HIS EXCELLENCY, RT. HON. FRANCIS OGBONNA NWIFURU can be likened to the biblical story of the mustard seed, which according to Jesus Christ, is the smallest of seeds. Yet when it grows, is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch on its branches.
His growth was a tough spell. He transited through the fiery furnace of his time, right from the cradle of his birth. But like every other human creature, he took no liberty of himself to come to this world. And so, on February 25, 1975, he was born into a renowned polygamous family of Chief and Chief Mrs. Ezekiel Nwifuru Nwamkpu of Offerekpe village, Agbaja community in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
EARLY DAYS AND EDUCATION
Little Ogbonna showed passionate spots for education from his tender times. In strict defiance of stringent circumstances, he enrolled into Offerekpe Agbaja Community Primary School in the year 1991. His continued quest for education took him to Community Secondary School Nwofe Agbaja in the year 1999.
Of a truth, his educational steps were not smooth. For a fact, he attended school at intervals and joined his brothers in rearing of their father’s numerous cattle. But his loving mother, Chief Mrs. Nnenna Okweru Nwifuru and his maternal uncles played significant roles in ensuring that their hardworking son acquired what was the needed Western education, against all odds. By May/June 2004, he wrapped up his secondary school education in pure brilliance.
Upon concluding his post-primary education, Ogbonna, now christened ‘Francis’, having received Baptism – the Sacrament of initiation as a Catholic, began a new leaf of life. At such tender time, he was already a workaholic personality. In other to dislodge idleness and engage in purposeful learning, he took up a menial job which was considered to be above his age, ‘a mason’. He would work in the rain and under the sun all day, mixing concrete – water, sand and cement and carried same to serve his maters.
A hardworking boy, focused and laced in humility and simplicity. A friend of his, described him as ‘Jack of all trades, Master of all’, because Francis enjoyed his passion for hard work and learnt all things – bicycle and motorcycle repairing and worked as a bus conductor. He would come out every day with various tools for different jobs. Should a particular job fail him, he switches to another one on the same day.
In furtherance of his love form Building Construction and innate devotion to learn and improve himself the more, he enrolled into Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, to study Building Technology and woodwork, through his excellence and deftness in the field. The same burning zeal spurred him to go in for a second degree and studied Law at Ebonyi State University. He did not stop there. Being a fine steel in the making, he squeezed out quality time off his busy schedule and bagged a Master’s Degree in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the prestigious Salford University, Manchester, United Kingdom in June 2021.
His passion for education was for an ultimate value – the development of his people and the society. In full knowledge of what was required to attain this ultimate value, young brave Francis made a foray into partisan politics.
His desire to represent his people at such a young age was admirable. His first shot was to represent his people (Izzi West State Constituency) as a Member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly in the year 2007. Though unsuccessful, his effortless stride earned him an appointment as an Ex-Officio State Executive Member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ebonyi State. He bore the failure stoically with spartan courage and was not intimidated from reaching his goals.
In March 2011, he took a second shot, and what a marvellous shot it was! He bounced back with a landslide victory, earning the unanimous mandate of representing his people as a Legislator, at the State Assembly. In the same tenure, he became the Deputy Chief Whip, cum Chairman House Committee on Lands, Survey, urban Development and Environment – a feat thoroughly deserved.
Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru did exceptionally well, that his people entrusted their mandates into his hands again in the year 2015. This time, he emerged Primus Inter Pares – first among equals, the Speaker of the 5th Ebonyi State House of Assembly, on June 8, 2015.
The Hallowed Chamber became the best in productivity and peaceful legislation. When re-elected to the State Assembly in 2019, his brilliant antecedents earned him the only Member to have returned as a two-time Speaker in the history of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. So, he was elected the Speaker of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly on June 10, 2019 and ended successfully on May 25, 2023, with a beautiful valedictory session.
He changed the whole ambience of the State Assembly in content and outlook. His reign birthed one hundred and twelve (112) pieces of human-interest legislation. As the leader of the Legislative Arm of the Government of Ebonyi State, he demonstrated unprecedented leadership qualities made manifest in the consistent smooth and harmonious working relationship with the Executive and Judicial Arms. This formed the working engine for the numerous projects achieved by the former Governor, David Nweze Umahi. Such dexterity to duty, excellence in leadership and lawmaking saw him elected by his Colleagues all of the Nation, in the year 2020 as the National Vice Chairman (South East) Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.
Cumulatively, these great feats pushed the stakeholders and good people of Ebonyi State to employ him as the 4th elected Governor of Ebonyi State during the March 18, 2023 Gubernatorial election. He won on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with 199,131 votes while his closet rival of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 80,191 votes. He is currently, the Governor of Ebonyi State, known for his famous Manifesto – The Peoples Charter of Needs. This is a citizen document that underlines his mission statement, “attending to the needs of the people and not what the Government wants.”
There is no prestige whatsoever for a king who has no queen. Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru is married to a helpful and reliable woman of substance, Her Excellency, Chief Mrs. Mary-Maudline Uzoamaka Nwifuru, First Lady of Ebonyi State. They are blessed with five (5) lovely children. In his immediate household, he is a shinning example of a loving, caring and kind father. He is a Christian who took all the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage according to the Catholic doctrine. He has numerous accolades for his great strides in human and societal development.
THE PEOPLE’S CHARTER OF NEEDS – DIVINE MANDATE CONSOLIDATION AND CONTINUITY
I am Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, Honourable Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly,
and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Gubernatorial Candidate of Ebonyi State. I am a destiny
child who grew from grass to grace through dint of hard work, determination and God’s Grace.
In all my struggles and strides, I strived to be the best at everything, even though opportunities
were limited. Right from my young age, I explored my environment and was never idle for any reason.
I shall run the Government of Ebonyi State on the principle of People’s Charter of Needs.
The Charter shall be based in open Governance and performance management, with the aim to make
decisions through citizens’ input while focusing on outcomes and outputs. I shall hold town hall
meetings with the people of Ebonyi State and residents to ensure that Government, citizens and
organized private sector work together to implement and sustain people grown Governance.
I will rely on my core values of humility, integrity and accountability in serving you as the
Governor of Ebonyi State.
These and many more we will achieve together, through:
Where We Are In Education
The literacy level in Ebonyi State has improved to a point that the State is out of the map of
the Educationally disadvantaged States in Nigeria. This is due to the establishment of various
innovative Institutions of learning in Ebonyi State. Some of them include, the King David Gifted
Academy, Ebonyi State Vocational College and David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences,
Uburu, among others.
In order to further improve on the sector, my administration shall emphasize on entrepreneurship,
skill acquisition and education for economic self-reliance at all levels and strengthening of the
sector per zone, including its leadership, through;
a. Improvement of the infrastructure and welfare of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) and College of Education.
b. Upgrading the infrastructure and status of Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo.
c. Strengthening of Tertiary Institutions and improving their infrastructural needs in Ebonyi State.
d. Promotion of vocational and technical education at all levels.
e. Rebuilding of more public schools and provision of amenities.
f. Provision of teaching and learning materials.
g. Increased effective monitoring and supervision.
h. Training and retraining of teachers in public schools.
i. Engagement of more teaching personnel in public schools.
j. Reactivation of Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) system and community participation in education delivery.
k. Partnership with Private Schools Owners to enhance quality
education in Ebonyi State.
l. Partnership with faith-based organizations for improved moral and civic education.
m.Strengthening of Ebonyi State Scholarship System with priority to indigent and outstanding scholars.
n. Revitalization of boarding school system in our secondary schools.
o. Establishment of education reward system.
p. Introduction of Ebonyi State Education Trust Fund.
q. Introduction of Annual Science, Technology and Arts Fair and
r. Strengthening of adult education to reduce adult illiteracy.
s. Rebuilding of the library system across the State for improved reading culture.
t. Periodic convocation of Education Summit in Ebonyi State.
u. Introduction of our dialects in the curriculum of our primary and secondary schools.
v. Payment of priority attention to school safety and security.
w. Teaching of Sciences and Technology in Igbo language.
x. Ensuring that no child of Ebonyi State will be out of school for any reason.
y. Reviving Public Schools to compete with private schools anywhere in Nigeria.
z. Building of Aeronautical Engineering school in Ezza.
aa. Building of University of ICT, Science and Technology in Offerekpe, Izzi.
Where We Are In Health
There is an infrastructural overhaul of the three tiers of healthcare delivery in Ebonyi State.
Some of them are, the virology centre, a world class referral hospital with centres of excellence –
the David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences and Teaching Hospital, Uburu and the thirteen
(13) general hospitals, including the magnificent new FETHA complex.
