Anambra PDP matches APGA candidate

The 6 November 2021 Anambra governorship battle becomes exciting as opposition PDP matches the APGA bespoke candidate with a tested private sector manager.

The PDP flagbearer is Mr. Valentine Chineto Ozigbo, a first-class accountant, award-winning academic and hands-on private sector manager. The candidate distinguished himself as a top-flight banking and hospitality services manager.

Ozigbo, the Amesi native from Aguata LGA, fought hard to narrowly displace a galaxy of nine candidates who fought gallantly for the nomination. The battle took place at the Dora Akunyili Women Centre, Awka yesterday, 26 June 2021.

At the end of balloting, Ozigbo secured only 62 votes to emerge victorious. However, this was enough to displace titans like Dr. Obiora Okonkwo(58 votes), Senator Uche Ekwunife(44), and Dr. Godwin Maduka(5 votes).

Okonkwo is the billionaire owner of United Airlines, Ekwunife is a serving senator, while Maduka is a successful medical practitioner and one-man army in philanthropy and charitable deeds.

The party picked 217 electors as “super delegates” out of the original 3,200 that emerged from the ward primaries. The super delegates chose the flagbearer in a keenly contested battle.

The also-rans include Winston Ude (12 votes), Chris Azubogu (10), Genevieve Ekwochi (3), Chidi Onyemelukwe (2) and Walter Okeke (2). Only three ballots were voided, according to the returning officer.

Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, stands toe-to-toe in almost every respect with Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the APGA candidate.

He is a chartered professional accountant and taxation specialist, holding professional memberships of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, as well as the Institute of Credit Administration.

Mr. Ozigbo has had over 16 years of professional banking experience working in some of the biggest banks in Nigeria.

He was Head of Commercial Banking at Diamond Bank Plc for five years, Business Manager at the United Bank for Africa, and acting Regional Director of FSB International Bank.

He returned to UBA as Head of International Banking from where he later left to join Keystone Bank where he made his last pitch as a banker, as head of the bank’s Global Transaction Operations.

In 2011, Ozigbo took his experience as a commercial, retail, investment and global banker to the hospitality services sector as Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. In this position, he oversaw the operations of both Transcorp Hilton, Abuja and Transcorp Hotels, Calabar.

Ozigbo (51) got all of his formative education in the little town of Amesi in Aguata. He probably never left his village until he was admitted to read accountancy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1989.

This, however, did not faze him as he emerged with a first-class degree and as best graduating student of both his department and the faculty in 1993.

He later returned to his alma mater for a master’s degree in Banking and Finance which he passed in flying colors. Six years later, he became a Chevening scholar graduating with Distinction in another master’s degree at the Lancaster University in the UK in 2004.

Analysts yesterday commended Anambra PDP for introducing a flagbearer that matches the big profile of APGA candidate, Prof. Soludo.

The APC, they said, may be put in a spot as they attempt to settle for a candidate that will match the pedigree of both contenders from APGA and the PDP.