By Ifeoma Ejiofor
Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer for the 2021 Anambra governorship election, has been presented with his certificate of return after winning the party’s primary election held on Saturday, June 26, 2021.
Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, presented the certificate to Ozigbo on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at the National Headquarters of the PDP at Wadata House, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, emerged as the party’s candidate for the November 6 election after polling the majority of the votes at the party primary held at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Center on June 26, 2021.
At the brief ceremony, Prince Secondus applauded the peaceful conduct of the June 26 guber primary of the party describing it as “one of the most peaceful processes in the history of the party”.
In his address, Ozigbo expressed gratitude to the leadership of the PDP for prioritising the unity of the party and its chances at the general election. He urged other aspirants and other stakeholders of the party to put the past behind and work together with him to ensure victory for the PDP over the incumbent All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“Today, I stand before you to express my gratitude. When I started this journey, I said to everybody who cared to listen that I am on this journey because I believe in our party,” Ozigbo said.
“We have seen a commendable change in the leadership in the most recent years. I was fascinated by the remarkable shift we have witnessed under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus.
“The commendable leadership also extends to the state level. His Excellency Peter Obi, other leaders and BOT members who have shown great leadership, I thank them,” he added.
The business mogul also commended the electoral process that produced him as the candidate of the PDP. He appreciated Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State and the entire electoral panel for their professionalism.
“We eventually went through the primary and by any measure, it was one of the most transparent and most peaceful. On that note, I want to appreciate the panel that conducted the primary, especially the Deputy Governor of Edo State for the good work.
“I am grateful for their fairness because it guaranteed that someone like me would emerge.
“I’m proud to tell you that I emerged through a free and fair process, compared to what is happening in other parties like APGA and APC,” Ozigbo declared.
Mr Ozigbo issued a clarion call to the PDP saying that it is “not yet celebration time”. He called for party unity and consolidation ahead of the November election.
“So we are here not only to celebrate the certificate of return. This is a call to action, it’s not yet celebration time. On November 6, we go to the polls and I guarantee you that for the first time in 16 years, PDP will take Anambra State,” Ozigbo said with confidence.
“I receive this certificate, fully aware of the responsibilities that come with it. We are confident that no matter how formidable our opponents may appear, we will emerge victorious in the end.
“You have in me, a flag-bearer that represents the hopes and aspirants of the youth. You have that the women of Anambra have endorsed and blessed.
“I had the privilege of canvassing, interfacing, and campaigning across the length and breadth of Anambra State interacting with our people at the grassroots. I know them, I know what they want, and I know the wide acceptability of my candidacy. I am confident we will win this election,” Ozigbo said.
He was accompanied to the event by the Hon. Val Ayika, the Director of Strategy and Media of the VCO Campaign Organisation, Chief Okey Ezibe, Mr Benji Uba, Chuma Nzeribe, a former aspirant, Dr Harry Oranezi, Chief Ugochukwu Okeke, and Dr Alex Obiogbolu, a former governorship candidate.
Valentine Ozigbo is one of Africa’s biggest sports promoters, being the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International the exclusive hosts of the Nigerian Freestyle Football Championship and the African Freestyle Football Championship. He is also one of Nigeria’s most recognisable philanthropists.