Obinna Eze Oriaku, the immediate past Abia State commissioner of finance on Wednesday joined the Abia state Gubernatorial race while declaring under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obinna declared in his home town, Owerrinta, Isialangwa south local government area of Abia State.
The event was well attended by party faithfuls and supporters who affirmed their support for his declaration.
In the declaration speech by Obinna Oriaku, titled “A new Abia is possible” , he gave his experience of governance haven worked for the Abia state government as an Economic Adviser and Commissioner of finance. He holds the view and believe that he is equiped and result oriented policies.
He also affirmed that he doesn’t believe in renting crowd for public office declaration or political gathering while thanking all those who make out time to attend the event.
In his words: “The latter experience became interestingly the melting point of my career. It afforded me the practical experiences that have deeply honed my managerial, economic and public sector skills.
“Amidst political intrigues and grandstanding, I was able to gain the confidence of my boss, the governor, who did not only give me the platform to excel but equipped me with the political arsenal to drive delicate, but result oriented policies that have never been heard of in the history of the over 30 years existence of Abia state.”
Obinna in hi speech said his love and devotion to Abia and it’s wellbeing is the bedrock of his motivation to contest for governorship seat of the state.
“My love and devotion to Abia and its wellbeing in the first place motivated all the sacrifices I have made overtime, and the passion to bring about the purpose of God for our state has kept me moving .It is for these reasons going back to the bank was not an option .
“This zeal and sense of sacrifice resulted in my leaving PDP, instead of remaining in the party to align with the current system for another party with a more progressive disposition and a platform that will enable me to achieve my lifelong goal to be an agent for positive change .” Obinna said.
Some party stateholders such as Acho Obioma was also present to grace the occasion. In his speech, he urged all members to pray for Obinna Oriaku as he declares and wished him well as well as other members who has also decleared interest to run for the group seat come 2023.
Obinna also promised to populate his government with passionate men and women who are knowledgeable on Abia problems. He affirms that “a new Abia is possible”.
Read full speech below:
A new Abia is Possible.
Being a speech delivered by Mr Obinna Oriaku on the declaration of his intention to run for 2023 Governorship election under APC at his hometown, Owerrinta in Isi ala Ngwa South LGA, Abia state on 19th April 2022.
Fellow Abians, party men and concerned non Abians, brothers and sisters.
I am Obinna Eze Oriaku and my foray into public service cum active politics has been eventful though brief.
I have learnt so much and have seen so much. I have equally had my share of betrayal, blackmail and mischief. In all, I have come out stronger and much more poised to uphold that which I have long held strongly and tenaciously, which is; that the emancipation of a people does not become fruitful only by compromises and docility but by ruggedly sticking to one’s avowed principles.
Upon creation of the state, Abia was christened “God’s Own State” and it is one cardinal thing we must do going forward. Which is; to return the State to the purpose of the Owner.
I spent my formative years in the seminary and I am a practicing Christian of Anglican denomination with good roots and friends in other Churches and the community of faith in God, I pray and worship the only True God and my resolve is to foster an equitable distribution of the commonwealth of Ndi Abia through veritable vistas of development, and to engender fiscal policies that are considerate of current global realities. For these course I am irrepressible and unrepentant.
Abia state has been a sleeping giant, howbeit, Abia is the hope of every igbo man and perhaps Nigeria towards economic emancipation. Recall that the geographical area now called Abia, led the economic development of south east through the economic polices of our revered leaders and forebears. It is the home of men and women of courage, principle and integrity.
Therefore, Obinna Oriaku will want to stand on the shoulders of the great men and women of Abia whose courage resonates across the world.
Today, Abia is a ghost of what it ought to be, ravaged by poor leadership and lack of infrastructure which is the bane of our growth and development. The good news and promise which I bear is that Abia state is not beyond redemption. We shall reclaim our state with honest and sincere leadership which Obinna represents. Abia shall be great with your support and your decision to enthrone a sincere and passionate leader come 2023.
My over two decades of working in the banking sector has taught me the rudiments of the economy. But more practical experience came whilst I became embedded in the successive tenures of former Governors Chimaraoke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime of Enugu State as their official banker and part of the State Economic Team.
Ostensibly, my four year stint as first, the Economic Adviser to Gov Okezie Ikpeazu and later the Honorable Commissioner of Finance, Abia State (2015 /2019) was the most outstanding.
The latter experience became interestingly the melting point of my career. It afforded me the practical experiences that have deeply honed my managerial, economic and public sector skills.
Amidst political intrigues and grandstanding, I was able to gain the confidence of my boss, the governor, who did not only give me the platform to excel but equipped me with the political arsenal to drive delicate, but result oriented policies that have never been heard of in the history of the over 30 years existence of Abia state.
