By C.J Ubaka
Politics is like the beautiful round leather game of football where every team member’s effort is needed to secure a win for the team, yet a particular player will be recognized as the star player at the end of every game. It could be the one who scored the winning goal or the one who got the highest shots on target. Either way, one person is always looked upon to secure the much-needed victory for the team.
As the Anambra gubernatorial election draws near, there is a particular question on the lips of every keen observer, waiting to be answered. Who will emerge as the golden player of each political party?
Those days in high school, it is a normal thing for the games master to allow every male student into the school football team, and as days go by, weeding takes its natural process. While some will drop out due to the stress of the game, others will choose reading and other activities over football rehearsal and quit the team. Gradually, the serious students will be all that is left.
On the selection day, while so many persons will be in high spirit anticipating being selected to represent the school in the football team, there is always one person who is so confident that his name must be on the list. Why?
He has proven his mettle in previous competitions either through goals, assists, or even good behaviour on the pitch.
A critical look at my party’s – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – squad ahead of the party primaries shows a list of both actual contenders and pretenders; of course, the fundamental right to vote and be voted for is a privilege every citizen enjoys. So, it becomes now a matter of interest for the party to look inwards and access the team properly.
Overall, the party needs a win in the elections, no doubt. But that win is not assured by just any aspirant, just like a win in a football match is not secured by just any player.
There is always a particular striker whose name on the line-up will end chills and goosebumps down the spines of the opposing team. This is because they know that no matter how good their defenders and even their goalkeeper is, the striker always nets a goal.
From the first day he announced his intentions to run, Mr Valentine Ozigbo has continued to distinguish himself and define the brand of politics he wishes to play. Before now, people from the other side claim that his biggest weakness is being a new face in the game. While they continue to entertain themselves with any string of hopeless excuses, they do not know that as someone who recently decided to join the public service, Mr Ozigbo has so many winning advantages above all others.
The political arena is like a muddy playground; the longer you stay, the more stains you will have to battle with. Right here lies the most significant advantage of the ‘Ka Anambra Chawapu’ champion; he is as clean as the word clean. With no political baggage and dirt to contend with, he stands a good chance of building a solid network of bright minds to work with in the mission to make Anambra state work again.
Again, nothing speaks for a man’s capacity more than where he has shown them. Mr Ozigbo has given over 27 years of his life to active service in the private sector, beginning with a career in the banking sector up to the level of a General Manager and finally as the President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc. His days in the private sector are filled with good testimonies of dedication, accountability, transparency, and sterling achievements.
Mr Ozigbo is not only qualified by competence and capacity; he also comes from the South Senatorial zone. In him, the perfect combination of zoning and competence finds a resting place, assuring a landslide victory for the PDP should they finally decide to give him the party’s ticket.
What is more? There is already wide acceptability of his ideologies among different segments of the state. The civil servants are confident that he will cleanse public service and make it worthwhile; the captains of industries and business owners anticipate his economic blueprints that will revolutionize commercial activities in Anambra state.
The young people are not left out in the desire for Mr Ozigbo in Agu Awka. As a renewed philanthropist with a strong interest in youth and women’s development, he has continued to give hope to young people from different walks of life through his empowerment programmes. Moreover, it will interest you to know that Mr Ozigbo is a massive investor in sporting activities and cannot wait to rehabilitate the sporting economy of Anambra state once elected.
For a party intentional about winning elections in Anambra state, it will be somewhat ironic if PDP gives the party ticket to another aspirant other than Mr Ozigbo. Before now, he was just the man from Transcorp, a new face that is unknown to many persons. But, few months into the process and he is already the nightmare of the opposition.
Mr Ozigbo is that golden player the games master will never forget to select on the days of big games because with him on the ballot paper, victory is sure for PDP. His winning advantages are just as numerous as his strategic plans for a better Anambra State.
• Ubaka, a social commentator and political analyst, writes from Awka