Valentine C Ozigbo is one of the few who represent hope for Nigerian politics.
A former top executive of many successful businesses, including being CEO of one of Nigeria’s most vibrant conglomerates, Transcorp Plc., Valentine refused to be swayed by the belief that first class minds like his have no business in politics and governance in Nigeria, given the turbulent terrain associated with them.
Two years ago, he quietly joined politics and put his fertile mind to work on the weed infested field of Nigerian politics with the vision to cultivate the landscape for productivity and popular profitability.
He began from sheer obscurity to build what would become the single most vibrant political movement of Anambra State in recent times.
From a quiet start, but with clear cut strategy, tenacity, dedication to duty and his infectious mien, Val navigated through the shark-infested and billionaire-strangulated waters of Anambra politics to clinch the PDP gubernatorial ticket of the state in what continues to outstand pundits, has rewritten the rules of the game and clearly revealed assuring vistas of opportunities for eggheads like him from around the country to take on the baton of leadership in their various domains and do good to humanity.
Valentine truly did the seeming impossible. Even social media was dumbfounded when the results from the primaries were declared. And there was no fraud.
Today, he’s no longer the butt of jokes and political caricature for being erroneously presumed and underestimated as a neophyte who stood no chance of survival in Anambra politics.
Since his shell-shocking victory at the Anambra State PDP gubernatorial primaries, he transformed into the beautiful bride of Anambra politics, inspiring hope and the tangible reality of qualitative governance for the state.
This has also made him the prime target of spears, arrows, calculated invectives and bizarre judicial misadventures aimed and sponsored by the powers that be of the establishment in Anambra whose reign and infamy as perfidious merchants of mischief holding the state hostage, like many a Nigerian state, stand threatened by the vivid reality of an Ozigbo-led government.
Ozigbo hasn’t fought back. He continues to mop up the needless attacks and chins up with square shoulders as he inspires Ndi Anambra with his innocuous smiles to better standards in the game of politics.
Whether he is able to assuage the fears of entrenched predators on the system or not, one thing is certain, the politics and governance of Anambra State is already being leap-frogged by the endearing and visionary leadership of Valentine Ozigbo.
According to an Arabian proverb: “Stones and sticks are thrown only at fruitbearing trees.”
This is clearly so with Valentine Ozigbo as he continues to scale over the expected hurdles presented by his spectacular candidature.
Thankfully, he is doing just fine. Nevertheless, the men, women and youth of goodwill of Anambra State who would be the greater beneficiaries of his leadership must continue to rally round Ozigbo who holds the ace to transforming Anambra as he has done in the private sector. Governance, after all, is a collective responsibility.
There must be an end to the debilitating mischief of certain characters in Anambra politics.
That end lies in the hands of Anambra people. Today, as we celebrate Valentine Ozigbo on his birthday, we celebrate a transformative leader and a true politician who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way. Soft spoken, all embracing and result oriented, Valentine Ozigbo is clearly the real deal for Anambra.
Oddly, unlike most other Valentines, he wasn’t born in February. Why then is he a Valentine? Don’t tell me it was meant to be; so he could dazzle us with true love and a deep sense of purpose. Well, maybe that’s why. That could be it. Who knows?
St. Franklyn writes from Akwa