Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma met with key leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the state, local government area, and ward levels on Tuesday, tasked them with working together to grow the party.
The Chairman and members of the APC State Working Committee, LGA Party Chairmen and Secretaries, and Ward Party Chairmen and Secretaries were among those in attendance at the meeting with the Governor.
Governor Uzodimma reminded them that their positions in the Party were critical to the APC’s ideals and vision of service to the people, and that they couldn’t afford to disappoint the people who had entrusted them with leading them at various levels.
He urged them to work hard in their communities to recruit more members for the Party, and to never be afraid to accept anyone who approaches them for membership, regardless of their previous political affiliation.
Governor Uzodimma stated that if they abandon inclusive politics, they will be doing themselves and the Party a great disservice.
The Governor challenged the Party leaders to rise against the tide of insecurity, saying that his government has put in place measures to deal a final blow to it in Imo State, speaking at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers Government House in Owerri.
To that end, Governor Uzodimma announced a cash reward of N1 million and N5 million, respectively, for anyone or a group of people who can lead to the arrest of a bandit or the identification of a bandit camp in the state.
The Governor reminded APC supporters that he had invited them to wish them a happy new year, one in which “they will witness a lot of prosperity,” he predicted.
They are what they are in the Party today, he claims, because the APC is in power at both the state and national levels.
The Governor, who is also the State Party’s leader, told them that the bandits must have tried their hardest, but that they failed because his government was able to push the agents of darkness away and allow light to lead.
Governor Uzodimma also stated that the APC believes in “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” noting that the Party’s most important officers are those in Wards and other localities across the state.
He emphasized that the APC’s state leadership decided to open the party up at all levels to anyone who wishes to join.
As a result, he urged them to unite and demonstrate leadership qualities that would encourage others to join their party. He also told them to “go home and serve the people” by holding “regular meetings on all levels.”
The Governor warned them not to be distracted, saying that despite several planned distractions against his administration, he has remained focused “without derailing.”
He expressed surprise that members of the opposition are blind to his modest achievements in the face of insecurity, banditry, unknown gunmen, and social media terrorism, noting that his achievements are “a product of support from both Imo people and the Federal Government, which are all APC,” and that his achievements are “a product of support from both Imo people and the Federal Government, which are all APC.”
Governor Uzodimma hinted that he intends to beef up security at the Ward level by establishing Vigilante at all government facilities at the Ward and Local Government levels.
Dr. Macdonald Ebere, the Chairman of the APC in the State, said earlier in his welcome remarks that his executive has prepared for the challenge of repositioning the APC and making it the party to beat.
He assured the Governor and others present that “the APC of yesterday is not the same as the APC of today,” and that “the entire executive from the Ward to the State Level is all poised to work and achieve for the Party.”
In a vote of thanks, Rt. Hon. Mathew Omegara, Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Imo State, assured the Governor of the Party’s readiness in the state to support him in his quest to realize the 3R mantra “now than before,” and prayed God to strengthen Governor Uzodimma and protect all APC members in Imo State.
In other news, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has assured the leadership of the National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the government stands ready to assist them in their efforts to better serve Nigerians.
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The Governor gave the assurance on Wednesday when he received in audience the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo State, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu, and his team, who were paying a courtesy call at Government House in Owerri.
Governor Uzodimma praised INEC for its foresight in establishing new and additional polling units across the country ahead of the 2023 general election, calling the conversion of former voting points to polling units “a good decision INEC made.”
He praised INEC Chairman Prof. Yakubu Mahmood for “doing a wonderful job in Nigeria” and urged him to “remain resilient and focused.”
The Governor stated that his government will continue to support the INEC in the run-up to the 2023 general election.
“For us in Imo State, we will support INEC,” he said. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your job easier. We will be a part of the solution to the challenges you face while performing your duties.”
“Count us as your partners, Mr. REC,” Governor Uzodimma told the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner. You must serve your country. Serve your country, your conscience, and God by using your position.”
He also encouraged Prof. Ezeonu to interact with the people he has come to serve more frequently and to visit them as needed. “You can’t work by yourself.” Don’t let anything bother you. When the time comes to vote, we will follow your rules. “Do business in Imo and think of us as partners,” the Governor told the REC.
Governor Uzodimma acknowledged that insecurity had a significant impact on voter registration among Imo people who would be eligible to vote in 2023, and used the visit to encourage prospective voters from the state to come out in droves to register “now that the issue of insecurity has been contained.”
The Governor reminded the people of Imo, as well as those who feel marginalized or mistreated, that the time to address the situation begins now, as they go to register with the INEC. “It is our hope that now that the situation of insecurity has improved, we will brace up and come out in large numbers to register.”
In his opening remarks, Prof. Ezeonu told the Governor that, based on their data as of January 10, 2022, Imo State is lagging behind other South Eastern states in terms of new registrants.
Despite the fact that the REC blamed insecurity for the low registration turnout, he stated that those who wish to register can do so through INEC registration centers in Local Government Areas or the INEC voters’ enrolment devices.
He explained that converting former voting points to full polling units was necessary to alleviate traffic congestion and provide more polling units to the electorate.
Prof. Ezeonu requested the government’s assistance in the areas of sensitization and media campaigning for INEC activities ahead of the elections on February 18, 2023 and March 4, 2023.
Governor Uzodimma was joined by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. COC Akaolisa, and other key government officials to welcome the INEC team.