect candidate, urging Ndi Anambra in Delta to mobilise their people to support Ozigbo towards becoming the next governor.
“I contested the primary election against Ozigbo. When he emerged as our party’s candidate, I joined his train because I am convinced that he is the right person to transform the State. He is prepared for the job and will not leave his duty post for the swimming pool or beer parlour,” Onyemelukwe, the eldest daughter of the late former Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme, said.
The vote of thanks was given by Sir Izuchukwu Oraelosi, the convener of Ozigbo Vanguard, a powerful support group, who thanked Ndi Anambra in Asaba for making a powerful statement with their presence.
A host of dignitaries graced the well-attended event, including the Anambra State House of Assembly members, directors and members of the PDP Anambra Governorship Campaign Organisation, and members of the Anambra PDP State Working Committee, and hundreds of Anambra indigenes in Delta State.
Valentine Ozigbo, one of Africa’s most decorated entrepreneurs, is widely regarded as the favourite to win the upcoming governorship election.