Pastor Ozoemena, Enugu ADC guber candidate
Although this is not the best of time for many Nigerians largely due to the nation’s dwindling economy and the growing insecurity in the land, Friday, December 16, 2022 was a day members of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Enugu State, and its supporters could describe as the beginning of a political battle in their quest to occupy Government House, Enugu in 2023.
It was a day, the Enugu ADC Governorship Candidate, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena, set-aside for official flag off/unveiling of his manifesto before the electorate in the Coal City State.
Prior to the event, the announcements, inviting party faithful and members of the public to the occasion had hit radio air waves and online platforms.
The invitation reads: “Hello, Ndị Enugu, This is a special public service announcement brought to you by African Democratic Congress ADC, Save Enugu State Now Movement SESNM and National Youth Initiative Alliance NAYIA.
“You are hereby invited to the Governorship Campaign flag- off/Unveiling of Manifesto of His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena and his Deputy Governorship Candidate, scheduled to hold on the 16th day of December 2022 at Destiny Event Centre Hall, 45c Nza Street, Independence layout, New Haven linked road, back of Bush Bar, Enugu.
Expectedly, by 9:00 am which was the scheduled time, many people, mostly the youths, were already seated anxiously waiting for their visitor.
True to its bidding, there was an ovation heralding the arrival of Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena and his entourage to the Destiny Event Centre hall.
The event properly started with prayer and national anthem, respectively, immediately Pastor Ozoemena finished exchanging pleasantries with his party faithful and supporters. The ADC anthem was also recited in sequence.
It was followed by an introduction of dignitaries by the Organising Secretary of ADC, Prince Charles Okechukwu, at the high table which included the party’s state chairman, Comrade Stella , Deputy, Obiora Obetta, Special Assistant to the ADC Gubernatorial Candidate and Supreme Coordinator of Save Enugu State Now movement (S-E-S-N-M) Okafor Onyeka Cyndia, Hon. Aja, Awgu Local Government party chairman, Nkanu-West House of Assembly candidate, Zimmuzo Nnaji, Women Leader, Youth Leader, Ọchị war of Mmaku kingdom.
“ADC, Arise, AD&C, Arise and Shine Nigeria” rented the air.
The state chairman of ADC, Chukwuma, set the ball rolling with a welcome speech.
At the podium, Comrade Chukwuma told the audience that she was overwhelmed by the huge turnout, recalling how Pastor Ozoemena came to her after abandoning his comfort zone overseas to pick the gubernatorial ticket so as to salvage Enugu State.
“I am the happiest person here for being part of history. Our governorship candidate was called by God to come and rescue Enugu State. We have suffered so much and God has answered our prayers by bringing Pastor Ozoemena to free us from bondage. Use your PVCs to elect credible leaders in 2023. Enough is Enough”.
Fast rising Comedian, MC-Choice De Hypeman and Artist K2SWAGG Onyeobodo brought glamour to the event when he pulled up the audience to their feet with his spectacular jingle and lyrical performance at the stage.
Indeed, it was an added tonic as people danced to the melodious songs which shook the four corners of the hall.
Members and Executives of Save Enugu State Now Movement S-E-S-N-M led RT. Hon Okafor Onyeka Cyndia inline with S-E-S-N-M UNN students/IMT students/other pressure groups like Ogbonecheagu/Ìgbo Ekunye were all fully present in order to make the Flag off a remarkable one, for the next incalculable Executive Governor Enugu state 2023 His Excellency pastor Obi.
Members of the National Youths Initiative and Alliance (NAYIA) also took turns to express their solidarity to the ADC flag-bearer with traditional dance and folk music popularly called “Ogene” in Igbo enclave. The atmosphere was also charged by these youths led by Chika Justice.
Justice said that they (youths) have endorsed the candidacy of Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena for the 2023 governorship seat.
“We are not going to fight with guns, classes but with our PVCs. We have found Pastor Ozoemena, a trustworthy person who is credible and competent to lead Enugu State to the promised land in 2023”, he said.
The ADC chairman of all the 17 local government chairmen in the state, Ebube Ani, while speaking noted, “We don’t believe in empty drums. Go and vote for ADC Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena in 2023 and leave the rest for us. We don’t make noise. We work underground.
