Sending shockwaves through the main opposition party in Nigeria, Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, has announced his decision to dump the party and throw his weight behind Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
In an appearance on ‘The Arise Interview’ programme anchored by Charles Aniagolu on Thursday, August 18, 2022, Mr. Ozigbo revealed that his decision to quit the PDP was based on the need to ensure that at this precarious time in Nigeria’s history a competent and visionary leader is elected to lead Nigeria into the future.
According to the respected business leader, Nigerians have been split into two categories: “those working to sustain the status quo and those uncomfortable with the status quo, who want to bring positive change. “I belong to the group that is uncomfortable with the status quo, and we must do what we have to do to save this country and set us back on the path of progress,” Ozigbo said.
Ahead of his TV appearance, Mr. Ozigbo also released a statement to the Nigerian press, titled “2023: A Watershed Moment for Nigeria”, in which he presented a strong argument for the country to depart from the “old brigade of politicians” and ended with a powerful endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the upcoming general election.
“There comes a defining moment in the life of any country when all people of good conscience must stand up to be counted. Those times offer no middle ground; you are either on the dark side or on the side of the light,” Ozigbo wrote.
“For Nigeria, 2023 is such a moment. Nigerians will be divided into two classes – those who will work to entrench the forces that have destroyed Nigeria or those warriors of the light who will work to bring justice, equity, and peace to our beloved country. And next year, as we go to the polls to elect a new president, there will be no fences to sit on.”
Ozigbo endorsed the former Anambra governor’s candidacy for the nation’s top job and described Peter Obi as a leader with “the right vision for this country, the temperance, and the capacity and experience to take Nigeria out of these troubled waters and lead us to a land of promise.
“His Excellency, Peter Obi was the governor of my home state of Anambra for eight years. The groundswell of support that his candidacy is receiving from Anambra, the South East, and the entire country is based mainly on the revolutionary, inclusive, and inspiring leadership he demonstrated as a governor,” Ozigbo declared.
“Before he was 40 years, Peter Obi had created an enviable mark in the private sector. A multiple-award-winning banker, entrepreneur, and globally trained business leader, Obi took the helm of Anambra State after a long fight for justice.
“Eight years later, he had completely transformed the leadership culture in Anambra with his style of down-to-earth grassroots engagement, prudential management of resources, and keen vision for qualitative transformation.
“Peter Obi is the Nigerian politician I have the utmost respect for. Having worked with him closely during my governorship campaign in 2021, I can attest that Obi is a thoughtful, kind, and generous leader who seeks excellence in all he does.
“After spending many months working with this phenomenal human, I am convinced that he has an abiding love for Nigeria and all Nigerians.
“He has the right vision for this country, the temperance, and the capacity and experience to take Nigeria out of these troubled waters and lead us to a land of promise.
“I acknowledge the brilliant choice of His Excellency Peter Obi’s running mate, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed. Together, this is an unbeatable presidential ticket, and they deserve the support of all well-meaning Nigerians.
Pulled by the brilliance of the candidacy of Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti, inspired by the passion of the Nigerian youth, and driven by an undying love for Nigeria, I, Valentine Ozigbo, at this moment, formally join the Obi-dient Movement.
“From what I know about His Excellency Peter Obi, if we join our hearts and hands and elect him as our next president, I can guarantee that he will be the best president Nigeria has ever had. I genuinely believe that his emergence has a divine inspiration.
“I call on all Nigerians to join hands with us as we work to transform the promise and dreams of Nigeria into reality. We must get it right in 2023, we can, and we must,” Ozigbo declared.
While noting the sad predicament of Nigerians under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ozigbo hailed Nigerian youths for showing patriotism, boldness, and passion in choosing who will lead them into the next four years.
“Fuelled by an undying love for country and a burning passion for changing Nigeria, the youth have risen boldly and intentionally to get their voices heard,” Ozigbo said as he celebrated the Nigerian youth.
“They have rejected the lust for power of politicians that ought to be in retirement. They have consciously chosen who they want to lead them into the next four years.
“They considered fairness, justice, and equity. They have adopted a bold vision of a country where every kind of Nigerian is carried along irrespective of beliefs, faith, tribe, language, gender, and social status.
“They are committed to seeing that peace returns to Nigeria and that we experience the true promise of our founding fathers,” Ozigbo stated.
“Our country has never seen this level of passion in the youth. Instead of criticism and unfair attacks, these courageous and gifted youth deserve the support and encouragement of all Nigerians.
“The Obi-dient Movement cannot be ignored, shamed, or waved away. It is the fastest growing and biggest political movement in Nigeria today.
“The forces that have imprisoned the dreams of the younger generations of this country are terrified because they know the unstoppable power of the youth,” the multiple-award-winning global CEO declared.
Valentine Ozigbo is an inspirational Nigerian politician whose entry into politics in 2020 witnessed a redefinition of political engineering when he ran for the governorship of Anambra State as the PDP’s candidate. He came second behind Prof Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who was contesting for the fifth time.
An international sports promoter, Ozigbo is the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, Africa’s largest promoter of freestyle football and holds the sole rights to organise the annual Nigerian Freestyle Football Championship and the African Freestyle Football Championship.