March 4, 2020 would never be forgotten in the annals of history in the Eastern Heartland, Imo State, when the Supreme court affirmed Sen Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of the State.
The judgement signified a paradigm shift in the State and an unprecedented development was heralded.Though, there was anxiety in Imo State when the Supreme Court began hearing in the application for the review of its January 14, 2020 judgment that removed Emeka Ihedioha from office as the governor. Many could not fathom the fate of the land of hope, after the upturn of an unjust election that brought in the PDP’s candidate against the choice of the people, Hope Uzodinma.
A one-time distinguished Senator, Governor Hope Uzodinma, during his inaugural speech after he came on board as the Governor of Imo was explicit about his utmost concern for the security of lives and properties of residents in his state. He spelt out his prosperity agenda anchored on the three Rs of recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. In the light of this, Governor Uzodinma launched the Operation Search And Flush, an outfit which guaranteed a 24 hour surveillance on all the parts of Imo State by a combined team of security agencies, providing 100 brand new pickup security vehicles with modern state of the art communication gadgets and deployed the combined team of security agencies, consisting of the police, the military and civil defence, to patrol the 27LGAs.
There was also a toll free call centre, linked to the patrol vehicles, which the public can use to contact any of the patrol teams to report a confirmed or suspected crime, which help to create a synergy between the people and the security agencies deployed to protect them against harm and also to ensure that the good security architecture expected of them is achieved. Senator Hope Uzodinma also organized the Imo State Security Summit, which had the Inspector General of Police and other security chiefs in attendance. This created an avenue for the people of the State to synergize the and rub minds with Security outfits in the State.In the wake of the deadly coronavirus, Governor Hope Uzodinma ensured his administration remained a symbol of hope to the people of Imo. Despite unfounded gossips and criticisms, Uzodinma remains steadfast to his commitment to Imo people’s welfare.He held the bull by the horn, and immediately swung into action, setting up a 9-man Committee on Prevention of Coronavirus disease in Imo State was constituted, with an erudite scholar and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, as Chairman.
In addition to this, similar committees were set up at the local government areas and ward levels with 28 state-of-the-art ambulances provided to fortify the state in readiness for any emergency. The government has also provided six well-equipped isolation centres at Okigwe General Hospital, Aboh Mbaise General Hospital, Orlu General Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Owerri, General Hospital Umuguma and the Ultra-Modern Well-being Centre, Owerri; as well as an operational Test and Treatment Centre for Coronavirus in Owerri metropolis, with a molecular laboratory to test all viruses, including COVID-19 and Ebola. Governor also launched free mobile clinics services for the rural people in addition to the ongoing rehabilitation and equipping of the 305 health centres in all the wards in the state.His strides in the health sector are amusing and impressive; The government has put in place an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) at Umuguma General hospital, adjudged as one of the best in the country by the federal government. There is also an ongoing 250 bed Specialist hospital for infectious diseases at Orlu attracted by the State government from the federal government agencies. Governor Uzodinma also rehabilitated the moribund Adapalm Nigeria. ltd, thus creating jobs for imo youths and stimulating the state’s economy. Senator Uzodinma also attracted the establishment of an integrated refinery in the state, with the attendant employment and economic benefits to the state.
A gas plant by SEPLAT was also attracted to the state by the government.The voice of the people mirrors a perception index about Uzodinma which has moved from slow to speed lane despite the entire drama and distractions from the review appeal by the ousted governor Emeka Ihedioha and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.Governor Uzodinma who is from a different political party has ensured he adopts projects, policies and programmes of his predecessor. He places the interest of Ndi Imo above self. After proper review of all the road contracts awarded by his predecessor, he approved all of the contracts and asked contractors to go back to sites. And by so doing, he disappointed the naysayers and scaremongers.Uzodinma has addressed the sorry state of some roads neglected by past administrations. Over 60 road projects have been embarked upon by Uzodinma. Some have been completed and commissioned, while others are nearing completion. No doubt, these roads have their economic advantages which will serve the good people of Imo.
In times like this when the economy of our nation is experiencing a huge nosedive, any Governor such as Hope Uzodinma who regularly pays his workers should be commended. He certainly belongs to the league of governors who maintain that every labourer deserves their wages, as such payment of salaries has never been delayed. As a matter of fact, workers and pensioners in the state receive their pay from the 25th of every month. The governor also has gone a notch further to procure and present official vehicles to senior civil servants to aid them in the discharge of their duties.He reformed the civil service, which saw to the physical rehabilitation of the state secretariat and provision of water and power supply.On education, governor Uzodinma has secured a new university for the state, the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, while Imo State University is being repositioned to return it to its leadership position among the community of institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.His administration also embarked on building 305 classroom blocks in all the wards in the state, while all the schools of nursing in the state de- accredited since 2005 have been re- accredited.