Hon. Ani who sang a pro-Ozoemena jingle, a prototype of Catholic hymn, to the admiration of the audience brought the ADC standard bearer to the dancing floor, amidst jubilation.
In his speech, the Supreme Coordinator/Spokesman of Save Enugu State Now (S-E-S-N-M) Rt. Hon. Okafor Onyeka Cyndia, told the audience that Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena remains the most credible person aspiring to be in Government House, Enugu.
Cyndia appreciated the leadership of ADC Enugu State and National/Save Enugu State Now Movement/NAYIA/Ogbonecheagu/Igbo Ekunye and the rest of other support groups for the wonderful day.
While extolling the virtues of Pastor Donatus Ozoemena, he enumerated the good works the ADC flag-bearer has done for the people of Enugu State and Nigeria at large, stressing that due to time factor he could not mention all of them at the event.
His words: “In 2014, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena started food drive in his Hometown Onoli to other villages in Awgu Local Government Area, he never stopped right there in Awgu Local Government Area, he also extended it to other local government areas in Enugu State and now the food drive has moved on from Enugu State, to other States in Nigeria
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena has helped so many individuals financing them in one way or the other in other for them not to lose hope in life
“In 2019, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena single handedly started sponsoring football tournament in Awgu Local Government Area in line with other individuals awards
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena continued the sponsorship of football tournament in 2020
“Same 2020, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena gave 12 secondary School students scholarship awards, in Awgu Local Government Area
“In 2021 during the hard trying times of water scarcity in Enugu State, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena single handedly, gave free clean drinking water to Enugu State inhabitants who were longing for drinking water
“In the year 2021, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena hosted all the 17 Local Government Councils in Enugu State for a football tournament, with his personal funds. And through the unity cup first edition football tournament, some athletes from Enugu State have travelled abroad to play professional football which no individual has done in Nigeria, perhaps West Africa at large.
“No Youth Left Behind” Programme is to create job opportunities for every person living in Enugu State. Catching fish yourselves which will encrypt hunger in Enugu State, beginning from 2023 if His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena, is elected as the Executive Governor of Enugu State.
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena equally has his own team, Unity Cup 25-man provisional squad via Pastor Obi team, which has helped some of the Enugu State youths the opportunity to travel overseas to play professional football leagues.
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena is single handedly, sponsoring the on-going 2022/2023 S-E-S-N-M Enugu State Unity Cup, second edition, football tournament. Which constitutes all the 17 local government area councils in Enugu State.
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena, contested for the office of the Executive Governor Enugu State, during the 2019 governorship election, under United Democratic Party (UDP) and emerged second in the race.
“His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena, would again be contesting for the Enugu State governor poll under the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and he wants the people of Enugu State to vote for him come 2023.
Speaking before the huge crowd, the elated ADC Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Ozoemena, first in humility, began with an apology for not disseminating his message to the audience in Igbo Language.
“Our gathering here today is being heard all over the world as it is streaming live. So, I will speak in English Language for those outside Nigeria to understand what I am saying”, he explained.
The ADC flag-bearer said they have come to take over the mantle of leadership in Enugu State recalling, “On January 2022, during the finals of the first edition of the Unity Cup tournament fully sponsored by me and my wife, I told the great people of Enugu State that the time to break the jinx of one party leadership in Enugu State has come and so, we are serving the ruling party in Enugu State a quit notice for African Democratic Congress (ADC) to take over and to show true leadership.
Apparently referring to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) successive regimes in the state, Pastor Ozoemena said, “You have tried your best and your best is not working and the people are speaking”.
According to him, “It hurts seeing our people and our youths in the predicament you have been placed in, today. The predicament of lack of hope for future, joblessness and top of it off, insecurity but I assure you that with God, there is great hope.
He therefore opined, “With joint efforts, we will be happy again. The time is now, your actions and involvement in this great movement will determine our future and even the future of the yet to be born youths and your children.
His words in parts:
“I am here today because it is my sincere desire to bring home the things other people in developed countries take for granted.
