‘We Don’t Have Any Issue,’ Uzodinma Denies Rift With Okorocha

Imo APC Faction Expels Hope Uzodinma
A file photo of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has denied having any disagreement with his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

He stated this on Tuesday during an interview with reporters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Governor Uzodinma was responding to questions from State House correspondents on the impasse between him and the former governor.

He insisted that he has no rift with the former governor, stressing that Senator Okorocha only needed to recognise that he is now the governor of the state.

“On the issue of Okorocha, the former governor, he is my very good brother in who I am well pleased.

“I have no issue with him; the only thing is that he is now the former governor and I am the current governor and once we understand that, we don’t have any issue,” Governor Uzodinma said.

READ ALSOKalu Visits IBB, Abdulsalami, Faults Zoning Of 2023 Presidency

 

The governor spoke with reporters after he held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

He explained that he was at the Villa to seek the intervention of the President in tackling the problem of erosion in Imo State.

Commenting on the choice of zoning of presidency ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Uzodinma believes it should be done on party basis and not tribal basis.

His opinion aligned with the views of a former governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, who visited former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, and former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, in Niger State.

Senator Kalu was criticised for describing the office of the president as an open basket for intending contestants and saying the idea of zoning was never constitutional.

This comes against the backdrop of clamours by the people of the South-East that the 2023 presidency should be zones to the region.

2023 Presidency: Candidacy Cannot Emerge On Tribal Basis, Says Uzodinma

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on September 1, 2020.

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, believes the emergence of the candidates for the presidential election in 2023 should not be on a tribal basis.

He stated this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“We are practicing partisan democracy, not tribal democracy. So, the emergence of presidential candidates will come on a party-by-party basis, not tribe-by-tribe basis,” the governor said.

He made the comments against the backdrop of clamours by the people of the South-East that the 2023 presidency should be zones to the region.

READ ALSO: Kalu Visits IBB, Abdulsalami, Faults Zoning Of 2023 Presidency

Some of them claimed that the region has been marginalised over the years in terms of development, adding that it has yet to produce a civilian leader since late Nnamdi Azikiwe who was President between 1963 and 1966.

 

Lending his voice to the discussion on zoning the next presidency to the South East, Governor Uzodinma believes that would only be determined by the leadership of various political parties.

According to him, the right thing to do is not to cause tension with the calls for zoning of the office of the president but to allow the internal mechanisms of the political groups make the best decision.

“If there are some other internal factors that will form part of the considerations for parties taking decisions, of course, that will be entirely the job of the leadership of those political parties and I think that is the right thing to do,” the governor said.

His position is in agreement with the opinion of a former governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, who visited former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, and former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, in Niger State.

Senator Kalu was criticised for describing the office of the president as an open basket for intending contestants and saying the idea of zoning was never constitutional.

Imo Sets Up Advisory Committee On Community Policing

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma speaks during the inauguration of a Security Advisory Committee at the Government House in Owerri, the state capital on June 14, 2020.

 

The Imo State Government has inaugurated a Security Advisory Committee on community policing to complement the efforts of security agencies in tackling crime.

During the inauguration in Owerri the state capital on Sunday, Governor Hope Uzodinma asked the members to curtail the menace of kidnapping, armed robbery, child theft and other crimes.

“Government has designed this template to ensure that communities and indigenes are involved in the policing and security measures that the government has decided to carry out.

READ ALSO: Buratai Asks Troops To Remain Firm In Fighting Insurgency

“Don’t go and tell the state police (that) community policing is about the Nigeria Police or Fulani herdsmen. It is how we on our own can partner with the police and other security agencies to ensure that security in Imo State (is improved),” he said.

Governor Uzodinma also called on residents of the state to cooperate with the security agencies by providing timely and useful information in curbing crimes in the state.

This follows the agreement between the governors of the southeast and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on setting up a community policing structure in each state in the region.

The committee is composed up of leaders of security operatives, traditional and religious heads as well as women and youth leaders from various communities.

Imo Governor Signs Two New Bills Into Law

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma addresses residents of the state in his Easter message at the Government House in Owerri on April 12, 2020.

 

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has signed two new bills into law which was passed by the State House of Assembly.

