By Jennifer John
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has revealed the plans of the state government to compensate families who lost their loved ones during the recent security challenge in Imo.
The governor made this revelation in his review of the state address to Imo stakeholders, during meeting on Saturday, at the Ndi Eze Imo palace, Owerri
The governor said, “Government in its wisdom, understands the collateral damage many of the citizens suffered and would with time, roll out programmes to address the effect of such on the good people of Imo State.
“The good news is that Imo State is now safe, secure, willing and able to contain future threats, all to the glory of God.
“Unfortunately, some of the security operatives paid the supreme sacrifice in the process. Some of our people also died in the course of achieving this peace. I have already responded on your behalf to assist their families to cushion the trauma of their deaths.
He used the opportunity to enumerate some of the achievements of his government which included raising the state monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N600M monthly to over N1B monthly.
The revamping of the Civil Service in Imo State, roads and roundabout revolution programme,
landmark achievements in the area of education that include the establishment of the new University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the recovery of former Eastern Palm University, now K.O. Mbadiwe University, the new Federal Technical College in Umuaka Orlu.
Also enumerated by the governor included; reactivation of the Otamiri Water Scheme and ongoing rehabilitation of; Eke Nguru Mbaise Water Scheme and the Orlu regional water schemes, drilling of 30 solar powered boreholes in different communities in the state.
Continuing the governor mentioned that Adapalm in Ohaji/Egbema, the largest oil mill in West Africa, also abandoned for many years is now back on stream.
He equally mentioned the provision of advanced life support ambulances to all the 27 Local Government Areas, rebuilding and re-equipping of 305 health centres in the 305 INEC Wards, the mobile clinic arrangement, spent N8b, directly and through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Youth empowerment, among other numerous achievements of his administration.
The governor used the opportunity to plead with members of opposition in the state to be constructive in criticizing his administration.
“Criticism should be the weapon of opposition politics if we all understand that political party differences cannot be an alibi for sitting our dear state on keg of gunpowder”.
He equally used the opportunity to make public the plan of his government to revert to the Development Centre structure in his rural development agenda.
“Realization of the need to turn the local governments into engine room for the integrative development initiative of this government, informed of the decision to revive the Development Centres.
In the new arrangement, the Development Centres would operate in line with their nomenclature. Working together with the autonomous communities, they would identify the peculiar development needs of each autonomous community and in liaison with the people and the local government administration, work toward attending to those needs”
He reassured Imolites of his determination to bequeath enduring legacies to the state, saying, “Let me be very clear on this. I prayed fervently to God to make me the Governor of Imo State. I promised Him that if he made me the Governor I will use the opportunity to serve Imo people diligently and honestly, to improve their socio-economic wellbeing. God answered my prayers and made me governor and I cannot afford to disappoint Him”.
The governor also promised never to waiver in his determination to recover the common wealth of the state stolen and converted to private use by some past leaders, while promising never to use his position as governor to engage in primitive accumulation of wealth.
“This is why I want to reiterate before you that I did not become governor to become richer than the state after my tenure, but to serve you in truth and with the fear of God. This being so, I will leave no stone unturned in my efforts to recover all Imo peoples stolen wealth. I assure you that God is with us in that direction.
Reacting in their seperate speeches, some of the stakeholders; Chief E.C Iwuanyanwu, Dr. TOE Ekechi, Sir EJK Onyewuchi…,showered encomiums on the governor for his numerous achievements, especially the pragmatic manner he handled the recent security challenges.
They advised Imolites to be objective in judging the governor, taking into cognizance the challenges faced by the administration, from covid-19 pandemic, EndSARS protests, the recent security threats and the dwindling global revenue.
They said the governor has demonstrated courage, shown elastic capacity, sagacity, demonstrated selflessness, adding that he has a legendary history of empowering people that come in contact with him, long before becoming the governor, while urging him to do much more for the state.