The former Secretary to Enugu State Government and retired super Permanent Secretary, Dr. Gabriel Ajah, ( mni ), has officially declared his interest to run for the office of the governor of the state in 2023.
Dr. Ajah who made this declaration yesterday at Nkerefi in Nkanu East local government area of the state said he was inspired by the calls from members of the public who trusted in his wealth of experiences and leadership capacity to move the state to a new level of development.
While addressing the mammoth crowds who had gathered to honour their illustrious son, Ajah lauded the exemplary leadership drive of Governor Ugwuanyi adding that the governor has performed beyond people’s expectations in education, infrastructure, human empowerment, healthcare system, and the economy. He expressed his appreciation to the governor for the opportunities given to him to serve in different spheres of his administration.
Assuring the people of the state that his administration would run an all-inclusive government, Ajah promised to continue from where the governor would stop in 2023 and further consolidate on the legacies of the present administration. Stating that he has always been part of the Ugwuanyi’s administration, the retired super Permanent Secretary and former Secretary to the State Government reassured the people of his loyalty to the governor whom he described as a “father, mentor, principal and role model.”
Asked whether he had the capacity to muscle other aspirants in the People’s Democratic Party to clinch the party’s ticket, the former Executive Chairman of Enugu State Science, Technical and Vocational School Management Board sounded confident and affirmative that he had the qualifications to clinch the ticket and be voted the next governor of the state. In his words, Dr. Ajah stated that “Experiences, capacity, honesty, integrity and dedication are all needed in public service and leadership, and having served 3 consecutive civilian administrations of former Governors Chimaroke Nnamani, Sullivan Chime and incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi without any iota of blemish and dent; these experiences gathered in public service since 1999 to date would be brought to bear in contest.
“It is a clear fact that the people of Enugu state and indeed the delegates of our great party are aware of my capacity, my honesty, my integrity, my character, my humility and, importantly, my pedigree which are assets in any public contest as no other contestant could say to have better qualifications and experiences than myself. As a technocrat, I’m academically qualified having read and obtained PhD in my discipline. This should be a conviction to the delegates that the capacity is unequaled.”
Aside his stellar pedigree, Dr. Ajah has also hinged his hope of winning the election not in any political godfather as he had none but in God who ordains kings and in Governor Ugwuanyi who has handed the state in the hands of God. He said at the fullness of time, God would guide the governor to make the right choice for the people of the state.
In the same vein, Dr. Ajah has appealed to the party’s delegates to consider the collective interests of the people of Enugu state and support his aspiration by queuing behind him at the party’s primaries. He assured that his government would not disappoint them, and would continue to carry them along just like the present administration of Governor Ugwuanyi has been doing. He stated that the only way history could be made was for the delegates and the stakeholders of the party to support his candidacy which he characterized as, humble, obedient, competent, experienced, and transformative.
Meanwhile many dignitaries at the event have expressed their desires to see that an Nkerefi man from Nkanu East is considered by the incumbent governor and party stakeholders to be voted the next governor. Speaking at the gathering was His Royal Highest, Igwe Luke Okorie of Imeoha Nkerefi Autonomous Community who showered encomiums on the state governor for his myriad of colourful projects in the state.
Igwe Okorie while rallying support for Dr. Ajah announced the donation of one hundred million naira support by the people of Nkerefi for the campaigns of their son. He stated that the support was made because of their confidence in the competence and capacity of Dr. Ajah to turn things around in the state and continued from where Governor Ugwuanyi would stop.
Also speaking at the event, the traditional ruler of Ohuani Amofu Nkerefi Autonomous Community, Igwe Sunday Onyekwere said that Ajah’s declaration was God’s words in action and prayed to God to make a way for him to cross to Lion Building in 2023 as that was the only way of guarantying good governance and Governor Ugwuanyi’s sustained peace and security in Enugu state.
While lending his voice, the host traditional, His Royal Highest, Igwe Emmanuel Onukwube, has called on all the progressive stakeholders and delegates in the state to the tempting rich experience and administrative pedigree of their son and declare their support for him. He added that Dr. Ajah would be a governor for all in the state who would not discriminate based on sectional and clannish interests. He, therefore, prayed to God to grant the request and heart desire of the people of the state by giving them Dr. Ajah as Governor Ugwuanyi’s successor.
