The 655 president generals of all the town unions from the 27 local government areas in Imo State on Thursday passed a vote of confidence in Governor Hope Uzodimma, promising to support him all the way in his efforts to make Imo a better place for the citizens.
They gave their words at the Eze Imo Palace, Mbari Street, Owerri when they joined all the traditional rulers and Sole Administrators to meet with Governor Uzodimma on how to deal with the recurring
security situation in Imo State.
Addressing them, the Governor said that the meeting became necessary as government cannot continue to fight insecurity alone without sincere contributions from the Traditional Rulers and President Generals who are the custodians of tradition and culture as well as leaders of the various communities in Imo State.
His words: “Communities don’t own themselves. In other words, Communities are owned by the Traditional Rulers and Town Union Presidents who complement each other to keep the peace in the Communities.”
Expressing dismay over happenings in the South East and Imo State in particular the Governor urged them to, “take stock of their actions and inactions and come out with a decision either to have a peaceful Imo State or crisis Imo State.’’
Governor Uzodimma recalled with nostalgia how Imo people are being killed, slaughtered, cannibalized, roasted and eaten by bandits, emphasizing that “there is no tradition all over the world that supports killing of people. Therefore, the time to stop the killings in Imo State is now.”
The Governor urged the Traditional Rulers and President Generals to rise up to the occasion on happenings in their domain, noting that “it is not only government that can dethrone traditional rulers, the gods can dethrone a traditional ruler hence the need to take up the challenge.”
“Everything is not politics because politics will come and go and traditional institutions will remain,” he said and urged the Traditional Rulers to be courageous “as only courageous people can rise to the throne of a traditional ruler.”
Drawing their attention to the issue of sit-at-home on the day of election, the Governor described the statement as “nonsense, because those who are paying for such statements to be dished out are neither friends of the Igbos nor have the South East in their good books.”
The Governor expressed worry in situations where traditional rulers have been harassed, wounded and even killed, yet their colleagues could not condemn the act and wondered who else will condemn the act if not them.
“Why should we allow our heritage to be destroyed? We must rise, get up and play our role as leaders of the communities.”
He reminded the traditional rulers in particular to reflect over what people will say of them when they are no longer on the throne, saying that “no matter the number of years you stay on the throne or lead your communities as President Generals, at the end what matters most is what you will be remembered for.”
On the election taking place on Saturday, the Governor reminded the traditional rulers that democracy is about the people and that they should go home and bring out their people to vote.
“As you do that, you are only working to make your people look like others across Nigeria.”
The Governor assured them that he cannot sit by, fold his hands and allow Imo State slip off having sworn to an oath to protect the lives and property of Imo people.
He however thanked some traditional rulers who have shown genuine commitment, including speaking out on the inhuman developments and killings in the states.
Welcoming the Governor, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Rubby Emele said that the traditional rulers were gathered to take primary information from him, and the President Generals as foot soldiers of the Community Developments in Imo State.
While commending the Governor on his giant strides in the State, Local Government and Communities, Mrs. Emele prayed the audience to exercise patience and carefully listen to the Governor on why they were invited to the meeting.
Earlier, the Chairman Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Emmanuel Okeke, welcomed the Governor on behalf of his colleagues and thanked him for giving them a sense of belonging in his administration.
The monarchs individually and collectively expressed gratitude over the Governors infrastructural development in Imo State and urged him to keep it up.
In his remarks, the President Imo State Council of Community Town Unions, Omuruka Kingsley Chigozie of Obile Autonomous Community in Ohaji/Egbema LGA eulogized the governor over his several achievements in the state in the past three and half years.
He specifically mentioned the road infrastructure, fight against insecurity, and recognition of President Generals in his government, to the extent of paying them monthly allowances, and on behalf of his colleagues, promised their unalloyed and total support.
He concluded his remarks by raising a motion on vote of confidence in the governor which was unanimously supported by all the President Generals in Imo State.