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As Anambra South Makes Bold Demand for 2021

By Chinedu Ofomata

The governorship election campaign in Anambra State is within months of kick off.  By November 2021, the election would be conducted and a winner emerged who would take over the reins of power from Governor Willie Obiano. It is expected that Obiano’s successor will come from Anambra South Senatorial Zone in keeping with an informal arrangement on power rotation in the state. Obiano himself is the first beneficiary of the arrangement that brought to an end the marginalization of the people of Anambra North Senatorial Zone.

Aware of the clamour for power rotation in the country in his time, Governor Peter Obi seized the moment and ceded power to Anambra North zone to douse the persistent tension. The idea paid off as the tension was doused and the feeling of isolation put paid to. The north senatorial zone which had access to power last during Ukpabi Asika’s East central state produced its first governor in Obiano.

As popular as the idea to rotate power in the state, it failed to command total acceptance. Aspirants from the south and central senatorial zones dismissed the idea and jumped into the fray. They could not be dissuaded and were not discouraged by the reality of losing the tickets of the major parties in that election. They simply hopped on campaign stumps, stood the election and lost. Four years after, they lost more disappointingly during Obiano’s reelection, suggesting that the informal arrangement has firmed up.

The 2021 election does not promise differently as the APGA government led by Governor Obiano has signaled intention to move power southward.

Fair enough, the south senatorial district, like the other two zones – north and central – does not harbour less of qualified candidates for the job. Though distinct in composition (old Aguata, old Nnewi, and Ihiala), yet identical, the zone harbours people of sound intellect, great experience and the fund to offset the campaign cost. This is without prejudice to the aspirants from the tactically excluded zones.

From the impressive array of aspirants from the old Aguata which comprises Aguata, Orumba North and South local government areas are Valentine Ozigbo, Chukwuma Soludo, Godwin Maduka, Andy Ubah, Barth Nwibe, Winston Udeh, Chukwuma Umeoji, Godwin Ezeemo etc.  From the old Nnewi, made up of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo local government areas are Chris Azubuogu, Ifeanyi Ubah, George Muoghalu, Emeka Etiaba, Nicholas Ukachukwu, Ifedi Okwenna etc. The last of the tripod, Ihiala, is without the advantage of 3-in-1 council areas like old Aguata and Nnewi, but it nonetheless parades as much names as the other two like Ugochukwu Okeke, Obinna Uzor, Chuma Nzeribe, Akachukwu Nwankpo, Don Amangbo etc.

Barring any twist of fortune, what will set any of the aspirants apart and put him ahead of others should be his personal touch with the people. How well he had related with the people. How accessible and humble? His reach across the state.   How well he appreciates issues and the ability to find answers to them.

Of the lot, Valentine Chineto Ozigbo approximates the figure. He has all the attributes above and more. We have to get this right. Every one of the guys now on the political runway has the requisite education, even experience, but to drive the Anambra dream requires much more.

Ozigbo may not have come to many as the Mr. Fix It, but the subtlety of his management of multi sector businesses compares to none. His hold and transformation of the Transnational Corporation (Trans corp.) a conglomerate with strategic investments and core interest in hospitality, agribusiness, energy etc speaks volume of his capacity to drive the Anambra dream. Though one or two other contenders have as much experience as himself in the area of finance management, but Ozigbo has greater claim to corporate management. He has had over 18 years of practical experience that spanned over 8 banks before he took over Trans Corps. There is no doubt those experiences would come handy post Obiano.

He also has advantage of youth. Whatever he may lack in terms of age he duly compensates for in his ability to manage men to great advantage. He does not have his head in the cloud and knows how to put ideas into practice.

A meek but firm manager, he exerts authority without being high handed. Unlocking of human potentials comes to him naturally because of his interpersonal relationship with people. He addresses everyone by their first name which puts him clear of so many who do not, and regard high office as an opportunity to lord it over others. Ozigbo is a believer in Kaizen principles of the Japanese which encourages continuous improvement as the best way of enhancing productivity in an organization.

Just recently (2019), and in line with his belief in wealth creation, he encouraged about five hundred and thirty one widows(3 each) from all the one hundred and seventy-seven communities in Anambra state with N20, 000, to go into small scale businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic also saw him give out palliatives to almost all the communities in the state. Ozigbo has the vision, passion and commitment that stand him in good stead to take Anambra state to greater heights post Obiano.

One thing is sure to happen in the coming election, no winner will emerge on fantastic, but unpractical manifestoes delivery, rather on their track record of practical achievements. The election will neither allow itself the luxury of money influence nor the manipulation of political profiteers.

Resilience, dedication, hard work, and above all accessibility and humility will count. Anambra has a choice come twenty twenty-one and Valentine Ozigbo holds all the aces.

Ofomata writes from Anambra State; cofomata@yahoo.com



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