In full cognizance that Health is wealth, my administration shall be committed to improve healthcare
delivery in the State, through:
a. Re-establishment of Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
b. Improvement of service delivery in the general hospitals.
c. Staffing and equipping of the existing primary healthcare
development agencies to enhance quality services.
d. Strengthening midwife service scheme.
e. Introduction of regular free medical outreaches and health care awareness campaign, especially in underserved areas.
f. Collaboration with health care professionals, faith-based
organizations and development partners in healthcare delivery.
g. Enhancement of capacity of health care professionals through
exchange programs and trainings.
h. Introduction of medical volunteer service scheme to support health care delivery in the State.
i. Provision of Government Community health scheme for the less
privileged and vulnerable ones.
j. Supporting Ebonyi State Health Insurance Scheme.
k. Provision of Health insurance scheme for Ebonyians of 80 years and above.
Where We Are In Agriculture
The State policy of one-man one-hectare has contributed to food security in the State. Agriculture
has been promoted as the commonest second address in Ebonyi State.
We will further develop our Agricultural system through practical farming. Being an agrarian state
with arable land, favourable climate for Agriculture and hardworking farming population, the vision
of my administration is to adopt a practical approach to Agricultural productivity to increase food
production for security, job creation and livelihood, through:
a. Provision of Agricultural inputs and services to PRACTICING FARMERS.
b. Revitalization of Agricultural Extension Services to farmers to provide them with modern farming techniques.
c. Support farmers with agro-processing and value chain services, such as food packaging, preservation, and marketing.
d. Promotion of Graduate Agricultural scheme.
e. Restoring the dignity of Agriculture through school and demonstration farm project, at all levels.
f. Revitalization of veterinary institutions and services across the senatorial zones.
g. Re-activation of Nkaliki poultry farm and Ezzamgbo farm complex.
h. Strengthening of Farmers Cooperative Societies.
i. Deepening of one-man one-hectare Agricultural scheme.
j. Providing soft loans to Farmers in Ebonyi State.
k. Establishment of a composite Commission where farmers products are purchased by Government.
4. EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
Where We Are In Ease of Doing Business
A basic condition for businesses to thrive is security. In Ebonyi State, the introduction of
24 hours lightning of the streets has greatly improved security of business and longer hours
of business operations in the State.
I am aware that the business community is a critical partner in the development of every society.
Conscious of the need to provide a favourable business climate, my administration will:
a. Establish a Business Community Forum for regular review of business activities in Ebonyi State.
b. Harmonize and liberalize taxation.
c. Eliminate third parties in the revenue collection mechanism.
d. Provide enabling environment to attract local and direct foreign investments.
e. Enhancement of the business environment for job and wealth creation.
5. CIVIL AND PUBLIC SERVICE
Civil and Public Services are the backbone for the implementation of Government programs
and policies. These core segments of the population will form critical partners to drive
the development agenda of my administration. We will achieve this through:
a. Ensuring regular promotion of workers and prompt payment of salaries, pensions, and gratuities.
b. Provision of employment opportunities.
c. Provision of incentives to motivate workers.
d. Partnership with senior citizens to mentor civil and public servants.
e. Expansion of housing schemes for workers.
f. Training and retraining of the State workforce for improved service delivery.
6. HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT/WELFARE OF EBONYIANS
I am convinced that developing human capital is the surest route to empowering citizens
and adding value to our economy; and that a well- ordered society is a function of
reformed minds. My administration shall commit to growing a large number of skilled
and knowledgeable citizens with attitudinal formations, through:
a. Establishment of the directorate of attitudinal change and discipline.
b. Profiling and empowerment of skilled citizens whose products and services
will be needed both within and outside the State.
c. Promotion of vocational and technical education for skills enhancement.
d. Partnership with local technologists and fabricators (artisans).
e. Strengthening of Micro, Small and Medium Scale enterprises (MSMSEs).
f. Paying due attention to the wellbeing of the people (‘Stomach infrastructure’).
g. Improvement of Ebonyi State Transport System and Services.
7. WOMEN AND CHILD CARE
Where We Are In Women And Child Care
In other to ensure adequate protection of the rights of Women and the Girl Child,
Ebonyi State has passed the Child Right Law, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition
Law and end female genital mutilation – FGM. The State, as well, has a tremendous percentage
of Women in Government positions.
My administration will further run a gender sensitive Government, while sustaining the
protection of the rights of the Girl Child, through:
a. Increase in women participation in politics and governance.
b. Prohibition of Gender-Based Violence.
c. Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
d. Promotion of Free maternal and child health care.
e. Support girl child education.
f. Promotion of marriage and family support programmes.
8. WATER SUPPLY
Water is life and my administration shall be committed to increase provision and access
to quality water supply through:
a. Reactivation of existing water schemes across the State.
b. Reticulation of water to rural and urban areas.
c. Provision of regular water supply in the State.
