Governor Hope Uzodimma has described the late former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Ebere Udeagu, as a real statesman who served the people and the state faithfully.
Governor Uzodimma spoke on Saturday while paying his last respect to the former Deputy Governor, alongside members of the Imo State expanded executive council, when Udeagu laid in state at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chamber Government House Owerri.
At the end of the brief ceremony, the Governor said he was personally present to receive his body, on behalf of the government and people of Imo State, “because Udeagu was a man who served Imo State diligently, with total commitment, and indeed a man of faith who resisted all temptations while he was in office.”
Governor Uzodimma added: “The late Deputy Governor persevered, tolerated everything that was capable of provoking any human being on earth, yet had hope in God. He is a real statesman who committed to the interest of the State and the Country.”
Governor Uzodimma informed that when he assumed office in 2020, “Udeagu was one of the few Imo leaders who came and showed commitment, expressed interest on the need to develop Imo State and eschewed every ill-feeling that was not going to help Imo State.”
“My respect for him will never diminish.’’
The Governor expressed how painful he feels receiving the same man with a lot of passion for the State and Country in a lifeless state unexpectedly, noting that “Almighty God who knows the best will take control.”
On behalf of the government and people of Imo State, Governor Uzodimma assured that the government will work out how best to “immortalise’’ the deceased as a way of acknowledging his role in the development of the State, adding that his lying in state at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chamber shows that he served the State, hence he will continually be a Stakeholder even while in death.
While promising that the State Government will continue to maintain cordial relationship with Udeagu’s family, he urged all Imo people to join the government in honouring a “great man” by giving him a befitting burial just as he prayed for the repose of his soul until we meet to part no more.
A leader from the country home of the deceased and a former member of Imo State House of Assembly, Ngozi Ogbu, who spoke on behalf of the Udeagu family, thanked the Governor profusely for his support towards giving the late Deputy Governor a befitting burial and for being physically present at the lying-in-state ceremony, and prayed for long life for him.
The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Emeka Nduka, the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmos Iwu and members of the Imo State Expanded Executive Council were present at the lying-in-state of Udeagu.
Also in attendance were a former Deputy Governor of the State, Douglas Acholonu, former Speakers of Imo State House of Assembly among others.