Imo State indigenes have passed a vote of confidence in their Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, convinced that he has performed creditably well in the face of daunting challenges
The vote of confidence was moved and passed at a Stakeholders/Luncheon Meeting held at the Government House Owerri on Tuesday. It was also an opportunity for the Governor to inform his audience that he would not remove his eyes from the ball regardless of challenges which he said were not insurmountable.
Governor Uzodimma equally reminded former Governor Rochas Okorocha that it was high time he realised that he, Uzodimma, is now the Governor and should be allowed to answer the name.
The stakeholders meeting, according to a statement by Oguwike Nwachuku, Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor, was the fifth in the series since Governor Uzodimma assumed the mantle of leadership in Imo State on January 15, 2020.
Giving account of his stewardship to the mammoth crowd of Imo people across party lines who filled the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers, the Governor reiterated that he has remained committed to providing good governance to Imo people, but regretted that some elements from the State have been working underground to undermine his good intentions.
However, he said he was optimistic he cannot be distracted because, ” My eyes will continuously be on the ball.”
Governor Uzodimma’s report card to the Stakeholders covers all aspects of his programmes such as rejuvenated public sector workforce, the 2022 budget, road infrastructure, revenue generation, agriculture, tourism, housing, education, commerce and Industry, health, land administration, administration of justice/rule of law, social development, local government administration, youth empowerment and skills acquisition and security.
At the last count, 34 roads awarded by the government of Governor Uzodimma have been completed and commissioned, 54 undergoing construction, 51 currently under massive maintenance while signing of contract for the award of new ones is ready.
Governor Uzodimma regretted the distortion of the Owerri Master plan which he said his administration has started recovering and advised those involved in the act, including those buying property from government reserved places, to desist as his government will recover such property no matter who is involved.
He reported that the government has effectively taken over the Kingsley O Mbadiwe University in Ogboko which was mischievously acquired by a former Governor as a private university after using public funds to do so while in office.
On health, the Governor lauded the efforts made to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Imo State and other interventions by his administration, including the rehabilitation of 305 health centres across the state, to ensure that Imo people live healthy, but warned that the Delta and Omicron variants of the pandemic require that the people continue to observe all the protocols, including vaccination of the booster jab.
His words: “We have made giant strides in the health sector through the provision of basic medical services in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Health areas.”
According to the Governor, security has posed a lot of challenges to his administration, particularly after the illegal freeing of over 1800 inmates from the Owerri Correctional Services.
“The criminals released from the Correctional Services Centre reintegrated into the society and began to terrorise people in different parts of the state. People’s heads were chopped off at will and displayed at market squares as if they were ornaments for sale….
“However, while all these were going on, little did we know that there was a group of criminals who had advanced criminality to a cannibalistic level…This is the height of abomination in Igboland…The good news is that we have rounded up the criminals and they are now in the custody of the law enforcement authorities.”
Governor Uzodimma said that government has repeatedly maintained that some of the security breaches were politically contrived and that the position was based on intelligence at the disposal of government.
“As the Igbo saying goes, when a child is crying and pointing at a particular direction, it is because either his father or mother is there.
“It is noteworthy that this is based on the confessional statements and substantial evidence provided by the suspected criminals and cannibals who are now in custody.”
Governor Uzodimma pointedly told the Stakeholders to tell Okorocha to allow him do his work as Imo Governor because he is not the only former Governor of Imo State.
He once more sued for peace as the panacea for Imo to make progress and urged all to join hands with him to realise the Imo State of our dream.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of the event, Chief Leo-Stan Eke who is the founder of Zinox Computers said Governor Uzodimma has done well for Imo.
He said rather than indulge in acts that would undermine and distract the Governor, Imo people should join hands with him to develop the state.
Eke said: “Let us not join hands to destroy the only state we have. Let us not be a laughing stock in the comity of states. Any man who is against his State or home is a fool. As we fight here, other economies outside are growing. There should be change of heart by those who are making Imo State ungovernable. What this stakeholders meeting to me signifies is a new beginning.”
To demonstrate his continuous love for Imo, Eke pledged to build and equip an ICT Centre in Owerri where lecturers, graduates and others would be properly trained to serve the society better.
Different personalities spoke to commend Governor Uzodimma for keeping to his promise to work for Imo despite all odds.
They include opposition political party member, Dan Nwanyanwu, who said Governor Uzodimma’s efforts at recovering property meant for Imo people has guaranteed him the support of all Imolites. He moved a motion for a vote of confidence in Governor Uzodimma which was seconded by Dr. Mrs. Dorathy Nnaji, Chairman of Imo State Chapter of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and supported by the Stakeholders.
Also, former speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Dike said he scored Governor Uzodimma above 80 percent and proceeded to move another motion that the Stakeholders meeting becomes statutory and compulsory as a way of governments rendering account to the governed.
The Governor plans to send an executive bill to the house on that.
Dikeocha’s motion was seconded by House of Representatives member, Princess Miriam Onuoha and accordingly approved by the Stakeholders.
Other key Imo personalities who spoke include Onyeka Onwenu. She lauded Governor Uzodimma on infrastructure and level of commitment to duty without caring much about criticisms, but appealed to the government to do more in the entertainment sector because of the potential it has to employ more youths.
Chief Eng. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, retired banker and member of the Imo Economic Summit Group, Dr. CNC Nwachukwu, Chief Greg Mbadiwe among others commended Governor Uzodimma for an outstanding performance within a short period in office and collectively sued for peace for the government to do more.
Ohakim, for instance, said Governor Uzodimma has been accepted by both Imo people and Nigerians and that the more than 90 percent recorded in the attendance at the Stakeholders meeting speaks eloquently about how extremely well the Governor has performed.
He said it is only in Imo that more than 50 percent of the people abuse their Governor and he takes it calmly even with all the powers available to him, saying that it is an indication that Governor Uzodimma is an exceptional human being.
“Anyone saying he will make Imo ungovernable is attacking all of us,” Chief Iwuanyanwu rounded off.