ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY CHIEF OKEY AHIWE, GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATE OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN ABIA STATE, AFTER THE PRIMARIES AT UMUAHIA TOWNSHIP STADIUM ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2023.
I give glory to God who has made it possible for us to witness a day like this.
Today is a very important day for the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State. Today, we have dumbfounded those who predicted that we will be consumed by crisis. Today, we are leaving this stadium, more united, more determined and more resolute to retain our pre-eminent position as the dominant party in Abia State.
You are all aware of the circumstances that necessitated today’s primaries. I will therefore like to pay special tribute to the memory of our dearly departed brother, Prof. Eleazar Uche Ikonne, whose demise meant that we are holding another primary to elect another candidate today. I pay homage to the memory of Prof. Ikonne. I commiserate with his family and loved ones and pray God to grant his soul sweet repose.
I would like to start by thanking the Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State for their unprecedented unity and one-ness which ensured a hitch free process. I thank in a special way, the Leader of the Party in the State Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu whose dexterous leadership has kept the ship of the party stable in Abia State. I thank our indefatigable State Chairman of the Party, Rt. Hon. Allwell Asiforo Okere and through him, our State Executive Council of the Party for their guidance. I thank all our Stakeholders, elected office-holders and Caucus Members. I thank the Delegates who have today reposed their confidence in me.
Let me also specially thank the Electoral Committee led by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, as well as the team of observers from INEC, the media and Civil Society Organisations.
My assurance to the Peoples Democratic Party family in Abia State is that we are winning this election. Abia is a PDP State and Abia will remain a PDP State. We are not novices to the system neither are we greenhorns. I have been a part of the inner caucus of Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu for the last 7 years so I understand the dynamics of Governance from the grassroots to the highest levels.
I was an integral part of Late Prof. Uche Ikonne’s Campaign at the Strategic level and I fully understand the demands and dictates of running a comprehensive campaign. I will not drop the ball. I know that we have grounds to cover and I am ready to hit the ground running.
The focus of our Campaign shall be to consolidate on the laudable work done by our Leader, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu while expanding the scope of service to the people.
Some of the key areas we will be concentrating on include:
SECURITY: There is no gainsaying the fact that security remains the bedrock of any development plan. We thank our Leader Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu for entrenching a culture of peaceful co-existence in Abia State and as a priority, we will continue on the trajectory that he has laid and ensure that Abia State continues to remain the most peaceful State in the South East and one of the most peaceful in the country.
EDUCATION AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: We shall pursue and sustain the highest standards of Education and human capital development. We shall not allow any gaps whatsoever in the functional development of our youths in whose future we must make necessary investments to build new generations of leadership champions.
URBAN RENEWAL: We shall establish Development Commissions for our Urban Cities of Aba, Umuahia, Ohafia and others and pursue their holistic development including provision of critical infrastructure working with professionals and relevant development partners. We shall build on the legacy of massive roads construction already established by Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
TRANSPORTATION: We shall rejig our Mass Transportation Model to bring it at par with what is obtainable in other developed cities. We shall explore Public Private Partnerships for a viable, modern and sustainable transport system for our cities.
AGRICULTURE: Emphasis will be placed on mechanization of our agricultural processes to make it attractive to our youths and reduce the tediousness of traditional farming models. Special attention will be paid to our Agricultural Development Initiatives to ensure that they are capable of attracting available support and input from the Federal Government and other Development Partners.
PEACE: Another Legacy of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu which I will build on is the legacy of peace we are currently witnessing in Abia State. Those that know me know that I am a man of peace. I do not have the stomach for enimity and this has ensured my cordial relationship with people across class and strata. I intend to consolidate on this gift and deploy it to continue to promote an atmosphere of peace in Abia State.
PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE: We shall continue with the plan of our party to introduce and consolidate Participatory Governance in Abia State. What this means is that our shall be a Government of consultations and a listening ear. Our policies shall be drawn out of the wishes of the people and every strata of society shall be carried along in the Governance of Abia State.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT: We shall prioritize working with our Community Development Associations to capture pressing needs of the communities and ensure that they are reflected in the Budget of the State annually. While building critical infrastructure in our Urban Areas, we shall endeavour to ensure that our rural areas are not neglected to stem rural-urban migration and guarantee quality of life for our rural dwellers.
My Leaders, Stakeholders and Members of our great party. These are some of the areas that we will be concentrating on when we are sworn in in the next 3 months. I can tell you confidently that we are winning this election. We have what it takes and we will do it.
By next week, we shall commence tours of critical parts of the State. We shall endeavour to cover as much ground as possible. We are not campaigning afresh. We are only cementing our existing contract with the people. We shall remind them once again, why PDP remains their best bet for progress and prosperity.
I thank you all once again. I thank all Abians far and near, whose goodwill is evident in the grace of God that has carried us thus far. Our work is cut out for us. Let us go to the field and bring back the crown of victory.
Chief Okey Ahiwe
Peoples Democratic Party