An Open Letter By Valentine Ozigbo
OUR DETERMINED WALK TO AGU AWKA: UPDATES AND THE WAY FORWARD
My Dear PDP Family,
I trust that this letter meets all of you in good health.
This is my first letter to the great family of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the candidate for the governorship election slated for November 6, 2021. I wish to express my deepest and sincere gratitude to all of you – our party leaders at all levels, our members, and our supporters. Thank you for the confidence you have reposed in me by electing me as your flag-bearer. Thank you for all the support and counsel before and after the historic primary, held on June 26, 2021.
The only reason I stand in this place in the history of our great party and dear state is because of your collective support, goodwill, and prayers, and I will never take these for granted.
I also wish to apologise to all for the rescheduling of the pre-campaign take-off activities and consequent delay in kicking off our gubernatorial campaign. I accept full responsibility for these, and I wish to present the actual state of affairs regarding our party’s preparations for the election.
KEEPING MY PROMISES
During my primary election campaign, I promised that if I emerged victorious, I would put in my very best to see that I galvanised my fellow aspirants, key stakeholders, and the entire party to ensure we face the main election on a united front. I wish to assure you that I have spent over 80 per cent of my time since the night of June 26 in consultations with this unique class of our party leaders and all other PDP leaders.
I can confidently report to you that I have spared no effort to carry along all leaders and stakeholders and keep our party faithful united under the great PDP umbrella. I am also glad to report to you that we have recorded tremendous successes in this regard.
I find it necessary to clear the air on recent statements by a few of our party leaders, alleging a lack of consultations before the inauguration of our State PDP Governorship Campaign Council on Sunday, August 15, 2021.
As one entrusted with this leadership position by our party, I wish to assure you that I bear the responsibility of being your flag-bearer with the utmost sense of humility and commitment. I can promise you that I will never make a public statement to pass a message to anyone in the PDP family when I have the option of calling my brother or sister on the phone and having a heart-to-heart talk.
It is, however, necessary to present the facts with regards to the disclaimers many of you may have read on social media and the pages of newspapers. We did consult extensively with our party leaders before we inaugurated our Campaign Organisation.
I consulted with some of them personally, while some of our party leaders closer to them consulted with some others. Multiple consultations were held with the majority of them, some more than five times, in some instances, with witnesses of their choosing. I have personally made a great effort to meet the demands put forward by everyone.
But, it does appear that despite our best intentions, we did not consult enough. To anyone who feels offended over this, I apologise. Consultations are still ongoing, and I remain open to negotiation and further engagements with all of us. As many of you already know by now, my heart and my door are always open to engage and receive anyone who comes with goodwill. To the best of my ability, I have and will continue to accommodate us all.
THE LAST LAP OF CONSULTATIONS
I have spent the past week in what I believe to be the last lap of consultations ahead of the launch of a smooth-sailing campaign.
I have met with the 2019 election PDP House of Assembly and some House of Representatives candidates, among many other groups, and several issues came up, which we collectively resolved, and we are now on the same page.
On August 18, I met with the sitting Anambra State House of Assembly members of our party, and we had intimate conversations in a closed-door meeting. The meeting was productive and enriching.
The next day, I spent about four hours in a closed-door meeting with Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, our State Chairman. The meeting was one of several we have had since our party’s primary. We discussed the fundamentals of our campaign and arrived at various agreements.
We have also been engaging members of the National Assembly from Anambra individually, and plan to schedule a joint meeting imminently to cover all grounds with them.
It is vital, at this point, to state that any Campaign Organisation list you may have seen on social media or anywhere else are essentially work-in-progress. Up till today, none of those lists was considered final. This is because of my earnest desire to see that all stakeholders are duly consulted and that whoever is willing to be part of this project is carried along as we set off our final push towards November 6.
Based on this, Chief Nwobu mandated our party’s Local Government Chairmen to review the earlier prepared list of the Local Government Campaign Council, LGCC, with input from NEC, BoT, NASS members, State EXCOS and other leaders in their areas for a balanced and formidable team. The list must be returned to our State Chairman latest today, Monday, August 23, 2021.
There will be a meeting of select leaders to finalise the list on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. The inauguration of the LGCC will then follow this on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Details of the inauguration will be made available ahead of time.
We also plan several high-level engagements with members of our National Working Committee and our PDP Governors. Details of these will be provided shortly.
Membership of our National Campaign Council will also be announced soon.
By next week, we will commence a tour of all 21 LGAs ahead of a formal flag off by our National Campaign Council.
I wish to reassure all our party faithful. We may have lost some time getting set for our campaigns. But, I believe that getting the fundamentals right, moving forward in unity with an all-inclusive team, and working in synergy, position us better to win this race.
I give 100 per cent of me to any project I commit to. Please make no mistake about it; I am in this to win it. I have spent a more significant part of the past two years interacting with the PDP up to the grassroots. I know the overwhelming majority of us feel the way I do about our dear state’s deplorable state of governance.
I also know that the same majority of us are focused on doing what it takes to halt the decline of Anambra and reverse the tide by taking Agu Awka come November.
What I know for sure, without any doubt in my heart, is that the PDP is a better party, we have the best human capital, better collective experiences and resources, deeper internal democracy, and a better leadership recruitment process. Our intentions and message resonate with the deepest desires of Ndi Anambra, and I daresay that we have the best candidate flying our flag!
We are strong, we are ready, and we are united. I am confident that we will all join hands in unity towards a purpose greater than one person, and it will end in PDP singing victory songs in November.
Together, we are unmatched, we are unstoppable, and we are inevitable.
God bless us all.
God bless our dear state, Anambra.
Ka Anambra Chawapu makana Aka Chukwu Di Ya