“We are blessed with great sources and intelligence to create the quality of life our people so desire.
“With great experience I have acquired from the United States of America over a long period of time and joint efforts, we can transform Enugu State and its economy to be one of the best in the world.
“It’s time for all of us to join hands in creating the kind of change desirable for all of us and our children. Enugu State has everything we need to be great. But we need the right leadership to give us what you desire.
“The Lord God directed that I must return home to help rebuild my beloved birthplace. He (God) said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
“We all know something has gone terribly wrong with our government and it has gotten so far off the track that the effect is felt so hard. But people also know that there is nothing wrong in the government that a good and fair election cannot fix.
“Let us not seek selfish recycled political answers to our recurring problems but the right answer. Let us not seek to continue the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. Things don’t just happen, and things are made to happen.
“We cannot allow our future and the future of the next generation to be bought N500, N1,000, N4,000 or more. Make your voice loud and louder because if you don’t, our cries of previous years will be like a rehearsal for what is coming ahead if we make the wrong choices this time.
“It’s time for our people to take what belongs to us. With joint efforts, we can make a positive difference that will not only impact our generation but also generations to come.
“They have deceived us for many years and they want to deceive us again today. They kept telling us that the Minister of God only belongs to the Church and pulpit and praying for them while they keep looting our resources and ruling us to oblivion.
“But the Bible correctly quoted in Proverbs 29: 2, ‘When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. So? I stand here to encourage you to get involved now so that our people will start rejoicing.
“They also have been deceiving our youths into dying for their selfish interests. Our youths must not die premature death in the hands of our wicked and heartless people but must live to accomplish their dreams in life, with the right environment that promotes hope, growth and faith in God. And that with ‘God First’, nothing is impossible for you.
“They have also made so many unrealistic promises you have heard for so many years with little or no actions to tackle them while in government. Some built multi-billion naira industries in other states, boosting those states’ economies. Those industries would have created millions of jobs for our youths thereby reducing criminality, but they left our youths to roam around hopelessly. And they still have the guts to be promising you heaven on earth in Enugu State.
“My question is: How long will you continue to be deceived before you get it?
“We will continue to pray that God will expose anyone who is selfish seeking any position to enrich himself or herself.
“Now my people, it is time to go to work to achieve our objective. Our success will require an aggressive campaign that involves door-to- door, hand-to-hand, social networking, financial support and sponsorship to accomplish.
“We must fight with God’s given right, our weapon of PVC and defending our votes. Vote African Democratic Congress, voted ADC the party with the handshake logo.
Speaking philosophically, Pastor Ozoemena said, ” “The giants have boasted, they will outspend or destroy anyone who will stand in their way. Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena does not have a Godfather/Godmother or an elite billionaire sponsor who will hijack his administration and force directives on how his government should be run.
“So, as a commoner, I have only God Almighty and you, my supporters. And I am seeking support from commoners like me because my win will be the wins of the commoners. I need your support in any way you can, both in cash and personal sacrifice to make this desire a reality.
In his manifesto, the ADC flag-bearer remarked, “I have maintained that my return from the United States of America down to Enugu State is instructed and directed by Almighty God. As a result, not minding the dangers and insecurity, I had to and I still have to obey God’s will.
According to him, “I am committed to my promises to you if you make me your Chief Servant come 2023, aka Governor of Enugu State.
And ‘God First”, He will hear from heaven and heal our land. He said “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land, citing 2 Chronicles 7:14.
For the Cleric, security is his first priority, pointing out, “We and visitors must be safe here in Enugu State. If you make me your Governor, I assure you that we will have the best security network in Nigeria to enable our people to move freely, and our people in diaspora and others to come back home, invest and do businesses in Enugu State without fear of their lives.
The ADC Gubernatorial Candidate further said that an uninterrupted electricity would be paramount in his good, stressing that stable electricity is key to development and opportunities anywhere in the world.
“Stable electricity and alternative power generation for Enugu State is double and will help exponentially increase investments, industrialization and capital. Even those that don’t want us to have stable electricity will have great opportunities to thrive in other areas of investments and endeavours as a result of stable electricity”, he said.