9. SOLID MINERALS
Ebonyi State is richly blessed with abundant mineral resources, such as lead, zinc,
salt, limestone, etc., spread across the various Local Government Areas.
My administration shall:
a. Strengthen existing solid mineral policy to enhance investment opportunities.
b. Enhance host community participation in mineral exploration and ensure optimal benefits to the people.
c. Protect host communities from environmental hazards, arising from solid minerals exploration and exploitation.
d. Establishment of solid mineral processing factories.
10. INTERNAL SECURITY
Where We Are In Internal Security
The State has consistently employed alternative conflict resolution mechanism, in providing
solutions to crisis. One of the highlights of the State’s Internal Security architecture is
the establishment of Ebubeagu Security Outfit and community policing to protect lives and
properties, in conjunction with other security agencies and the provision of Security
Facilities, CCTVs and Infrastructural rehabilitations.
We will improve greatly in this sector, knowing fully well that the security of lives
and property is the primary responsibility of Government. In recognition of growing
security threats in our society, my administration will prioritize internal security
in Ebonyi State through:
a. Establishment of community security forum.
b. Establishment of Ebonyi State Boundary and Reconciliation Commission to
delineate intra-state boundaries, reconcile, reconstruct and rehabilitate conflict areas.
c. Improvement of internal security based on community watch.
d. Strengthening the existing vigilante groups to partner with security agencies.
e. Peace building and conflict resolution.
f. Improving the quality services of Ebubeagu Security Outfit.
11. ALTERNATIVE POWER
Where We Are In Power
‘Light and crime are in conflict’ – Ebonyi State introduced operation illuminate Ebonyi
streets and roads, to fight crime and insecurity. The provision of Street Lights in
Ebonyi State has increased safety, night life and business operations, with reduced crime rate.
I am aware that energy is a critical resource for industrial and overall socio- economic
development of any society. My administration will leverage on the ongoing amendment of the
power generation act, to provide alternative power supply in Ebonyi State, through:
a. Partnership with energy investors to provide alternative power supply for industrial and domestic use.
b. Deployment of alternate power supply (solar farm, etc.) to power street and traffic lights and other uses.
c. Renewable energy.
d. Re-introduction of rural electrification programme to energize our communities.
e. Introduction of gas generators to power most of our facilities like the Government House, Shopping Mall, Airport, etc.
12. ICT AND SMART CITY
Life and services in the contemporary world are driven by digital technology. My administration
shall mainstream digital technology in service delivery, through:
a. The establishment of ICT Directorate.
b. The expansion of training of public and civil servants in ICT.
c. Provision of free internet services in public institutions.
d. Installation of digital surveillance systems in strategic areas in the State.
e. Strengthening of road security in the State, through digitalization.
Where We Are In Environment
Ebonyi State is adjudged one of the neatest States across the Nation. This is due to the State’s
proactiveness and intentional policies to ensure that her citizens enjoy a healthy environment.
An environmental friendly society is a requisite for productivity and healthy living.
In recognition of the challenges created by climate change and other environmental hazards,
my administration shall:
a. Recruit and deploy more environmental health workers to drive Ebonyi State environmental policies.
b. Establish Ebonyi State Waste Management Agency.
c. Revitalize waste recycling system for wealth creation.
d. Partner with environmental protection agencies and the organized private sector for improved performance.
e. Sustain flood and erosion control programs.
f. Promote Green Ebonyi Initiative.
14. SPORTS AND YOUTHS DEVELOPMENT
Where We Are In Sports And Youths Development
Ebonyi State now boasts of a solid foundation for Sports and Youths Development
with the re-construction of Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, the ongoing Olympic
Stadium, school sporting competitions and empowerment programs.
Sporting activities promote mental and physical development, social entertainment,
unity, and economic gains. To this effect, my administration shall:
a. Partner with sports investors to establish male soccer team for Ebonyi State.
b. Promote grassroots sports development in schools and non-school communities.
c. Establish Ebonyi State Sports Academy.
d. Strengthen the State annual sports festival and competitions.
e. Complete the ongoing Olympic Stadium to boost sports development in the State.
15. CULTURE AND TOURISM
Culture and Tourism is a viable sector that my administration seeks to harness.
This is in addition to promoting our cultural identity and leisure. We will achieve
a. Introduction of annual State wide cultural festival.
b. Identification, development, and marketing of exiting tourist sites in Ebonyi State.
c. Promotion of our indigenous language and culture.
d. Establishment of Ebonyi State cultural centre to house museums and archives.
e. Revitalization of parks and recreation centres.
