Ozigbo, the Joshua that will take Anambra to the Promised Land
If a man's heart and (capabilities) were to be known by the construction of his face, then a lot of people would likely not reckon with Mr Valentine Ozigbo, immediate past President/Chief Executive Officer of the country's humongous Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp).
But a closer look by the discerning would however reveal a deep thinker, an innovator and a man determined to change his environment.
Ozigbo easily takes after Peter Obi in looks. Many misjudged Obi upon his arrival to the Anambra scene about 18 years ago, given his "innocent" looks. What followed is however history as Obi went on to set many records, all positive.
Ozigbo has a rich history, transforming Nigeria’s foremost hotel, Transcorp Hilton Abuja into what it is today, and subsequently, moving on to Transcorp to completely transform Nigeria’s leading conglomerate. Before then, he had achieved a lot of incredible feats in his 17 years in banking. His accomplishments go even beyond this as he has led and continued to lead a number of innovative projects like freestyle football championship, where he is the biggest promoter in Africa, Unusual Praise and Unusual Entrepreneur, which he has been a key member of the leadership since 2018, among many.
Ozigbo's trail blazing feats at Transcorp will however quickly disabuse the minds of doubters as to the sterner stuff he's made of.
It was where he finally announced himself by transforming the outfit and making it one with the highest number of shareholders in Nigeria (close to 300, 000).
By so doing, he became one of the most decorated men in corporate Nigeria, with a trail of many awards across Africa, Europe and other continents.
Ozigbo's feats and presence are not confined to national, continental and intercontinental levels. He has an equally appreciable impact at home in his native Amesi in Anambra State where it all began. A typical home boy, he's always identified with his roots, impacting on widows, the less privileged and youths.
Hear him, "Everyone knows that when the grace of God started to shine on me mightily in my career progression, I never forgot Anambra,. I always came back to give back in my little ways. They know people who have benefitted from my leadership trainings, my youth empowerment schemes, my scholarship programmes, my support for widows, the Church, the community, my talent hunt competitions and carnivals, where I used to bring thousands of youths together."
Ozigbo did those things out of his own volition, drawing from his awareness that the greatest investment is in people.
Ozigbo is a man who continually thinks outside the box, a man of ideas and innovation. Such has seen him sponsoring such talent hunt competitions like the Oja and Mbem; the Ogene and Mbejiriego Mmanwu Festival, as well as Unusual Praise.
He is also behind the Freestyle Football, an innovative brand of soccer targeted at the grassroots, which is beginning to make waves across the continent.
Ozigbo is also a man imbued with focus, vision and determination. Once he sets his sights on a goal, he pursues it with a single mindedness that ultimately yields the desired result.
One such example was his decision to leave his comfort zone at Transcorp to enter the gubernatorial race for the governorship of Anambra State. It was a decision that shocked many, given the unpredictability of Nigeria's politics.
However, like he did at Transcorp, Ozigbo is equally determined to replicate it in politics for the benefit of his people.
He is doing so on the platform of the People's Democratic Party.
Having already led the way by covering 17 out of the 21 local government areas of Anambra, even before the first whistle, Ozigbo is confident that if party primaries were to be held today, he would clinch his party's sole ticket.
"If today primaries are held in Anambra, I will emerge the Candidate of the PDP, without even doing much yet. I think the people have the confidence that if there is anyone that will take them to the new reality, they will see such in me," he says. Such typifies the kind of supreme confidence of born winners.
All he asks is for people who do not know him to hear his story from those who do.
There is nothing brash about Ozigbo. He is humble to a fault, unassuming, respectful, yet confident.
He also represents a new dawn and comes across as a breath of fresh air at a time Nigeria, nay, Anambra, needs such characters.
Hear him again: "I think the people have the confidence that if there is anyone that will take them to the new reality, they will see such in me."
Ozigbo is under no illusions about the toughness of the battle ahead but he and his troops are preparing themselves to compete favourably with the best from any part of the world, not least in Anambra.
Having conquered the corporate world, Ozigbo is ready to conquer politics, beginning from his home state.
He will no doubt be telling himself and those around him that once a winner, he will always be a winner.
Anambra, welcome your JOSHUA!