By Okechukwu Onuegbu
The umbrella body of all support groups affiliated to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the National Coalition of PDP Support Groups has thrown its weight behind the governorship bid of Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, Valentine Ozigbo.
This high-powered endorsement, which was announced on Wednesday, February 4, 2021, at a press conference held at Parktonian Hotel, Awka, comes weeks after Ozigbo’s governorship bid was endorsed by the Association of Past President Generals of Anambra State (APPAS).
The delegation, which its Chairman, Chief Basil Nwolisa led, revealed that the coalition arrived at the decision after consulting widely and carrying out due diligence on all the aspirants interested in contesting the November 6 gubernatorial election on the platform of the PDP.
Chief Nwolisa said Anambra State needs a corporate and management expert, hence, their choice of Valentine Ozigbo who is a proven corporate transformer.
“We have the confidence and belief that going by his track record in the banking industry and his stint at Transcorp (Plc), he has the wherewithal to drive the leadership desired in Anambra State. We want to use Anambra as a citadel of a new generation of Nigerian states,” Chief Nwolisa declared at the press briefing.
“In view of this, we have decided to throw our weight behind Mr Ozigbo. This is evident in the fact that we have contributed money to purchase his party (form) for the primaries. We cannot afford to lose Anambra State to those who do not know anything about leadership,” he added.
Also addressing the press conference, the National Secretary of the group, David Ibrahim Bambur, stated that the group’s endorsement of Ozigbo is significant as it was the first time in “the history of the group” that it would endorse a candidate at the state level.
Dr Bambur also revealed that this was the second time they would be extending a similar gesture to an aspirant after the group endorsed the 2019 presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar, for whom they also purchased the party’s primary form for.
Bambur, further stated that it was noteworthy that the endorsement was coming even before the party primaries. According to him, the group’s decision was taken after a careful look at the character, antecedents, and developmental roadmap of Mr Ozigbo.
He went on to assure Mr Ozigbo that the coalition will do everything within their power to ensure that he emerges victorious at the PDP primary and at the general polls in November.
Reacting to the endorsement, Ozigbo said he was overwhelmed, humbled, and excited at the trust reposed in him by the high-level delegation made up of eminent politicians from within and outside Anambra State.
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, expressed his gratitude to the group, assuring them that it would be a partnership that they will be proud of as he plans on delivering the dividends of true governance if given the opportunity to govern Anambra.
Speaking to journalists after the event, Mr. Ozigbo said the endorsement was both timely and unprecedented. The award-winning global CEO also spoke briefly on his developmental plans for the state in different sectors.
“Anambra is a State that we consider as the light of the nation, but that light has dimmed. It is time for that light to blossom, to shine, and to be great,” Ozigbo said.
“This cuts across many areas, infrastructure-wise, sustainable development goal-wise, everything that we need to set a completely new standard for governance is here in Anambra.
“We will look at avenues of adding processing to our agricultural system. We will seek to solve the perennial power problem. I will be bringing all the experience I have garnered in the private sector to bear.
“We will use technology to solve our immediate and remote needs in Anambra State,” Ozigbo remarked.