Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, was given a hero’s welcome upon his return to Anambra State after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published his name as the authentic candidate of the party for the November 6 poll.
INEC had on Thursday, September 9, 2021, published Mr Ozigbo and Mrs Azuka Enemo as the PDP governorship and deputy governorship candidates after an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja ruled in his favour in a case brought before it by Senator Ugochukwu Uba, who falsely claimed to be the party’s candidate despite failing to participate in the party’s primary election held on June 26, 2021.
On his return to Anambra, hundreds of enthusiastic supporters welcomed Ozigbo to the state capital, Awka, singing songs of victory and waving the PDP flag.
In his address to the large crowd, Ozigbo described the Appeal Court judgement as “the beginning of a new era in Anambra State”.
“I want to thank all of you for finding the time to come to welcome me,” Ozigbo said.
“Yesterday, we recorded several victories. First, the National Assembly Caucus of the PDP came together to pledge unanimous support for this project.
“My sister and brothers Senator Uche Ekwunife, Hon Chuchu Onyema, Hon Chris Azubogu, Hon Obinna Chidoka, Hon Chinedu Onwuaso, met in the presence of Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Udom Emmanuel for this purpose. I am grateful to all of them.
“Second, the entirety of the PDP Governors announced that they are solidly supporting this cause and would provide all the necessary resources to ensure that we win this election.
“Also, INEC has published our name as the PDP candidate for the election after a period of uncertainty,” Ozigbo said to loud cheers from the animated crowd.
“Despite their loss at the Appeal Court, our detractors attempted to obtain an order for a stay of execution on the judgement. Unfortunately for them, the court threw out their prayer and affirmed Valentine Ozigbo and Owelle Azuka Enemo as the PDP flag-bearers.
“Finally, at the party’s National Secretariat in Wadata House, the entirety of the PDP leadership, National Executive Committee, National Working Committee, and Governors from all the zones gathered to inaugurate a powerful 179-member National Campaign Council to execute the election.
“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State is the Chairman of the Council, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State is his Deputy. At the same time, our brother, Osita Chidoka, will be the Secretary of the Council.
“All the PDP Governors are members of the Council. This is our election to win, and by God’s grace, we will march to Agu Awka. It is time for us to show Ndi Anambra the way to go.
“Entering Anambra, I had a first-hand experience of the decay in the state with the terrible condition of the road in Amansea. That road is an example of the dearth of infrastructure in Anambra.
“There’s nothing to be proud of in Anambra. Roads are bad, healthcare is non-existent, education is moribund, security is at an all-time low, add this to the state’s debt profile, and you will agree that Anambra needs a total overhaul.
“If we don’t start now, we might never get it right. Our freedom must begin now. November 6 is our date with history, and we are ready to march to victory,” Ozigbo added.
The motorcade proceeded through the streets of Awka, where thousands joined in the celebratory parade, before reaching its final stop at the Anambra State PDP Secretariat in Udoka Estate, where hundreds of party members were on hand to welcome Ozigbo his entourage.
In a brief speech at the party secretariat, Ozigbo affirmed his readiness to run a winning campaign.
“The party at the center has been making moves to undermine the democratic process, but Anambra is not Imo,” the respected business leader said.
“They attempted to keep non-sensitive materials for the election in Imo State, but we rejected it, and that decision has been rescinded.
“Our priority now is to mobilise and convince people to vote. This is a divine mandate, and with your support, we will emerge victorious in November,” Ozigbo declared.
Valentine Ozigbo is a multiple award-winning global CEO and the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates with interests in hospitality, oil and gas, energy, power, and agribusiness.
Ozigbo is widely regarded as the favourite to win the Anambra guber election after his revolutionary Ka Anambra Chawapu message sparked one of the biggest political movements in Nigeria.
In July 2021, Ozigbo announced Mrs Azuka Enemo, a seasoned public administrator and two-time Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, as his running mate. Her appointment has been well-received by women groups, traditional rulers, and PDP Elders.