All roads led to the Imo State Secretariat of All Peoples Grand Alliance(APGA) on Egbu road Owerri when Barrister Chibuzo Ziggy Azike declared his intention to run for the governorship race in the 2019 poll. He is running under the platform of the APGA. The event which was attended by the State APGA Chairman-in-COUNCIL and APGA members, a cross -section of people from various walks of life especially the members of the APGA from the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area where the governorship aspirant hails from.
The event started with the opening remarks from the State Chairman of the APGA, Barrister Peter Ezeobi, who described the aspirant as “My senior colleague in the Legal Profession.” Barrister Ezeobi also described him as a Life Bencher in the profession. According to the State Chairman of APGA, “while there are many Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANS), there are a few Life Benchers in the Law Profession, This is why many States can have many SANs ;yet they have no Life Bencher.” This encomium from the State Chairman was greeted with a rousing ovation. The APGA State Chairman, Barrister Peter Ezeobi, also described the aspirant as not only a long-term member of the APGA but also a very old member of the Board of Trustees(BOT) of the APGA dating back to the days when Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was alive. Barrister Chibuzo Ziggy Azike has participated and headed several panels set up by the APGA which purpose was to resolve several flashpoints in the Party.
Speaking to the crowd that thronged the venue, Barrister Ziggy Azike expressed his gratitude to the State Chairman and the entire members of the APGA on their roles in keeping the party afloat and making it the party of first choice in the State. He also commended Mazi Clement Owunna and MR.Okee Eze on their consistency in standing by the party. He then thanked the State-Chairman- in-Council for co-operating with him to make the declaration a reality, in spite of the short notice.
He then said that the purpose of the event was to formally announce his declaration of interest in the governorship position in 2019. Speaking further, he emphasized that the major focus of his declaration for governor was to emphasize that the APGA must focus on taking over the Government House in 2019.His emphasis on taking over the seat of power by the APGA in 2019 was greeted with a thunderous ovation and applause by the party faithful who thronged the venue of the event.
He said that the reason that most parties are often unable to produce an electable candidate is traceable to the lack of strong party structure. He described this season as a “season of my success.” He added that he was not in the race for his name to be heard, but rather he joined the race in order to clinch the governorship victory. Hear him:”My ambition is to be governor of Imo State and I don’t want any of you to desire for anything less than that. What we need is to reset Imo because a lot of water has passed under the bridge; only a tested leader can afford to actualize the task of resetting Imo State in order to bring it back to normalcy.” I am happy that within APGA , all the aspirants are people with good reputation. I am offering myself to be given the mandate of governorship candidate of APGA because in all sincerity, I am the only one who has the capacity to win the governorship for APGA. I, Chibuzo, Omezimba of Okigwe , I am a very strong man and well established in Imo State. Again, I am a major success in my career as a barrister. In the Legal profession, I am at the highest level having been inducted as a Life Bencher. So as an individual, I am accomplished and successful for a person of my of age.”
Speaking further he said;”I have joined this race in spite of the fact that all the others are people of immense wealth but I cannot sit and watch with indifference while my State is on fire. In terms of prosperity, I do not compare myself with the other aspirants but I am confident that in this race, I am the one who can bring victory to the APGA.The Party is not just searching for a candidate but rather it’s searching for a candidate that can win the race for the party in order to reset our dear State.” He said that the electorate is increasingly wiser and what the electorate desires now is not a stinking wealthy politician but rather a man of integrity and sincerity of purpose. He said that when such a person emerges as the candidate, there are many people who will invest in that ticket and the electorate will vote wisely.
Barrister Ziggy Azike also said that :”I have a lot of political IOU’s from a cross section of the political class in Imo State and when the chips are down, most of them will look in my direction.” On the issue of manifestoes, he said that what was important was not the flaunting and brandishing of manifestoes since all of us know what is good for our State. Rather, what is important is to have a sincere leader who has the ability to take what is great in the various manifestoes and actualize them, and not reeling out a long list of items in one’s manifesto. A governor who is not greedy will be able to spot what is great in another person’s manifesto and incorporate it into his for the purpose of actualizing the Imo State of our dream. At this juncture, he amplified the fact that “ there is no alternative to resetting Imo State and only a sincere governor who is not greedy can actualize this agenda of resetting Imo State and I, Chibuzo Ziggy Azike, is the one who can accomplish this task.”
Speaking further, he said:” I am here because we cannot remain indifferent and stay in our comfort zones while our State is in avoidable crises. This is why I am in this race.” It’s in the present condition of IMO State that Jabez found himself when he prayed to God to have compassion on him and enlarge his coast. God listened and Jabez was blest immensely. This is the condition of our State today.”
He emphasized on the need to give the ticket to a candidate of charisma and sincerity and not to the aspirant who has beaten others in the aspect of IKWO OSE. He said:”We must be careful from the outset because the governorship victory starts from the person who holds the ticket. Once you have succeeded in presenting a candidate with integrity, charisma and sincerity, you have laid the foundation for victory in the polls. But if you prefer to give the governorship ticket to the aspirant who has beaten the others in IKWO OSE, the ticket will vanish in his hands.” At this point, he said there is nothing wrong in getting the members together in a room and asking them to vote for one another. The simple question will be: ”If you are not the winner who would you rather prefer to be the winner? This simple check can solve the problem because the aspirants are men of conscience and integrity who know one another very well. Whoever emerges can now automatically become the candidate and the others will support him.”
It is pertinent to state that Barrister Ziggy Azike who hails from Isiala Mbano Local Goivernment of Imo state is a barrister of over 30 years on the Bar. On Thursday, 30thMarch, 2017, the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, GCON, in exercise of his function as the Chairman of the Honourable Body of Benchers announced the elevation of Barrister Chibuzo Ziggy Azike to the status of a Life Bencher.
The Body of Benchers is the highest Body in the Legal Profession and by this elevation ,Ziggy becomes the first ever Life Bencher from the Bar in Imo State. It is pertinent to state that the Late HON Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, (CON) of the Supreme Court was also a Life Bencher. HON.Justice Mary Ukaego Peter- Odili JSC was elevated to a Life Bencher on the same day with Barrister Chibuzo Ziggy Azike who is now asking to be given the governorship ticket of All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) in the 2019 poll.