Signs that Governor Hope Uzodimma is heading for coronation rather than election in November 11 became clearer on Wednesday when a body of key political stakeholders in Imo, operating as Imo Social Contract Group, formally endorsed and adopted him as the preferred candidate for the governorship election in Imo State.
The adoption which took place at the Landmark Event Centre New Owerri saw the members of the ISCG speaking up on the Governor’s sterling performance in the past three years and nine months of being in the saddle.
The Convener of the group, Dr. Fabian Ihekweme told the audience that the members have resolved to challenge themselves through a “social contract platform that guarantees sustainable democracy that holds government not only responsible but accountable.”
He said that the membership of ISCG cuts across people from PDP, APGA, Imo Reality Mass Movement, the Elite Group and others, and that all the members were in agreement that Governor Uzodimma should be endorsed and adopted for a second tenure.
His words: “The decision is born out of the Governor’s germane stride to grow the State’s economy, reduce poverty, and create jobs for the development of Imo State.
“The group has seen the need to build public confidence around a tested and trusted Governorship candidate as is found in Governor Hope Uzodimma.”
Dr. Ihekweme noted that “the road revolution, youth empowerment, skills acquisition and technological know-how by the Governor even in the face of insecurity have gone a long way to reform Imo State.”
At the gathering, the members did not only pass a vote of confidence through a resolution, but affirmed, endorsed and adopted Governor Uzodimma for a second tenure.
They pledged their commitment to ensure the Governor gets massive votes from the electorate in Imo State come November 11.
A surprised but grateful Governor Uzodimma in his response thanked the members for the decision they have taken to join him to rebuild Imo where education, healthcare delivery, road infrastructure and entrepreneurship will thrive.
He said that by their coming together, they are helping to build a consensus “where Imo people will be their brother’s keeper and there will be no more violence and destruction in the name of politics.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated that his reason for coming into office was to “change the narrative through good infrastructure that will ensure avoidable deaths, establish a medical programme that is not only available but also affordable.”
He emphasised again that he has come to serve.
“Imo is a State created by God and God has been very merciful to the people and nobody will be able to sink the State.”
He promised to work with the Group to recover Imo State, noting that “the evil men and women of the State must change because the evil that men do now will live with them and those funding atrocities in the society will never go unpunished because whatever an individual sows such he will reap.”
He thanked God for opening the eyes and minds of Imo people to know those that love Imo and those that hate them.
Governor Uzodimma said it is still a puzzle that in 24 years of democracy in Nigeria, those who call themselves leaders could not do a good road from Owerri to Orlu, Owerri to Okigwe and Owerri to Umuahia, “rather they embarked on primitive acquisition of wealth, living the entire citizenry to wallow in abject poverty, diseases and hopelessness.”
He promised that those defrauding Imo State will surely go to jail, adding that ‘’a clear conscious fears no accusation because the battle is of the Lord.”
Governor Uzodimma expressed joy that the Imo Social Contract Group is made up of genuine men and women who are sincere and ready to help build Imo of our dream.
He said as the Governor of Imo State he has managed the State’s resources prudently as can be seen in the use of the 13 per cent derivation funds to build three brand new state of the art General Hospitals, just as he promised to bring medical healthcare to the door steps of the people.
He reminded the Group that God will reward the members for the decision they had taken to support his aspiration and work for the good of Imo.
On his promise to take 4,000 youths of Imo State to Europe and Canada, he said that it will come to reality while “the result will shame the propagandists and the doubting Thomas’s because in the same way, they doubted the possibility of sending 1,000 Christians on pilgrimage and 200 Muslims to hajj.”
“They equally doubted our ability to achieve the construction of Owerri/Orlu, Owerri/Okigwe and Owerri/Umuahia roads,” he said and noted that he has come to serve God and his people.
The Governor insists that he is not worried by propaganda and campaign of calumny “because by the Skill-Up Projects, the target is to teach Imo people how to fish instead of giving them fish.”
He used the opportunity to announce that his Government has admitted the 40,000 registered for cohort 3 and that they will be graduating in the next four months.
Governor Uzodimma condemned in strongest terms those involved in killing for whatever reasons and promised neither to join in doing such devilish thing nor will he ever stain his hands to get power.
But he promised that under his watch the evil men will not have a place to operate in Imo or get the power they crave for in a wrong way.
In his welcome remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Frank Ozor said that the ISCG belongs to various support groups and other political parties outside of the APC members.
He said they “have come to endorse the Governor for a second tenure having observed that the Governor has all the qualities needed to add value to the lives of Imo people.”
Prof Ozor eulogized the Governor’s infrastructure and human resources development initiatives, saying that “the Skill-Up Imo Technology project is the first of its kind because it will bring in investment, income multiplier, job creation and entrepreneurship,”
He said having looked at all these including the healthcare provisions by the 3R government they “decided in unison to tell the world that Hope Uzodimma will go again.”
The Governor was accompanied to the programme by his Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, some members of the State’s Expanded Executive and two APC Apex leaders in the State, Chief Tony Chukwu and Dr TOE Ekechi respectively.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor