George Onyejiuwa and Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Leadership crisis rocking the Imo House of Assembly took a new twist yesterday as the Deputy Speaker, Ugonna Ozuruigbo tendered his resignation.
The resignation came less than 24 hours after members of the Assembly suspended the Speaker, Acho Ihim and majority leader, Lugard Osuji.
The resignation letter of Ozuruigbo, who is the House of Representatives member-elect for Nkwerre/ Nwangele/ Isu/ Njaba federal constituency, was dated May 15 and received on May 16, by the Clerk of the Assembly.
“As you already know, I have been sent to another four years mission by my federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Abuja.
“This new task has come with its challenges and expectations, especially the need to play key roles in the formation of the National Assembly leadership. It is time to strategically position,to pursue the greater interests of Imo State, South East and Nigeria, at the federal legislature. Currently, these will make my availability in the state irregular.
“Hence, I seek your undertaking as I either save the office of Imo state deputy speaker by resigning or allow my new engagements to suffer.
“Thus,for your efficiency and good of Imo people, I hereby resign as the deputy speaker of Imo State House of Assembly (eighth House), effective from the date written above.”
Meanwhile, Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha has said no amount of distraction from his political detractors would stop him from reclaiming his mandate to represent his people of Imo West at the Senate.
The governor stated this at a prayer meeting organised by Women of Divine Destiny Initiative (WODDI), with the theme: “Thank You Jesus,” yesterday, at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri.
“I would be heard again, I am unstoppable, those who are stoning a tree knows something is there, it is a matter of time.”
The governor, who thanked the people of the state for supporting his administration noted that the state was in dire need of redemption when he assumed office in 2011.
“Mind you, my coming to power was without the elites or the big names in Imo politics. None was with me. But the masses of Imo State were with me and are still with me.
“So, because of the serious task of developing the state, I tagged this administration “Rescue Mission Administration.” I swore before the Almighty God and declared that Imo must be better.
“In the course of this government, I must confess to you that we have gone through a lot of troubles and oppositions to get to where we are.
“Today, the entire landscape of Imo is dotted with landmark and verifiable projects, which are there for all to see.
“The Rescue Mission Administration, knowing that education is the bedrock of our economic life, started and declared free education at the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to attract our children back into the classrooms.
“So, today, Imo is the only state where there’s free education from primary, secondary to the university level.
“As a result of this development, the state has continued to hold the ace in the enrolment of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Nigeria for seven years running now.
“My job as your governor has been made a lot more easier by the hands of fellowship, which you Imolites have extended to me, including working with other key individuals that understand the essence of good governance with a high sense of duty to deliver. But, let me use this opportunity to appreciate the Rescue Mission team, that has helped me in ways too numerous to mention in achieving these great strides for our dear state.
“I also do know that in the process of redeeming Imo, I did not have to follow the rules. So, my apology goes to anyone who I may have touched negatively in this process of governance.
“In all, I want to thank first of all, my lovely wife, Nneoma Nkechi, my entire family and indeed all Imolites, who gave us their support to get this far.”
In her speech, the leader of WODDI and wife of the governor thanked God Almighty that she was privileged to be the wife of the governor of Imo State.
“Again, let me use this opportunity to thank the man Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha, who God used to make me stand before you as the wife of the executive governor of Imo State.
For me, today is a wonderful day, to take stock of how it all started, all the experiences and the great achievements recorded under me, with the WODDI, under the watch of the Rescue Mission administration.
“Through the ‘She Needs A Roof Projects,’ people who ordinarily will not have roofs over their heads, through the mercy of God, over 200 of them can be bold to say they are landladies. This is another great opportunity to stand here and say a very big thank you to Imo women for their unflinching support to the Rescue Mission government of Imo State. I must say your love for me is too much and for sure, I would indeed miss you,” she said.