Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna, the Deputy Chairman of Newstide Publications Limited, publishers of Prime Business Africa, has said she has no intention to become deputy governor in her home State of Anambra.
Okunna, a renowned Professor of Mass Communication and former Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget in Anambra State, was reacting to the news making the rounds on the possibility of her becoming the Deputy Governorship Candidate/Running Mate to Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, the PDP flag bearer in the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial election.
The first female professor of Mass Commmunication in Nigeria was recently appointed Director and Deputy Chairman on the Board of Newstide Publications Limited. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of “Prime Business Africa,” an independent online newspaper on the stable of Newstide Publications.
Speaking in Awka on Friday, Prof. Okunna said she first heard the news of her becoming the Deputy Governorship Candidate through many associates, as well as men and women of goodwill who called, to her embarrassment, to congratulate her on what they called her “deserving recognition.” She said when she enquired the source of the news, they referred her to the social media. “I visited different social media platforms and saw different things that were written on the matter and my first reaction was to wonder how all this had been going on without my knowledge.”
Responding specifically, Prof. Okunna said: “In 2006, I joined the Government of Mr. Peter Obi. Though my salary was much less than what I was paid as a Professor, I still look back on all those years with nostalgia and a sense of immense fulfilment, knowing that Team Peter Obi worked with a world-class leader to actualize his Vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) using his innovative, revolutionary and globally-acclaimed Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). It is on record that the Team effectively delivered results which made Anambra Number 1 in the implementation of the MDGs, consequent upon which the United Nations invited His Excellency to New York to share his MDGs experience. As the Chairman of the State’s MDGs Implementation Committee, it is obvious how proud I felt and still feel about that accomplishment.”
“Immediately after I left Government in 2014”, Okunna continued, “I returned to the University and have been extremely busy ever since. From again being the Head of Mass Communication from 2014 to 2017, becoming the Director of UNIZIK FM from 2014 to date, serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences from 2016 to 2019, and delivering my Inaugural Lecture in 2018, in addition to so many other academic and social engagements still stretching ahead of me, it has indeed been a most eventful life and will remain so for quite some time.
Let me, therefore, state categorically that I am happy where I am and that I am not interested in becoming the Deputy Governor of Anambra State.”
Okunna, who said she is related to the Ubas, expressed her reluctance to be dragged into needless controversy and direct ‘confrontation’ with them.
Prof Okunna, thereafter, thanked those promoting her candidacy, as she is convinced that such promotion has been borne out of goodwill, but apologised and appealed to them not to continue doing so, as she is not enthusiastic.