Dr Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu, the Convener, South-East APC Integrity Group has joined the league of Nigerians vying for the number one seat under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jideofo-Ogbuagu declared interest in the number one seat after all efforts to have a South East candidate declare under the umbrella of the integrity group yielded no fruit. The group had for over two years advocated vigorously for the emergence of a President of Nigeria of South-East extraction on the APC platform in 2023.
Below are excerpts of his declaration speech.
We would not have imagined that twenty years after our first and previous attempt at becoming President of Nigeria, we would ourselves contest again for the office.
Indeed, as recently as January 2020, our South-East APC Integrity Group launched a collective South-East APC initiative known as South-East APC Presidency Project 2023, by which we have for over two years advocated vigorously for emergence of President of Nigeria of South-East extraction on the APC platform in 2023.
We wanted not only to sell the idea of President of Nigeria of South-East extraction to the generality of Nigerians, but also to create a massive campaign movement and over 50 million would-be voters that would be ready-made for any credible South-Easterner to ride on to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja on 29th May 2023.
Having successfully achieved our first objective of creating a massive network of supporters, with over 80% of voters and non-voters of Nigerian now in favour of President Buhari’s successor coming from the South-East geopolitical zone of the country, we started since January 2021 to call for expression of interest by credible South-East APC persons capable of contesting for President of Nigeria.
Regrettably, after a year and in spite of the spirited efforts we made to encourage such persons to declare to contest, none did.
Disappointed by their apparent lack of interest and with time fast running out on our Project timeline, we issued a press statement in December 2021 in which we promised our known supporters and other Nigerians that if no credible South-Easterner declared to contest for President of Nigeria on APC platform on or before 31st January 2022, that I, Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu, Convener and National Coordinator of South-East APC Presidency Project 2023 (a project of South-East APC Integrity Group), would declare on 1st February 2022 to contest for the office in 2023.
Since as at 12 midnight of 31st January 2022 no credible South-Easterner had declared to contest for President of Nigeria on APC platform, and today being 1st February 2022, I hereby declare to contest for President of Nigeria as I had done in 2002 – exactly twenty years ago.
Whereas we had thought that we would work with another South-Easterner (as presidential aspirant) on our manifesto intended to fix and prosper Nigeria and Nigerians, perhaps it is providence that has made it inevitable for me to once again contest for that office.
Whereas we had hoped for an equally visionary South-Easterner of integrity but younger than my 64 years of age to project, I today find myself poised at the starting block of what will be another difficult presidential race.
And I hereby plead for your support for us to fix and prosper Nigeria and Nigerians through our pledges that include but are not limited to:
- Free, compulsory and qualitative education to first degree in Nigeria for all Nigerians of school age.
- Zero-tolerance for corruption and criminality.
- Special encouragement for production of goods and services, and strict implementation of Nigerian-Content and Buy-Nigerian policies.
- Abolition of all taxes except the Service or Value-Added Tax.
- Tarred and drained road(s) to or through every community plus – where possible – rail line(s) too.
- Youth empowerment plus housing estates in every state capital and other major cities of Nigeria for young persons in need of urban housing that will be made available to them on rent-to-buy basis.
- Development of all Nigerian languages and cultures.
- Measures to reduce size of, and wastage in, government.
- Growth of health facilities, introduction of national health insurance scheme for all Nigerians, provision of standard sports facilities in every community, and development of Nigerian foods to enhance health of Nigerians.
- Abolition of local government areas and increase of number of states.
- Development of navigable inland waterways, river ports and domestic shipping services.
- Comprehensive, accurate and regular census exercises with registers of births and deaths in every state.
- Standard utilities such as electricity, gas and water supplies in all states of Nigeria.
- Squeaky clean environment with functional sewage and waste management systems, and beautification of the environment by house improvement, tree/flower planting, etc.
- Security and intelligence agencies that are repositioned to secure Nigeria and Nigerians.
- Reorientation of the judiciary to dispense justice without fear or favour.
- Special measures to strengthen and preserve the traditional family unit.
- Ownership of natural resources by the communities who will pay Service/Value-Added Tax on what they produce.
- Scrapping of immunity clause and security vote.
- Foreign affairs engagements that are focused on the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
It has been a long way from a child born and growing up at Ihe in Awgu LGA of Enugu State (where I attended St Mary’s Elementary School) to attending Federal Government College Sokoto to attending tertiary institutions in Britain to preparing myself for the Presidency in many other practical ways.
We hope we will get the opportunity from the good people of Nigeria this time to put into practice all that we have learnt over the past decades – by a government we intend will be dominated by sensible, credible and serious youths and women.
Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Aspirant.
Dated: 1st February 2022.