Posted by News Express | 28 August 2021 | 472 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
No fewer than 2,500 Anambra State elders, under the umbrella of the Association of Past Presidents-General of Anambra State (APPAS) on Thursday kicked off a debate programme for all governorship candidates gunning for the Agu-Awka Government House come November 6 this year.
Addressing the audience, the Acting National President of the Association, Mazi Omife Omife, explained that the purpose of the debate was to align with the right candidate who would perform better than the incumbent All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) government led by Governor Willie Obiano.
He said: “Some people are quarrelling with us over the invitation of governorship aspirants and candidates. I want us to know that we are not existing in isolation from the rest of society.
“We do not exist to fight governments in power but to be partners in progress. By calling the political parties and their candidates to address us, they have known us and that whoever that enters the government house tomorrow will not forget us and the entire Ndi Anambra.
“Today, we begin with the candidates of Accord Party, Dr Godwin Maduka, and his PDP co-contestant, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, and it will go round all the candidates before we will take a stand on who to endorse, mobilise for and vote for.”
Omife advised the candidates to campaign with soft tunes.
The event, which was held in Awka during the quarterly general meeting of APPAS, saw Ozigbo and Maduka being accompanied by their supporters.
In his speech, Ozigbo harped on the need to break the cycle of unproductive leadership in Anambra State and install a government that will revolutionise governance.
He said: “This association forms the core of the leaders and decision-makers at the grassroots in Anambra State and, therefore, has a crucial role to play in the upcoming election.
“In December 2020, APPAS was one of the first groups to formally endorse my candidacy for governor months before my victorious outing at the June 26 PDP primary election.
“This election is critical because the future of Anambra depends on the choices we make in November. These choices will shape the policies of the future and determine the reality our children will contend with.
“For now, we must take advantage of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and ensure our people in our various wards are adequately armed with their voter’s card.
Ozigbo thanked the former Presidents-General for their commitment to a better Anambra project, promising to live up to their lofty expectations.
On his part, Maduka told the elders that he was in the contest to take Anambra State to a greater height.
He said that to achieve this, he would ensure that all primary and secondary schools are made free, in a bid to make the state the number one literate state in the country.
He gave assured that the medical facility in Anambra would be top-notch, adding that he would make available 21 medical centres with ambulances situated for proper medical service delivery across the 181 communities in the state.
While saying that he would conduct local government election within six months of his swearing in as governor, Maduka said that most of the past PG would be elected as local government chairmen.
He said that agricultural loans would be made easily accessible for rural farmers.
The deputy candidate to Val. Ozigbo, Mrs Azuka Enemuo, who spoke to journalists, shortly after the event, said Ozigbo represents a generation of leaders that will ensure that Anambra reaches its full potentials.
“The truth is that Anambra has tragically depreciated from what it used to be when we were in office,” Mrs Enemo, a two-time Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, stated.
“Fortunately, we have Mr Valentine Ozigbo, a good man with an exceptional drive to restore Anambra’s glory.
“His experience in relevant fields, especially heading one of Nigeria’s strongest organisations, Transcorp Plc, separates him as one of Nigeria’s best brains and a blessing to Anambra.
“He has the brains, character, and connections to change the story of Ndi Anambra, and I’m proud to partner with him to ensure that we get it right this time.”
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