From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Valentine Ozigbo, has described the Appeal Court judgement that restored him as the authentic and validly elected standard-bearer of the PDP for the election as the beginning of a new era in the state.
Ozigbo spoke Saturday after receiving a heroic welcome in Awka upon his return to Anambra after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also published his name as the authentic candidate of the party for the November 6 poll.
INEC had on Thursday, September 9, published Mr Ozigbo and Mrs Azuka Enemo as the PDP governorship and deputy governorship candidates after an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja ruled in his favour in a case brought before it by Senator Ugochukwu Uba, who falsely claimed to be the party’s candidate despite failing to participate in the party’s primary election held on June 26.
On his return to Anambra, hundreds of enthusiastic supporters welcomed Ozigbo to the state capital, Awka, singing songs of victory and waving PDP flags.
In his address to the large crowd, Ozigbo said his candidature recorded several victories last Thursday, an indication he noted that the train has moved in earnest towards taking over the Awka Government House after the November 6 election.
‘I want to thank all of you for finding the time to come to welcome me,’ Ozigbo said.
‘Yesterday, we recorded several victories. First, the National Assembly Caucus of the PDP came together to pledge unanimous support for this project.
‘My sister and brothers Senator Uche Ekwunife, Hon Chuchu Onyema, Hon Chris Azubogu, Hon Obinna Chidoka, Hon Chinedu Onwuaso, met in the presence of Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Udom Emmanuel for this purpose. I am grateful to all of them.
‘Second, the entirety of the PDP governors announced that they are solidly supporting this cause and would provide all the necessary resources to ensure that we win this election.
‘Also, INEC has published our name as the PDP candidate for the election after a period of uncertainty,” Ozigbo said to loud cheers from the animated crowd.
‘Despite their loss at the Appeal Court, our detractors attempted to obtain an order for a stay of execution on the judgement. Unfortunately for them, the court threw out their prayer and affirmed Valentine Ozigbo and Owelle Azuka Enemo as the PDP flag-bearers.
‘Finally, at the party’s National Secretariat in Wadata House, the entirety of the PDP leadership, National Executive Committee, National Working Committee, and governors from all the zones gathered to inaugurate a powerful 179-member National Campaign Council to execute the election.
‘Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State is the Chairman of the Council, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State is his Deputy. At the same time, our brother, Osita Chidoka, will be the Secretary of the Council.
‘All the PDP governors are members of the Council. This is our election to win, and by God’s grace, we will march to Agu Awka. It is time for us to show Ndi Anambra the way to go,’ he said.