Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer for the 2021 Anambra governorship election has commended Igbo nation for their creativity, resourcefulness and resilience while calling for “fresh innovative approaches” to solving the challenges the Igbos face.
Mr Ozigbo, who is a respected business leader, made these remarks when he delivered the chairman’s address at the maiden ‘Igbokacha’ lecture series, organised by the Department of Archaeology & Tourism of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
The well-attended event was held at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium at the Nsukka Campus of the institution with the theme, “Igbology and Zeitgeist of Akonauche in the 21st Century Africa.”
Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO described Ndigbo as unique nation of resilient people who have always defied the odds and created opportunities out of nothing.
He maintained that the bane of the Igbo society has always been the lack of quality leadership, which is necessary to galvanise Ndi Igbo towards a collective vision of greatness.
He said, “Ndigbo have always been known for their enterprise. The aftermath of the civil war and the economic resurgence of the Igbos is a clear indication of our resilience as a people.
“This resilience is what drives the Igbo man and fuels the excellence that has characterised Ndigbo globally. Unfortunately, we have been unlucky with leaders that have failed to utilise the abundant human resource we are blessed with.
“With progressive and visionary leadership, Igboland can be the envy of the entire black race. We have evidence of the effect of quality leadership with the exploits of leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Okpara, and more recently, His Excellency Peter Obi.
“This is why I decided to step down from my position as the President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc to dedicate myself to playing my part to ensure that we create a new reality for future generations.”
Ozigbo further asserted that for the Igbo nation to live up to its potentials, the next generation of leaders must set a bold agenda, avoid past mistakes, and take radical revolutionary steps towards unleashing the infinite possibilities of the Igbos.
“For us to make progress as a people, we need to look back and examine our journey so far. We need to do a recourse analysis of our present circumstance and envision a new reality of where we are headed.
“I am fascinated by the ingenuity of the Igbo man. I believe we are where we are as Nigerians and Africans have because the genius of the Igbo man has not been brought to bear.
“I am in politics today because I believe this is the time for us to change the narrative of the black man, and it has to start with the Igbo race,” Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO, added.
The event was graced by several dignitaries, including Prof Charles Igwe, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, who was represented by the DVC, Prof Pat Okpoko, Prof Kay Onyechi, a senior lecturer at UNN and former Commissioner for Education in Anambra State, the MD of Tropicana Limited, Apostle Nnamdi Mbaigbo, who was the guest lecturer, a prominent PDP chieftain, Chief Tony Offiah who serves as the Director of Finance in the VCO Campaign Organisation.
An icon of excellence, Valentine Ozigbo is an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he graduated with a degree in accounting with the best result in his faculty. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration from the same university and a Masters of Science in Finance from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.
Ozigbo emerged as the winner of the PDP’s keenly contested Anambra guber primary on June 26, 2021. His victory is regarded as one of the most inspirational political stories in Nigeria’s recent political history. Observers and analysts have described him as “the candidate to watch” in the governorship race of the southeastern state.