On his part, the President-General of Nkerefi Development Union, Hon. Prince Chinonso Dubem has called that hands must be on deck in order to rally support for Dr. Ajah as his candidacy represented the face of a new Enugu state. The President-General who further charged the people to see the project as a collective project insisted not to rest until Dr. Ajah’s given the party’s ticket.
Also lending a strong voice to Dr. Ajah’s governorship aspiration, the immediate past Ward 2 councilor, Rt. Hon. Evangelist Mustard Nwoye urged the people of Enugu state to see Ajah’s candidacy as a golden opportunity for the continuation of the good governance of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration. He stressed the urgent need to rally support from all the three senatorial districts in the state for Dr. Ajah, adding that Ajah would effect the dire transformation the state has been yearning for. According to him, Gov. Ugwuanyi will be leaving an indelible footprint behind, and that it’s only him (Ajah) who could consolidate on such achievements.
Those that also pledged to give their total support and commit their resources into pushing the journey to the Lion Building included, Hon. Samson Egboka, President, Enuogu General Assembly, Hon. Felix Nweze, President, Ohuani Amofu General Assembly, Hon. Engr. Ndubuishi Ani, President Isienu Amofu General Assembly, Hon. Monday Diamond Ani, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Chief Chijioke Odih, Hon. S. I Mbah, Hon. James Orji, Hon. Augustine Onuoha, Evangelist Benjamin Anyim, among others.
The grand finale of the large gathering was the unanimous endorsement of the candidacy of Dr. Ajah by the entire people of the four autonomous communities in Nkerefi in the persons of the leadership of the traditional rulers called, the Igwe-in-council, their cabinet members, traditional prime ministers, leadership of all the town unions, women groups, association of clergymen, youth wing, etc, assuring him of mobilisation and support.
Some of the dignitaries at the gathering include, Hon. Engr. Prince Chinonso Dubem, Hon. C.O Edeh (Bond), HRM Igwe Luke Okorie, HRM Igwe Emmanuel Onukwube, HRH Igwe Sunday Onyekwere, Chief Chijioke Odih (Chi Motors), PG Enuogu Nkerefi Autonomous Community, Hon. Samson Egbo, PG Imeoha Nkerefi Autonomous Community, Hon. Augustine Okoro, Deputy PDP Chairman, Nkanu East, Hon. Abel Nwigwe (Agege), Hon. Augustine Onuoha (Oil Minister), Hon. Augustine Igbokwe (Nwa Father), Hon. Aniobi, PG Nkerefi Development Union, Hon. Engr. Prince Chinonso Dubem, Hon. John Njoku, Hon. Chief Christian Ogbonna, PG Ishienu Amofu and business magnate, Hon. Engr. Ndubuisi Ani, former Administrator, Nkanu South Development Centre, Hon. S. I Mbah, former Member, Enugu State Pilgrimage Board, Evangelist Benjamin Anyim, former Special Assistant to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Monday Diamond Ani, High Chief Emmanuel Okechukwu (Able Links), Youth Leader, Hon. Onu Jacob Nwobodo (Chi-Pat Hotel, Imeoha-Nkerefi).
Others include Chairman, PDP Ward 2, Hon. Edwin Anyim, Chairman PDP Ward 1, Hon. Jacob Offia Ani, PG Ohuani Amofu Nkerefi and former Technical Assistant to the Governor, Hon. Felix Nweze, former Deputy Chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Area, Mrs Ngozi Ogbonna, Administrator Nkanu South Development Centre and Secretary, NDU, Hon. James Orji, Hon. Supervisor on Agriculture, Nkanu East, Hon. Sunday Ogbu, Councilors representing Nkerefi Ward 1 and Ward 2, Hon. Ifeanyi Aniwogbu and Hon. Mrs. Anyim Praise respectively, Hon. Innocent Edeh, Engr. John Ogbu, Engr. Anyim Chukwuebuka Peter, Engr. Ben Cephas, Hon. Israel Chukwu, among others.