16. HOUSING AND ESTATE
Housing is acknowledged as a basic human need, to that effect, my administration shall:
a. Re-establish Ebonyi State Housing Development Corporation.
b. Establish a master plan for the coordination of environmental
friendly estate development.
c. Partner with Federal Housing Authority and the organized private sector to provide affordable housing in Ebonyi State.
17. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE
17. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE
Where We Are In Infrastructure Development
Ebonyi State has become a reference point for all things innovative and solid in infrastructure. We introduced the concept of concrete pavement in infrastructure and constructed over 1500km roads on concrete pavement. The Ebonyi International Airport - The biggest International Airport in Nigeria is near completion. Over 15 twin flyovers completed and numerous roundabouts with water fountains to boost tourism, completed. We have the biggest and most beautiful Government House in Africa, to add to the dignity and status of the young State. There is the Ebonyi Mall – A Dubai Model Mall, completed and in use. Equally, the St. Margaret Umahi International Market, completed with subsidiaries in the Local Government Areas.
These are huge economic drivers and foundations for the upward growth of Ebonyi State.
My administration envisions consolidation and sustenance of existing infrastructure in the State and develop a policy that will be cost-saving, effective and efficient, through:
a. Strengthening of Infrastructure management and maintenance policy for the State.
b. Establishment of a maintenance unit in each ministry, department, and agency of Ebonyi State Government.
c. Exploration of alternative energy sources for the maintenance and expansion of the streetlights.
d. Partnership with communities and end-users of existing infrastructure to protect them from vandalization.
e. Expansion of rural and urban infrastructure.
18. RELIGIOUS AND WELFARE
The Body of Christ, His Church, has remained the foundation of our successes in Ebonyi State. Our visions,
missions, and actions are a product of Divine Mandate. As such, our administration will continue to anchor our
roadmaps on the precepts of God to serve His people, through:
a. Sustaining the relationship between the Government of Ebonyi State and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
b. Sustaining the relationship between the Government of Ebonyi State and Divine Mandate Pastors.
c. Ensuring adequate welfare of our Men of God.
19. ROADS AND BRIDGES
Ebonyi State has become a reference point for the best road network in Nigeria. Today, we are known as
the first State to set the pace in employing concrete pavement for our road infrastructures – a feat of
50 years guarantee. We have constructed over 1500km roads on concrete pavement. The present administration
has not just built legacy roads but breath-taking flyovers, making the right of way easier and better.
These road infrastructures are driven to improve the safety of our people and for
the benefit of all road users.
To ensure the improvement and sustenance of our road infrastructure policies, our administration shall:
a. Expand our road infrastructures to rural areas.
b. Employ global road technology to safeguard our roads and strengthen our economy.
c. Strengthen our resolve in connecting our communities and improving the transportation of Agricultural produce through building of bridges.
d. Introduction of flyovers at other strategic points in the State to further complement the magnificent ones done by the present administration.
e. Cost-effective maintenance of the road infrastructures in place.
20. COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The present Government has laid solid foundations and created and in- road to turn Ebonyi State
into a Commercial Hub to link the South East Nigeria with the Northern Nigeria, Calabar and Port
Harcourt Sea Ports and also part of Cameroun. The International Airport in Ebonyi State and the
major connecting road network in the State shall facilitate Commercialization. The location of
St. Magareth Umahi International Market along Trans-Sahara Highway and the African Biggest
Shopping Mall shall allow for Inter-Regional & Inter-African Nations Businesses and Commerce.
The State has as well established three (3) Industrial Zones in the State as a commitment to
encouraging rapid Industrialization in the State.
My Administration shall:
a. Search and admit more business moguls of repute to invest in our commercial facilities.
b. Partner with business people to establish their subsidiaries in Ebonyi State.
c. Empower Ebonyi People with business talents and ideas within and across the nation to develop themselves and boost our economy.
d. Ensure that Ebonyi People who are into importation shall use the State as their point of distribution of their Goods
e. Commit to actualization of Industrialization and upsurge of Companies in the State through public-private partnership.
f. Promote the manufacture of basic consumables of the people in the State within the realities of demand.
g. Promote the purchase, usage and export of our local content.
h. Reactivate Ebonyi State Pipe Production Company.
Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru Honourable Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and All Progressives Congress (APC) Gubernatorial Candidate of Ebonyi State.