Ahead of 2023 General elections, Former Secretary to Ebonyi State Government (SSG) Prof Bernard Odoh has officially declared his intention to contest the 2023 Governorship election in Ebonyi State.
Speaking Thursday at a declaration ceremony held at Pinnacle Hotel in Abakaliki, Odoh announced that he would contest the election under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
According to him, “the primary purpose of this media interaction is to publicly announce to the suffering Ebonyi people that an alternative, a credible and competent alternative, to the current way of doing things will now be provided under the platform of all the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),’ he said.
‘As I appointed out earlier, this is a season of heightened political rumours and speculations. I had deliberately chosen to bide my time, lay the necessary structural foundations alongside my political partners and collaborators, and set up an outreach network of historical dimensions before venturing into the field again. And only when I was satisfied that everything was in place to execute a challenging task such as running for the governorship election, that I decided to let the World know my intentions and aspirations”.
The political space cannot and must not be surrendered to political manipulators or to dangerous clashes of ambitions. As we witness the paralysis that has overcome the process of governance, Ebonyi people must be given hope for a better future and better prospects for themselves and their families.
“And that is exactly what I am presenting to us – I represent that positive alternative; a generational forward-match that will take us, as a people, into the immense developmental opportunities of the 21st century.
“This state of paralysis today is dramatically typified by the comical spectacle whereby two-thirds of the State House of Assembly is judicially sacked and the remaining one-quarter has arbitrarily been suspended or allegedly resigned, leaving a lacuna in governance that is both intolerable and dangerous in a democratic setting.
“This would have been laughable under normal conditions but we live in dangerous and anguished times and, therefore, cannot afford any aspect of our full complement of governance to be in abeyance or crippled by crisis, no matter the circumstances,” Odoh said.
“In the course of the coming 10 to 11 months, we will demonstrate that Ebonyi people are yearning for a humane, protective and caring leadership genuinely anchored on extant human conscience, the fear and guidance of God Almighty.
“We will unleash a degree of political energy and momentum, driven by the young men and women of Ebonyi State that will set a landmark on our political landscape and history as a people. This moment calls for decisive leadership and unwavering dedication to the real aspirations and yearning of the citizens.
On the agitation by members of the IPOB, Professor Odoh promised to support and ensure open, genuine and altruistic dialogue with the members of the group with a view to finding lasting solution to issue.
“To the leaders and followers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), our strongly held view is that we will not shun them or cast them out into the wilderness. Any Igbo man or woman who pretends that the grievances of IPOB adherents are irrelevant or that Ebonyi is an isolated island unconcerned about those central issues is what Igbo people call efulefu or ohu. An avenue of dialogue must not just be created but remain open, genuine and altruistic until the case is solved and closed.”
Part of Odoh’s declaration speech also reads, “Poverty is at a previously unimaginable level. It is a tragic statistic that Nigeria overtook India as the poverty capital of the world a couple of years ago and here in Ebonyi, we are ranked as the third poorest state in the Nigerian federation.
“The healthcare system is still glittering in propaganda but actual healthcare delivery to suffering patients, whether in our rural communities or urban areas, remains a mirage.
“Our teachers at all levels languish in neglect and the pupils and students are paying a terrible price in ignorance and skills deprivation. Parents are left with a hopeless sense of despair when they watch the very pillars of their dreams crumble like a pillar of dust.
“Our rural communities, urban and semi-urban areas still languish in infrastructure deficits, lack of electricity, total lack of access to clean water (howsoever supplied or delivered) and general absence of any form of modern development. It is indeed a pitiful state of affairs.
“A state that would otherwise be a breadbasket not just in terms of self-sufficiency but in terms of delivering sufficient produce to the entire southeast has seen its agricultural potentialities turned into sickening instrument of propaganda and a vehicle of narrow-minded patronage.”