The Umuokane community in Ohaji area of Imo State erupted in jubilation on Thursday when Governor Hope Uzodimma was at the place to commission a 42-bed brand new ultra modern General Hospital he built for them as part of his commitment to their wellbeing.
As the people – men, women and children – jubilated, they spared a thought over Governor Uzodimma whom they said has shown much love to them, vowing to pay him back with their block votes come November 11, 2023 when the governorship election will take place.
It was an occasion that also afforded the Governor the opportunity to congratulate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Court in relation to his February 25 Presidential election that he won convincingly.
Governor Uzodimma said that the tribunal only reaffirmed the earlier victory of President Tinubu as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Addressing the community members of Umuokane, including their traditional rulers and key political leaders who turned up in their numbers to witness the commissing, Governor Uzodimma who described himself as one of them noted that the time to appreciate communities God has endowed with natural resources has come.
Governor Uzodimma told the community that his administration takes seriously the health and other infrastructure seriously, noting that he is a governor who believes in teaching the citizens how to catch fish instead of dashing them fish.
Governor Uzodimma declared that his government is determined to change the narrative in the oil producing areas of Imo State through prudent deployment of the 13% derivation meant for oil bearing communities as provided in the 1999 Constitution.
His words: “The hospital is fully paid for… Tomorrow (Friday), we are commissioning exactly the same in Oguta local government, and thereafter, we will also commission same in Oru East local government.
“We have decided to work with the Church – the medical unit of the Anglican Church.The Reverend Sisters and Medical Doctors from the Church will work here together with other doctors.”
The Governor reminded the people that the hospital was constructed and equipped by the Imo State Government through the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
He also said that the hospital is well furnished with modern medical equipment.
Governor Uzodimma said: “This hospital is fully paid for from the 13% derivation allocation. In this hospital the only equipment that is not here are the equipment that are meant for tertiary hospitals and it is deliberate because I want tertiary hospitals to deal with only referrals.”
He added that the hospital has 24 hours power supply and encouraged the people to see to the protection of the facilities and human capital available to the hospital.
He however thanked the people of Ohaji -Egbema for embracing him as their son, assuring them that he will not “mismanage their resources,” but will rather “change the narrative.”
Governor Uzodimma added: “It is the plan of God to make the three local governments of Ohaji-Egbema, Oguta and Oru East oil and gas producing areas, so in the destiny of God, there is no room for envy.”
He regretted that over the years, since the creation of ISOPADEC, there has not been anything to show in the affected oil bearing communities for their God given natural resources apart from the pejorative appellation of the area as home of miscreants and promised to change the narrative.
Concerned that the Umuokane General Hospital may be a bit far from their neighbouring Egbema community, Governor Uzodimma promised to replicate the hospital in Ohaji at Egbema due to the vastness of the area.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of ISOPADEC Board, HRH Eze (Professor) Dele Amuzienwa Odigbo said that by building the new hospital, the Governor has “provided affordable health care facilities for both preventive and curative medical services to the host communities.”
Eze Odigbo commended Governor Uzodimma for his doggedness, pragmatism and creativity which he said “has yielded great results in the transformation of Imo State.”
“How many lions will be killed by a hunter before he will be called a killer of lions (Ogbuagu)?” “We all know that it is just one lion. Unlike the hunter, His Excellency Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodimma has done numerous projects for Imolites especially people of Ohaji Egbema,” he said, adding that the people will compensate the Governor with their votes in November 11 to ensure he continues with the good work he is doing in the State.
The Managing Director and CEO of ISOPADEC, Chief Charles Orie also poured encomia on Governor Uzodimma for backing and making the work of the management seamless.
Orie said that the hospital has reinforced the love the Ohaji community has for the Governor and his administration and appealed to his kit and kin to get ready to reelect Governor Uzodimma in November.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Proper Success-Ohayagha in his remarks thanked Governor Uzodimma for investing hugely in the health sector in Imo State, particularly the primary health care, adding that most sicknesses that challenge the people have their origin at the local level.
Governor Uzodimma thereafter inspected the facilities in the hospital before being hosted to a town hall meeting with the Umuokane stakeholders at their community hall which he also promised to rebuild for the people.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor
September 7, 2023.