Gentlemen of the press, as you are aware, today citizens of Anambra State from all walks of life, without regard to political, denominational or sectional persuasions, accompanied me in their numbers as I officially registered as a member of the United Progressives Party (UPP).
This historic event marks the beginning of a journey that will lead to the realization of the long neglected yearnings and aspiration of Ndi Anambra for a vibrant, visionary and very innovative government that will urgently drive the reawakening of the God-bestowed creative impulse and ingenuity for which we are known all over the world.
Our people are a very resourceful and ingenious people and there is a strong sense of urgency for a government that thinks about their peculiarity as a people. A government run by men, women and youth with a new spirit of proficiency, energy and inner commitment to resurge the wealth creating inventiveness of our people.
My aspiration is that the forgotten, the poor and the disadvantaged are reintroduced into our society by providing them the basic amenities. No woman should die during childbirth. No child should die because of lack of access to medical care. Attending private schools should be a choice not a necessity. The financial burden of our state should not be borne by traders, artisans, okada riders and small businesses owners struggling to find three square meals a day.
Our vision is a shared future anchored on creating opportunities for those who are disadvantaged today to have equal access to government resources, equal obligations as citizens of the state, and a regime of fairness, equity and justice.
This quest for governorship of Anambra state is a product of extensive consultation among our people devoid of all primordial sentiments that set us back, and for this I seek the support of all in this collective project to make our state great again.
There are five fundamental reasons I am running for the governorship of Anambra state:
• To run a visionary and transparent community-based government driven only by the genuine aspirations of ndi Anambra.
• To create an effective, development-oriented administration that will harness and ensure prudent management of our resources to deliver value and improve the quality of life of our people.
• To deliver a true wealth-creating state that will be a leader in innovation, good governance and infrastructural development.
• To restore the glory of the state as a commercial hub in the African sub-region and transition to a knowledge economy and technology hub.
• To secure the future of our children by redirecting our energies to productive engagements rather than primordial sentiments that divide us as a people.
As a citizen or resident of Anambra, the questions you should ask yourself today are: despite the inherent potentials and resources of our dear state, is your life better than it was four years ago? Do you have access to the things that make a state run correctly? Is the future of your children secure? Are the education offered in our schools today the kind that will produce another Chinua Achebe or Chimamanda Adichie? Are our current infrastructures such that will support our quest for technological and economic growth? Are our hospitals desirable with the prevailing 74 deaths out of every 1000 live births? Sadly, the answer is “No!”
It is a sad commentary to our state that almost 25 years after the creation of Anambra State, there is no 10-square meter space with government pipe borne water, guaranteed electricity or even a well-planned and laid out city. We are yet to have a city that attracts young people or where foreign investors want to stay. Our state is made up of very intelligent and creative people, but they leave to seek livelihood and set up elsewhere, all because the required infrastructure for stability and growth is lacking. The time has come for us to put a stop to all these.
We Need New Thinking
We need new thinking to build a state that delivers value to its citizens and provides the infrastructure for our children to hug the new future; a future that is anchored on hard work and innovations.
We must therefore have a new government that will effectively harness our resources to create opportunities that empower our people. You ask, today, who supports our traders and small-scale entrepreneurs? Who supports the artisans; the mason, tailor, driver, plumber; the okada man, the bus driver and his conductor? How are we responding to our old?
We must end a system where those who do well in Anambra are only those who live off huge government contracts on white elephant projects while the people are ignored. The Anambra we look forward to is one that invests in human beings; where government care for and treat citizens with the desired respect; the Anambra that makes it possible for our children to learn and become global players; the Anambra that positions its men and women to compete globally in technology, commerce and industry. That is the Anambra we look forward to and we need to make the right investments TODAY.
In making our children viable for the future, we first have to make sure that they are born in a secured and good environment. It is important that our healthcare delivery system would be such that makes sure that women, the disabled and children under five years get free medical health care and that those hospitals are viable hospitals, clean and regulated.
Ndi Anambra are known for their industry, technology and commerce. We must therefore have a government that provides and drives opportunities in these directions. We have therefore worked out a robust scheme to kick-start massive investments in technology, industry, agriculture and commerce. We must return the state as an industrial hub with global competitiveness and redirect the energies of our people to the productive sectors.
We Must Rebuild
Indeed, the time has come for us to come together and rebuild our state. We need infrastructure to make sure that the human beings live viable lives. We can clean up our cities if we apply our creative minds. We can even harness the wastes that pollute our cities to create wealth for our people and stop the erosion that ravage our lands. Our solution does not lie in our political divisive sentiments but on allowing competent hands with creative thinking. The challenges of our state do not answer to zoning or denominational sentiments. The sick child battling for his life does not know zoning; all he wants is good medical care. Our technological and industrial growth would not respond to zoning but to the right ideas.
That is why I am running for the governorship of Anambra state. I implore ndi Anambra to always set their eyes on the bigger picture of our beloved state run by vision, competence and commitment to the people.
Ndi Anambra, anyi ga eji uche, uchu na egwu chukwu wee dozie obodo anyi.
Chief Osita Chidoka.