Tbilisi/Anatolia

Nigerian-born Arens Richard Ogbonnogo, who is running for mayor of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, aims to attract foreign investment to the city if he wins the October 2 elections.

For the first time in Georgia’s history, an African man will compete with other politicians for the position of mayor of Tbilisi in the October 2 elections.

According to the statement published on the official website of the Central Election Commission of Georgia at the end of last August, the opposition “United Georgia” party nominated “Ogbongo”, who holds Georgian citizenship, for the post of mayor of Tbilisi.

Ogbonogo, a businessman, became the focus of the local and foreign press.

Fluent in Georgian, Ogbonogo started his business life in Georgia selling perfumes, then selling used vehicles and spare parts, and currently owns several companies.

Speaking to Anatolia on Saturday, he explained that he had spent about 25 years of his life in Georgia.

He stated that he left his country for the first time in order to learn about foreign cultures, after the death of his mother and brother in 1995 in Nigeria, where he was born and raised.

He indicated that he visited many countries, including Turkey, and moved to Georgia in 1996.

He explained that he obtained Georgian citizenship 4 years ago, adding: “I live here like Georgians and think like them.”

He pointed out that people in Nigeria called him the “king of the Igbo tribe” (an ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria) years ago.

He added that he decided to enter politics in Georgia and that he was doing his best to become the mayor of Tbilisi in the local elections.

He continued, “I am not a politician but an ordinary businessman, I use public transportation daily, I live among people and I know what they want.”

He said that the previous and current governments have implemented very important projects and effective activities for the capital, Tbilisi.

He continued, “There is a problem of employment, and as a businessman I want to go into politics to solve this problem.”

He stated that he knows many businessmen who bring foreign investment to Tbilisi and that he wants to make the city more attractive to foreign investors.
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