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Published On: Sun, Feb 25th, 2018

2019: How I’ll win Abia Central Senatorial seat- Chidi Ajaegbu

OBINNA EZUGWU

 

Politician, entrepreneur and former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Chidi Ajaegbu has said he would defeat Senator T.A. Orji in the 2019 Abia Central Senatorial election, noting that he had all that is required to do so.

Mr-Chidi-Ajaegbu

Mr. Ajaegbu who made his intention known in a chat with BusinessHallmark in his Ikoyi, Lagos office, emphasized that Senator Orji, having been in government for over 18 years, eight of which he served as Abia governor, has served his time and cannot do more.

“I want to defeat T. A. Orji; I want to take him out of the equation,” Ajaegbu said. “I think he has done his bit, and it is obvious he lacks what it takes to drive a holistic developmental strategy for Abia State. He has been in government for more than 18 years and I think Abia state has declined in those 18 years.”

Reminded that it would not be easy to defeat a person like Orji who has built a strong political structure in Abia State, Mr. Ajaegbu insisted that he has his strategies and that the odds favour him.

“You can’t know how difficult or easy it is until you try. There is a saying that you do not, because of fear of being shot dead, run away from war. The point is that in history, empires rise and fall. Political dynasties rise and fall. There is a time for the rise of a political movement, and there is also a time for its eclipse. T.A. (Orji) is embedded in Abia politics, but you also know that politics is a game of people and a game of numbers. Even when you want to rig, you cannot do it where you are unpopular, it is almost impossible.

“There is no doubt that T.A. will present a formidable fight, but you can’t say whether he will win or lose, except there is a challenge. There are six local governments in Abia Central: Osisioma, Isiala Ngwa South and North, Umuahia South and North and Ikwuano. I am from Osisioma and my mother is from Ibeku, so I have a root in Umuahia.

“I think I am the most connected of all the candidates for the senate in terms of people. Osisioma constitutes a very large portion of Abia Central, and looking at the empirical analysis of how people voted in 2015, it is clear that T.A lost even in his own polling unit despite having stayed 16 years in government.

T. A. Orji;

“That should tell you a story. The bulk of the votes that he got were from Osisioma, and I was part of the movement that ensured that electoral victory in Osisioma. I know how we convinced people to vote for him that massively. I think I can also leverage on whatever contacts; the players that I know to challenge him and the PDP in Osisioma.”

Ajaegbu who recently joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) noted that his new party is a party to beat in the state.

“Isiala Ngwa South is predominantly APGA; Isiala Ngwa North is divided between PDP and APGA. Umuahia South and North are essentially APGA, although much of Bende people are APC because of Ochiagha’s factor. Ikwuano is APGA. All things being equal, I think I have a very good chance of defeating T. A. in 2019. I am very unequivocal in that conviction.”

He said he would pursue various empowerment programmes and rural development as a senator.

“I will bring to our people a certain kind of fresh air that has not been felt before.

“I am going to be focusing, within my reach as a senator, on rural infrastructure, education; because I truly believe in education. Then, I will deepen the Widows’ Farmers Association that my Foundation is running presently. I have about 100 of that; 100 cooperatives of strictly widows.

“We register them as cooperatives and give them seed money of between N200, 000 and N250, 000 for them to help themselves. I am going to deepen that process because I believe that if you empower a woman, you have empowered a family, and if a woman does not have a husband, her position becomes very critical.

“I have been giving scholarships to people for a very long time. As I speak, there are a lot of people who are on my scholarship scheme; I intend to also deepen that because I believe in education,” he concluded.

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