By Izunna Okafor

Ahead of the forthcoming 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, the state's former Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna has expressed interest to join the gubernatorial race.

Chief Okwenna who made his interest known to the members of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) under which he intends to run the guber race, also disclosed that he is not only qualified for the governorship position, but also has what it takes secure the seat for the party if given ticket as the party's flag bearer in the highly anticipated November 2021 election.

According to him, his interest and determination to govern Anambra did not start today, but during his childhood days as a primary-four pupil. 

He further noted that his work experiences in various sectors, both nationally and internationally have adequately armed him with the consummate knowledge of what government and governance are all about, having served as the State's former Commissioner on Environment and Mineral Resources, as well as former Commissioner on Science and Technology, (both under the Peter Obi-led administration).

He has also served as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Consultant; Director-General of the African Integration Network for Development; Adviser/Consultant to Nigerian Senate on Environment 1999-2001; worked in the Federal Ministry of House, reputable oil company, International Fund for Agricultural Development assisted Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP), served as a member of the Technical Committee on Vision 2010, served as Adviser on Environmental Matters to the Senate, served as a Special Assistant (Political) under former President Obasanjo, currently serves as the Director General of World Summit Group, among other reputable positions he has occupied.

Recounting how he visited the 177 communities of Anambra State to take census of erosion gullies and other environmental-related problems during his tenure as the Environment Commissioner, he also pledged to use his wealth of knowledge and experience in the environmental sector to tackle the problem of erosion gully battling the various communities of the State.

He said, "My intention to seek to govern Anambra State is because I have the character, capacity, competence, vision, ideas, temperament, dynamism, energy, experience, political will and action to fast-track development in our dear State and close the gap between where we are now and where we ought to be. I have expansive networks, contacts, reach and wide acceptability, and I shall exploit these to make Anambra State a prime destination in Nigeria and Africa."

Dr. Okwenna who also addressed a press conference in Awka after declaring his intention at the Party's Secretariat, further noted that his aspiration to govern the State is anchored on five core objectives, which are: to make Anambra State a leading destination for youths in Nigeria; to return the State as the leading Centre for Commerce, Trade and Industry; to make Anambra the leading Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship development; to create a system where government cares and protects her citizens anywhere, they may be and; and to recreate and own our narratives, develop Anambra Brand and make our people invest in it. 

Describing the forthcoming election as the brightest chance for PDP to return to power in the State, having been a major opposition for sixteen years (since 2006), the Osumenyi-born guber aspirant called on the members of the party to support his aspiration, even as he pledged to return the party to the Agu Awka seat, if given the chance.

Speaking, the Chairman of the People's Democractic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu who pledged to give every aspirant of the Party equal playing ground, aslo assured that his leadership will organise free, fair, credible and transparent primary for all the aspirant, after which the chosen will be handed the Party's flag for the guber race.

He also urged every aspirant of the Party to chun and avoid politics of calumny and slandering, and support any aspirant who emerges victorious at the end of the day, so as to avoid creating a divided house and ensure that the general aim of the Party in the 2021 guber outing, which is to win the governorship seat, is achieved.

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