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Anambra 2021: Excitement as frontline grassroots youth group endorses Valentine Ozigbo  

Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra governorship election (center), hugs a supporter at a town hall event with PDP stakeholders held at Sharon House, Onitsha, on Sunday, July 4, 2021 (Photo Credit: Onyinye Omah)

A 70,000-strong grassroots youth support group in Anambra State, Anyi Ekpedigo, has thrown its weight behind the candidacy of Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra governorship election.

The leaders of Anyi Ekpebigo (We have decided) made the endorsement public at an event where over 3,000 of its members gathered at the All Saints Cathedral grounds in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Dr Alex Obiogbolu, the President-General of the Anyi Ekpebigo, while announcing the endorsement, revealed that the group decided on Mr Ozigbo for his youthfulness and his “keen understanding of the plight of the youth.

“Valentine Ozigbo is an example of a youth with a new focus. The youths are the livewire of any society, but unfortunately, our leaders have not tapped into the goldmine of our unlimited potential,” Dr Obiogbolu, a former governorship candidate, remarked.

“Anambra State is suffering from a massive brain drain as our youths routinely seek greener pastures elsewhere owing to a severe lack of opportunities to utilise their unique talents.

“The youths of Anambra State are a population of 1.8 million and constitute 80% of voters. Sadly, neglect from the government has resulted in a high rate of voter apathy. Anyi Ekpebigo is looking to reverse this ugly trend by mobilising youths to vote for a candidate who will have us at heart.

“We undertook a thorough process before deciding on Mr Ozigbo as our preferred candidate for the upcoming governorship election,” Obiogbolu revealed.

“In the coming weeks, Anyi Ekpebigo will embark on a massive membership registration drive to ensure we deliver Valentine Ozigbo at the polls. We are confident that his track record of excellence and quality service delivery will ensure that the youths are adequately represented and catered for,” Dr Obiogbolu added.

In his brief remarks, Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, stated that he was humbled by the unanimous endorsement from the prominent group.

Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO and philanthropist, pledged to ensure that the youths of Anambra State become the envy of others, as he would undertake massive reforms that will directly impact their lives if elected.

“The youth of Anambra State deserve a modern, digital leader who understands global trends and has the vision to create solutions that match our current realities,” Mr Ozigbo said.

“We must do away with old methods and embrace the future. I am bringing my wealth of experience in banking, business, entertainment, sports, technology, power, energy, agri-business, and tourism to bear, and the youth of Anambra will be better for it.

“I will be partnering with Anyi Ekpebigo to ensure that its members and other deserving youth in the state get their due. The youth of Anambra State deserve more. We are poised to deliver true dividends of innovative governance to them,” Ozigbo added.

The event also had an empowerment segment where members of the youth group were given cash grants, phones, and other relief materials.

Several leaders and directors of the Anambra PDP Governorship Campaign Council were present at the event, including Rt Hon Eucharia Azodo, the Director of Religious Affairs; Chief Ejike Oguebego, the Director of Inter-Party and Intra-Party Affairs; Mr Obinna Ufudo, the Director of Finance; Chief Benjy Udeozo, a former PDP State Chairman; Mr Robert Umeozulu, among others.

Valentine Ozigbo is the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, the organisers of the annual Nigerian Freestyle Football Championship and the African Freestyle Football Championship. He was recently featured on CNN International in recognition of his contributions to sports development on the continent of Africa.

He is also the Founder of the eponymously named Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation. Since its inception, the VCO Foundation has empowered over 300,000 Nigerians, mostly Anambra youth.

The foundation has organised several youth-focused programmes like Anambra Talent UNLOCKED, the Mbem and Oja Competitions and holds an annual Business Plan Competition where winners are given grants to the tune of millions of Naira to bring their business ideas to life.

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