President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State is already documenting his own history without knowing it going by the numerous infrastructural development projects linked to the Governor’s administration.
He made the comment during his official visit to Imo State on Tuesday, to commission three key signature projects embarked upon by Governor Uzodimma in less than years in office.
The projects included the dualised 35 kilometres Owerri-Orlu road, the first phase of the reconstructed 52 kilometres Owerri-Okigwe road and the rebuilt Imo House of Assembly Complex.
After commissioning and driving through the Owerri-Orlu road to Amaraku to also commission the first phase of Owerri-Okigwe road, President Buhari informed his audience during the unveiling that he had already told Governor Uzodimma on their way coming that he is “writing his own history in Imo State.”
President Buhari’s remarks at the unveiling of the rebuilt Imo State House of Assembly Complex was also savoury as he was full of commendations to the Governor for honouring the third arm of government with such befitting edifice.
Obviously pleased with all that he saw during the one day official visit, the President told a gathering of Imo and South East leaders of thought who came to receive him at a banquet in his honour at the Government House Owerri that the Federal Government under his watch will continue to support Imo State and other states to continue to provide dividends of democracy irrespective of the differences in political party affiliation.
The President who said he has no regrets visiting Imo State twice in less than one year commended Governor Uzodimma for making the construction of roads and critical infrastructure a top priority.
“A good road deserves a second passage.”
He said that “the importance of critical infrastructure in the development of the country cannot be over emphasized” and that “the APC governments at all levels are determined to use road infrastructure to drive the economic development of Nigeria.”
At the federal level the President pointed at such critical infrastructure as the Blue Sea Port, Network of Gas and Power Infrastructure, Improvement on Airport Terminals, Bridges and Roads (such as the Second Niger Bridge), Standard Gauge Railways, Telecommunication Infrastructure, and more.
He expressed happiness that Governor Uzodimma is doing similar things in Imo State and commended him for living up to expectations even with limited resources at the disposal of the State Governments.
His words: “It is only when a leader is dedicated and focused that he can achieve so much with very little in his disposal.”
President Buhari recalled that in his last visit to Imo State he encouraged Governor Uzodimma to continue to make his people happy through good governance and expressed happiness that the Governor took his advice and “today, Tuesday 13th September 2022 he has presented to me three key projects for commissioning.”
On the two flagship roads he commissioned, an excited President Buhari said “the roads that cover several Local Governments of the State will serve as major stimulants to the local economy and by extension the economy of Imo State.”
President Buhari who turned to the Governor and said “Bravo”, said henceforth he has nicknamed the Governor “Mr. Good Roads.”
Commenting on the rebuilt Imo State House of Assembly Complex he also commissioned earlier that was abandoned for years by past administrations, the President commended the Governor for embarking on the rehabilitation, noting that “the importance of the House of Assembly in the sustenance of democracy cannot be overemphasized.”
“By giving the Honourable Members a befitting place for their activities it is a form of according due respect to that Arm of Government,” he added and described the infrastructural programmes of Governor Uzodimma as “Infrastructural Revolution.”
A peep into what President Buhari wrote in the Governor’s Guest Register which he personally signed summarises his feeling.
His words: “This is my second official visit to Owerri in just one year, affirming my support for infrastructural development, as we see happening in Imo State. Without infrastructure, there can’t be sustainable development. I urge Governor Hope Uzodimma and his team to keep the flag fying. It’s the way to go. Ndewo!!!”
Before departing for Abuja, the President urged Imo people to continue to support Governor Uzodimma.
Earlier in his address, Governor Uzodimma who was elated on Mr. President’s visit in the face of detractors and distractions expressed gratitude to him for accepting to come and commission the projects which he said are dear to him.
The Governor said that the measure of these achievements is predicated on the fact that administrations before his own had abandoned the roads to the mercy of the citizens.
He then acknowledged that his administration’s ability to realize the projects were as a result of the support his government got from President Buhari.
Governor Uzodimma informed the President and the audience that his government has done more than 105 roads that are aimed at connecting various Communities to motorable roads in the State, adding that the Government of Shared Prosperity has recently flagged-off two new Federal Roads: the Owerri/Mbaise/Obowo/Umuahia road and the Orlu/Mgbee/Uruala/Akaokwa/Uga road, all of which can be described as “economic arteries of the State.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated that the goal of his administration is to leave Imo State far better than he met it, noting that he has refused to be distracted or succumb to social media blackmail, but instead continues to “concentrate on those things that improve the lives of Imo people.”
Recalling those unique benevolence of Mr. President to Imo State, the Governor mentioned the recent approval to move Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education to a University Status, to use Federal Medical Centre Owerri as a Teaching Hospital for FUTO, establishment of a Naval Base at Oguta and most importantly, the prompt intervention of Mr. President that helped to restore peace and security in Imo State.
Governor Uzodimma thanked him profoundly and said but for the intervention of the Armed Forces following the President’s directive “Imo State would have been over-run by bandits and criminals that invaded the State.”
Besides,the Governor expressed his sincere gratitude and that of Imo people to the President for the completion of the second Niger Bridge which has defiled attempts by past Federal Government administrations.
He highlighted the several infrastructure such as the upgrading of the Emene International Airport, Enugu/ Port Harcourt dual carriage expressway and others as projects Mr. President gave approval for and pledged that the people will continue to be grateful to him and his government.
The Governor reminded Mr. President that as a payback for all his magnanimity Imo will continue to offer full and undiluted loyalty, will continue to be law abiding to make it easy for Mr. President to govern Nigeria and that as Governor ‘’he will continue to serve Imo with utmost honesty, dedication, accountability and fear of God and on this he will not fail.”
Governor Uzodimma appreciated everyone that came from far and near and called on Imo people in particular to continue to support his government for better dividends of democracy.
In a goodwill message on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the President General, George Obiozor thanked the President for his encouragement and support to Imo State and South East Zone and reminded Buhari that the “Governor Uzodimma is indeed a committed and development focused administrator.”
Obiozor reassured Mr. President of Igbo commitment to the Nigerian Project and reiterated that “what the Igbos seek is justice, equity and fairness in a country where they will have acceptance and equality of existence.”
In his welcome remarks, the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmas Iwu thanked the President for coming and said that “Governor Uzodimma has made Imo proud by fulfilling his several campaign promises despite all the distractions and inconveniences he has so far encountered.”
The Deputy Governor, Placid Njoku in his vote of thanks assured Mr. President that soon, he will be invited again to commission more projects in Imo State.
Those who joined in receiving Mr President included Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, former Military Governor Imo Senator, General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), wife the Governor, Chioma Uzodimma, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Placid Njoku, Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibe and all members of Imo State House of Assembly as well as all members of the State Executive Council.
Others included the Minister of State Education, Goodluck Opiah, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, Osita Izunaso, members of the APC National and State executive, traditional rulers led by Eze Imo, Eze EC Okeke, members of the Imo Elders Council led by Eze Cletus Ilomuanya and many more prominent persons from the State and beyond.