CELEBRATION AS VALENTINE OZIGBO WINS THE COVETED ANAMBRA MAN OF THE YEAR 2021 AWARD

Nigerian business mogul Valentine Ozigbo, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, has been honoured with the Anambra Man of the Year Award at a colourful ceremony held at Stanel Dome, Awka.

The second edition of the annual award ceremony held on Thursday, January 6, 2021, and is the brainchild of a coalition of multiple organisations, including the Akulueuno Foundation, Eminent Media, Stand up for Women Society, Tour Nigeria communications, Alex Reports and 100 Achievers Team, under the Chairmanship of Major General Anthony Emeka Ajemba (Rtd).

While receiving the award, Ozigbo delivered an inspiring address that underlined the importance of competent leadership to actualising the vast potentials of Anambra State.

“I especially thank the organisers of this event, and I commend them for their commitment to excellence and the promotion and celebration of Ndi Anambra,” Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO, said.

“As a people, we are abundant in talents, gifts, and capacities. There is no endeavour of life in business, entertainment, sports, sciences, industry, technology, government, media, academics, or the arts that we do not have our brothers and sisters thriving and excelling. This is true for every continent on Earth.

“When I think of the enormous bundle of blessings that is Ndi Anambra, I feel humbled and honoured to have been chosen by Ndi Anambra in a public vote.

“My life is a story of God’s grace and unending love. Who is Valentine? The village boy born in rural Anambra, just as the brutal Nigerian Civil War was ending. Raised by a village school headmaster and catechist father who we lost three days ago at the age of 92,” he added.

Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, also thanked his wife, Mrs Ojiugo Ozigbo, his running mate in the November 6 election, Dame Azuka Enemo, PDP leaders, his mentors, friends, supporters, and everyone who voted for him to win the award.

Ozigbo highlighted the tragedy of the wide gap between Anambra’s potentials and its achievements in his speech.

“I am reminded every day and even today of the sad state of things at home where we are unable to boast of essential social services like good motorable roads, universal basic healthcare, or free quality education for our children.

“On the one hand, we are an Anambra, the ‘Home of the Most Billionaires in Nigeria’, but on the other hand, we are also home to thousands of out-of-school children. We are Anambra, the land of a proud and prosperous people; we are also where a sad majority of our women cannot access the vital healthcare they need to stay alive when pregnant.

“We are Anambra, the home of the globally celebrated business tycoons, doctors, academics, professors, world champions. We are also a hotbed for criminal behaviour because we have a youth population stripped of their dreams, hopes, and belief in themselves because of the lack of opportunity.

“I sought public office because I was dissatisfied with the contrast between our limitless possibilities and our present state, the tragic paradox of the Anambra of our dreams and the present-day Anambra.

“As long as the tragedies of poor leadership remain, I will not give up on Anambra or my people. I will continue to do what is necessary to raise our people’s political consciousness, raise our people to a new mind, do what is necessary to correct the errors of the past, and open the doors to a brand new future of enormous possibilities. Ka Anambra Chawapu,” Ozigbo added, to rousing applause.

Dr George Moughalu, the Managing Director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, delivered the keynote address at the well-attended event.

Awards were handed out to deserving citizens of Anambra State, including Chief Chika Okafor of Chicason Group, who was also named Co-Man of the Year for his business and employment prowess, Adaora Umeoji-Nwokoye, the deputy managing director of Zenith Bank Plc, who was named Anambra Woman of the Year; Mr. Nonso Okpala of VFD Group Plc who was named Rising Star/Inspiring Leader of the Year, Chief Alexander Ejesieme (SAN) won the Legal Practitioner of the Year Award; and The Trash it Group, won the Innovative Business Idea of the Year Award.

Other notable awardees include Engr. Martin Agbili; Rev Fr Dr Edwin Obiorah, SAN; Chief Mrs Amaka Ezechiedo; Pharm. Sam Ubachukwu; High Chief Christopher Ndubuisi; and Prof Uzochukwu Solomon.

Valentine Ozigbo is an inspirational figure, business mogul, philanthropist, and international sports promoter. In the run-up to the 2021 Anambra governorship election, he ran what analysts have described as the “cleanest and most inspirational political campaign in Nigeria’s recent history”.

While renewing the hope of millions of Ndi Anambra with his Ka Anambra Chawapu vision, Ozigbo’s campaign was devoid of the mudslinging, name-calling, and character assassination synonymous with Nigerian politics.

Ozigbo’s rapid rise to political relevance and unique brand of politics has endeared him to the grassroots, with the multiple award-winning CEO widely being regarded as the new face of leadership in Anambra State.