By Stanford Arinze Nwokedi
There is no gainsaying the fact that the working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State was highly successful. Within the first 24 hrs of his return to Abuja, Imo State received, in quick successions, two federal ministers who came to begin what promises to be a windfall of Federal Government’s special interventions and democracy dividends in Imo State.
These are coming on the heels of the political, social and economic milestones achieved by the working visit to the State by Mr. President. In his first official working visit to Imo State since assumption of office in 2015, President Buhari had promised thus: “I will give Imo State every support within the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Government of Imo State on Friday, September 10, 2021, played host to two federal ministers who undoubtedly came with great positive prospects for the people of the state relating to their respective ministries. Minister of Water Resources and the Minister of State for Environment were here after the President’s visit to give credence and impetus to President Buhari’s promise to the government and good people of Imo State. It is time, now, to walk the talk.
After Governor Hope Uzodinma had received the ministers in Government House, Owerri on Friday, a day after the presidential working visit, the ministers, afterwards, quickly visited some sites/water installations in the State as well as the challenging ecological sites confronting the State.
A Federal Government-assisted prospect of generating clean energy using turbines powered by the mechanical energy of the balloon driven flood at the Balloon Technology drainage outlet at Otamiri River was also assessed. It is expected that funds and technical assistance from Aso Rock are on the way to assist the Government of Imo State. Recall that the 3R Government of Imo State had already committed itself to the provision of potable water to Imolites as well as the reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery of Imo State infrastructure including roads, pipe borne water and power installations. Today, social welfare schemes and other good governance initiatives are handy for the benefit of Imo people.
Now that the Federal Government has been motivated by the sheer integrity and selflessness of the Governor of Imo State, the sky is now the limit for prosperity in the State. On politics, the entire South-east is now regaining political prominence with the enormous synergy among progressive Igbo elite. Prof George Obiozor (Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo President), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Gen Ebitu Ukiwe (retd), Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Gen Ike Nwachukwu (retd), etc, as strategic Igbo leaders, used the platform of the presidential visit to dialogue with the President and Commander-In-Chief. Issues bordering on the current peculiar Igbo sentiments formed the agenda.
Imo State is today emerging as the new rallying point for Igbo political renaissance.
It is palpable that a new aura of reinforced North /South political cooperation is in the offing. The historic alliance between the North-west and South-east has been reenacted. The reenactment was started on September 9, 2021 vide the Presidential visit.
On that day, the fore-bearers of the valued political ties, in their graves, may have moved for joy. The true and practical political emancipation inherent in the rebirth of trust, sincerity and potency of the historical ties could give birth to the dream of a Nigerian President of South-east origin. It is possible.
These feats speak of unprecedented instant benefits accruable to Imo State and by extension, the South-east, as direct benefits of the enormous capacity, integrity and selflessness of Governor Hope Uzodinma and his team. Of note was the diplomatic method of the Ohanaeze President, Prof Obiozor, who utilized the platform of the Presidential parley with the South-east leaders to demand for the release of our detained Igbo sons. This remains the only direct politically high-powered attempt to persuasively engage the Presidency over the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kalu and other members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The credit is deservedly that of the Governor of Imo State who demonstrates practical know-how in contemporary politics. The 3R administration of Imo State has, going by these landmark successes, achieved feats of reconnecting Imo State to the national grid in wide-ranging areas of the needs of the State.
“I have seen enough to justify the resilience and integrity of Imo state Governor. Governor Hope Uzodinma has worked very hard to ensure that the people of Imo State have access to the best dividends of democracy, “the President had reiterated during his visit.
Within this month of September 2021, Imo State shall play host also to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who is billed to empower thousands of traders in Imo State through the Trader Moni Scheme. Thousands of Imolites shall benefit financially from this Federal Government-assisted socioeconomic welfare scheme.
It is expected and already the prospects are now more than ever before, brightest for a windfall of Federal presence and associated dividends to the Government and good people of Imo State. The good people of Imo State should, therefore, remain hopeful and supportive as the rain of unprecedented dividends continue to drench and flood Imo State being the direct benefits of the successful presidential working visit.
Nwokedi, an aide to Governor Uzodimma, writes from Owerri