He maintained that investment and industrialization ranked third in his cardinal points, saying, “We will provide a good environment for Investors to invest in businesses, factories and Industries that create jobs for our teaming youths and at the same time bring revenues into our great State. My Government will acknowledge you and shall partner with you to create wealth for Enugu State.
“An increase in investments, industrialization and capital will give our youths the jobs they so desire to survive. We will fight war against joblessness (WAJ) in Enugu State. We will initiate Salary Payments broken down to 2 times a month or more to enable families run smoothly and debt free.
“We will partner with Banks and Microfinance institutions give no or low interest loans to enable our entrepreneurs, Private Sectors and business minded individuals succeed in their various fields.We will work with banks to ensure that entrepreneurs, have access to fund they need with little or no interest loans but will be required to have at least half of their staff make up Enugu people. We will grow together.
“No youth left behind” will be designed for the youths. My administration will ensure that our youths are employed as I will monitor our employment rate and report to the State on a regular basis. We will fight together in the war against joblessness.
“With joint effort and other investors all over the world, we will buiLd a great commercial city in Enugu. I have a dream of down towns, like Dubai or other great cities that will serve as a first class commercial city to be reckoned with.
“We will invest heavily on Agricultural development and also empower farmers through our Special no interest loan programme for farmers to produce food in abundance, as we will fight war against hunger in Enugu State.
“We will also employ advanced farm technologies and equipment as time progresses to supplement the farmers’ efforts. We will Fight War Against Hunger (WAH)
“We will give our both male and female children the quality education they deserve to prepare them competitively around the globe. We will integrate technical skills into our school curriculum starting from primary school level known as operation “A Child A Skill”.
“We will work hard to ensure that our primary and secondary school students not only have free education in Enugu State, but we will also work hard to ensure that our primary school students have free school meals to enable their parents to worry less and concentrate on what is more important in their family lives outside their children’s education. It will also be mandatory that all children of primary and secondary school age be required to go to school.
“There will be no interest loans for tertiary school level and above, as long as the school is in Enugu State and you are an Enugu indigence, to be paid back gradually after graduation and after job acquisition.
“There will be special recognition and awards for top performing teachers and Students.
For my government to actualize this he said, “No student will be left behind”, disclosing “Industrial attachments will be made a priority for students in tertiary institutions to enable smooth absorption and transition of our student to work sector”.
Other areas his regime would focus on include quality health: “We will increase the budget allocation and priority placed on modern health equipment, Knowledgeable Staff, Research and Development. We can transform our healthcare system to stop deaths in hospitals, and also due to lack of money to pay in advance for treatment.
No one, I repeat no one should die because of lack of money.On Water he said, is life, adding, “I shall set up a water review committee that will review our water problems, provide solutions for solving water issues in Enugu State”
“There will be youths empowerment – No youth left behind program – (NYLB) would be fully embedded in my youth program which we have already started, without ever being in government.
“Through sports and football tournaments we have already started producing gainful results.
“Two of Obi Ozoemena team members have already been absorbed in Asia and Portugal to play professionally, many hired by Nigeria professional league side.
“In addition the youths will be included in my administration and every area of endeavours in Enugu State. Women Empowerment – Equal considerations at all levels, equal pay for equal work done.
“We can no longer leave our vulnerable women and wives to exploitation and temptations to sin in order to give them opportunities in work places.
People with Disability – PWD – We can no longer ignore this great untapped sector, we must empower and give them maximum representation and opportunities to enable them thrive and be hopeful
“Others include, good roads and Social welfare for our elderly and less privileged
Transparency – Our people will definitely know where and how state money is spent”, he stated.
The atmosphere was also charged by students from various tertiary institutions in the state under the “National Youths Initiative Alliance”.
The Leader of the group Chika Justice, said that they have endorsed the candidañcy of Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena for the 2023 governorship seat.
“We are not going to fight with guns, cutlasses, but with our PVCs. We have found Pastor Ozoemena a trustworthy person who is credible and competent to lead Enugu State to the promised land in 2023”.
The high points of the event were the formal flag-off and the unveiling of the ADC flag-bearer’s manifesto.