The Chairman, United Nigeria airline, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, on Monday, obtained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination and expression of interest form for Anambra governorship election slated for Nov. 6.
Okonkwo speaking with newsmen at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja shortly after obtaining his form, pledged to prioritise education, youth empowerment, industrialisation, urban renewal and rural development.
He said joining the race was well thought out to give back to the society, the people and development of the state, through a larger platform compared to what he had done as an individual.
“We are not just running for the ticket or just running to win the election. We are running also to ensure that our victory will bring the necessary change that is required in Anambra and make the right impact in the lives of the people,” he said.
Okonkwo said that after a thorough need assessment of the state in terms of the problems and what was needed to be done, his team came up with a 10 point agenda.
He said that if given the opportunity, his administration would harness the potential, talents, gifts and skills of the people for greater development.
“These are what have made us what we have become. What the people just need is leadership that will ensure that all these talents are harnessed from all over the world,” the aspirant said.
He said that if he emerged governor of the state, his administration would establish a new and the first of its kind, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
Okonkwo said the ministry would be to engage indigenes of the state in the Diaspora to come to the state to invest and to also bring government closer to them.
“With this, we are going to tap into their resources, their skills and their experiences.
“This is not only to grow and develop what we already have in Anambra but also to consolidate the things that they have achieved overseas,” he said.
Okonkwo said his administration would prioritise youth empowerment through engagement of the private sector experience that would bring efficiency and prudent management of resource.
He said that his administration would also harness the opportunities in industrialisation, skill acquisitions, major infrastructural development and foreign direct investment for job creation and development.
“We already have arrangements and discussions ongoing where we should access huge direct investment into Anambra in the areas of infrastructure, that we will make known very soon.
“So we are not just going to rely on minor internally generated revenue. We have access to foreign direct investments,” he added.
Okonkwo said there would also be great efforts on urban renewal and rural development to open up more towns than Onitsha in Anambra.
“We have identified different regions in Anambra so that we can open up new towns.
“For us as a government, all you need to do is to make sure that you are credible, you have integrity and can meet up with your obligations with partners .”
He added that his administration would focus on quality education, saying we are going to set up special schools for those with special skills and talents.
“These schools will be opened in the three senatorial districts of Anambra and will be well funded by the government.
“We are going to invest a whole lot on our educational infrastructure and then make sure that at levels of primary to secondary schools, people have easy access to education.
“Our tertiary institutions will attract a whole lot of investment. Our budget to education will be huge,” he added.
Speaking on restructuring, Okonkwo said there was a need for the country to rethink its corporate existence.
“I am one that believes that a stronger nation is beneficial to all” adding that a typical state in Nigeria has about 80 per cent of what it needs to run itself.
“The local government areas obviously must be independent because any development that is not bottom up, then a larger percentage of the population will not feel the impact of government.
“I support discussions that will give more powers to the states.”
On zoning, Okonkwo said that every senatorial zone of the state had produced a governor and PDP had given its ticket to all zones more than once except the central who had it once.
“We are here for our competence, for our belief in what we can do.
“But if anything has to be done to be fair, it is making sure that the central has the ticket at least for a second time because we had it only once.
“It may interest you to know that Anambra central has the 60 per cent voting population and that is where you have the strongest presence of PDP,” Okonkwo said.