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.

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