Odii joins Ebonyi governorship race

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 Says zoning should start with capacity

Dr. Ifeanyi Odii, yesterday, declared interest to run for the governorship position in Ebonyi State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, stressing that the next round of the governorship zoning arrangement should start from anywhere that a capable hand can be found.

He noted that since the governorship zoning arrangement began in the state in 1999, it has gone around the three zones, and, therefore, should not be used against an ideal candidate whose time has come. He further noted that his desire is to industrialise the state and promote the well-being of the people.

Explaining that joining the race was an answer to the collective desire of the people of the state for “authentic leadership to pilot the affairs of our beloved state,” he said that his mission is to serve and that he is optimistic that his experiences in business, ranging from manufacturing, logistics, chemicals and real estate, healthcare and agro-allied industries, would enable him excel.

Addressing party faithful who gathered for the declaration, Odii said that he has dedicated his life to providing succor to the people of the state, adding that using his personal resources, he had impacted “everything from homes to schools, scholarships to hospitals, and grants for small businesses”.

He added, “Having access to more resources, I will help make more impacts. I have a good intention for the people of Ebonyi. I have an idea on how to transform the resources of the state. There is no local government in Ebonyi that does not bear my signature.”

“I have seen the tears of a mother who cannot feed her children or pay hospital bills. I have seen the pain of a father who cannot provide for his family or pay school fees. I have visited our rural communities without access to clean water or basic healthcare. I have visited our farmers with a year’s worth of crops wiped out by floods. The daily experience of our youths is a life of unfulfilled aspirations and uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring.

“Violent crimes and communal clashes have become regular occurrences that stoke fear in the hearts of our people and drive out young men and women into seeking greener pastures elsewhere. I believe that my track record of success in resource management and wealth creation positions me well to deliver on the yearnings of our people.’’

He went further to say that as a first step to industrialising the state, he would if elected, restore the confidence of the people in governance and establish a social contract that would form the basis of a new partnership.

Odii added that he would integrate and expand value chains across the state’s economy, from agriculture to industry to services, creating wealth through resources available in the state and growing its internally generated revenue.

“I am aware of the earning potential and multiplier effect that creative ideas can have. From music and art to theatre and fashion, the world has gone digital and we must not be left behind,” he said. He added that his security approach in the state would be proactive and technology-driven.

On why he decided to run, even when the incumbent governor is from his area and an existing zoning arrangement that does not favour him, he stated that he was a bonafide citizen of the state and is qualified to contest in any election he deemed necessary.

He added, “Zoning has gone round the three senatorial zones and could start again from anywhere where capacity can be found. It is about what you have to offer and what you have offered without government resources. I have made an impact in every local council in Ebonyi without resources from the government. Again, zoning should not stop an idea whose time has come.”

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