For instance, the hitherto analogue pay roll management system was completely replaced with an automated e-payment system .
We went further to initiate reforms on the following; Civil service reforms; Judiciary reforms; Procurement reforms; Local government system reforms ,State owned parastarals reforms like ABSUTH, Abia Poly, HMB etc.
Most of these reforms have capacity of repositioning Abia for growth and development but have remain unimplemented till date.
Abia which was like a pariah state before 2015 was reintroduced to development partners like World Bank ,African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), French Development Agency, Afrexim Bank and other partners though the potentials of these collaborations are yet to be fully explored.
For the first time also, a successful biometric exercise that captured to near-accuracy, the population of Abia work force in both the state civil service and local Government service was implemented to the displeasure of Abia CABALS, who have for long held governance to its jugular while they smiled home with the resources meant for ndi Abia.
While serving as finance commissioner , I had always insisted even in public that the current template of governance of the state cannot support growth and development.
Today about 80% of entire receipts of Abia state goes to recurrent and over head expenditure while paltry 20% is left for capital expenditure.
Yes, I paid the price in various ways including my safety and the relentless attempts and sustained threats to my life and those of my family members. I am still paying the price though, but I am proud that I did not succumb to the worship of the Baal existent in Abia – To God be the glory.
The statewide biometrics exercise was carried out at no cost to the Government but as social corporate responsibility of some banks operating in Abia state.
Few people knew that my four years stint in Abia State was on pro bono, meaning that I didn’t receive any salary from Abia State Government but from my employers at First Bank of Nigeria who had seconded me to the state .
During my years of service to the state, various cost heads were revisited while costs we considered as exorbitant, like the monthly FAAC travelling allowances were reduced from 1.6m to 500k. These policies may have irked some few minority who were benefiting from the anomalies as this was reversed to N1.6m immediately I left government till date .
My love and devotion to Abia and its wellbeing in the first place motivated all the sacrifices I have made overtime, and the passion to bring about the purpose of God for our state has kept me moving .It is for these reasons going back to the bank was not an option .
This zeal and sense of sacrifice resulted in my leaving PDP, instead of remaining in the party to align with the current system for another party with a more progressive disposition and a platform that will enable me to achieve my lifelong goal to be an agent for positive change .
I have therefore come a long way and at the point where I am ready to go beyond rhetoric to match my words, eloquently with actions.
This is that time to test the political waters by seeking to serve ndi Abia. While APC is the platform, the people are the catalyst. I am confident of victory because Abia is in dire need of good leadership. Tested, trusted and found courageous, I have verse knowledge of Abia economy having studied its challenges as Commissioner for finance.
Cogent and verifiable evidence is available to prove that I have the antidote to quell further deterioration of Abia economy and the welfare of it’s people, If granted the opportunity.
I promise to partner with good spirited Ndi Abia in order to usher in a lasting economic solution, with an attendant enforcement, that will push the policies to fruition.
Soon our economic blueprint will hit the public domain and it will amaze Abians the depth of research and programs that would transform Abia state. Like I have always advanced, I represent the new Abia and I remain resolute to the Abia renaissance which is possible .
Our agenda and strategy are devoid of clannish considerations or primordial, albeit obsolete and opportunistic postulations. Thus there will be no ethnic divisions but one united Abia with shared values and common heritage.
We will definitely dismantle parochialism and clannish sentiments that have held us bound. I have done it before and I will do it again by God’s grace .
Our Government under my watch, will consider all Abians as one family and would create no boundaries. We will rather dig deeper into the challenges that hinder development in our state coupled with what I already know, We will ensure that mediocrity is uprooted for excellence.
We will engender sustainable, enduring and people oriented programs and policies that will affect positively the lives of all Abians.
As an advocate of good governance that is not predicated on “god fatherism”, i will ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. We will change the paradigm and rejig both our cultural and social values and it is not in doubt if Obinna has the wherewithal to achieve it, my antecedents will speak for me.
I promise to populate our government with men and women who are passionate and knowledgeable on Abia problems and have the precise solutions with zero tolerance to corruption.
By God’s grace, Abia will witness a new face of technocrats with local knowledge and ability to deploy human and material resources in Abia to develop the State.
Like my political mantra says ,”a new Abia is possible”. After detailed consultation with my immediate family, my political associates, my party members and followers ,I hereby declare, with the support of Ndi Abia, my readiness to contest the Abia Governorship seat come 2023 under the umbrella of the All Progressive Congress.
Join us to create a new ABIA
Obinna Eze Oriaku
( Ekwe Dike)
19th April 2022