The bills are “Imo Waste Management Agency bill” and the “Consolidation of Property and Land Use Charges Bill”.

Governor Uzodinma while accenting to the bills at the Government House in Owerri, explained that the “Waste Management Agency Bill will regulate the activities of the agency, curb indiscriminate dumping of refuse within the state and prosecute offenders who are found guilty of violating the law.

He added that the bill will also enable the government to take a cue from civilised countries where waste is converted into wealth.

The second bill, which is on the Consolidation of Property and Land Use Charges and other matters will help bring sanity to land acquisition and identification of landowners in the state.

The governor further noted that the law will make it compulsory for recertification of all Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) in line with an automation process already in place.

Building Collapse: Imo Govt To Revoke CofO, Prosecute Contractor

File photo of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

The Imo State Government has vowed to prosecute the erring contractor as well as revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of the land, following the collapse of an 8-storey building in Owerri.

Governor Hope Uzodinma revealed this on Friday while visiting the site of the collapsed building.

According to him, it is quite unfortunate that the developers violated the lockdown order of the state Govt by embarking on construction work during the lockdown.

He also lamented that the developers did not follow the authorized plan of the state government on the building.

The governor also commiserated with the families of those affected.

This comes as emergency officials recovered two more dead bodies from the rubble of the collapsed building.

A team of rescue officials comprising the Red Cross and Owerri Capital Development Authority evacuated the bodies from the scene of the incident today.

The number of persons killed in the building collapse rose to four following the death of two persons reported on Thursday.

While 12 people have been rescued, many are still trapped including a woman and her two kids.

COVID-19: NCDC Boss Visits Imo, Worried Over No Records Of Cases In State

NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu holds a meeting with Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma in Owerri on April 18, 2020.

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has expressed worry over the yet-to-be-identified case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Imo State.

NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu expressed the worry on Saturday during a visit to Governor Hope Uzodinma at the Government House in Owerri, the state capital.

Addressing the governor, Ihekweazu said he is worried because the people of the state travel a lot and might be at risk of importing the virus into the state.

“Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State. We are a little bit worried. We know that our people travel a lot.

“We are happy that there hasn’t been a case so far. There are two ways. To be fully happy, we have to be sure that we are looking hard enough not finding.

“This outbreak is a bit of a preganant (woman). Sometimes, you will be asking people are you pregnant or not? Eventually it will come out,” he said.

In his response, Governor Uzodinma commended the NCDC team for supporting the efforts made by his administration to ensure the virus does not find its way into the state.

He however appealed to the agency to strengthen the COVID-19 team set up by the state government in preventing the spread of the virus.

“We are calling on you to help us strengthen our people so that we can be prepared fully in the event this thing finds its way into Imo State.

“I think what the World Health Organisation has done in terms of awareness and sentisation, we want to commend that. We also encourage them to continue,” he said.

Ayade, Ortom, Uzodinma, Ganduje Mourn Abba Kyari

Ben Ayade                        Samuel Ortom                      Hope Uzodinma                  Abdullahi Ganduje

 

 

Four more governors have mourned the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who died from complications caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

In separate statements on Saturday, the governors of Cross River, Benue, Imo, and Kano States condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his aide.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River said he was utterly depressed by the sad news of Kyari’s death, saying his departure was a great loss to the nation.

“We have lost a great statesman, a consummate professional, and an exceptionally brilliant mind. Our nation has lost one of its best,” the governor said in a statement.

[READ ALSO] He Never Sought ‘Cheap Gratification Of The Crowd’: Buhari Reacts To Abba Kyari’s Death

According to him, Kyari was a patriotic statesman who was diligent and meticulous, uncommonly accommodating, and a great listener who was ever receptive to anyone who came across him.

“My heart and prayers are with the family at this very difficult moment. I pray for the repose of Mallam Kyari’s soul,” Governor Ayade added.

On his part, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, sent condolences to the President on behalf of the government and people of the state.

He said the demise of a loved one such as a trusted aide can be devastating, noting that death was an inevitable end for which mankind must prepare at all times.

Abba Kyari Testifies At President Election Tribunal
Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, attends the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja on July 25, 2018. The Presidency said Kyari died on April 17, 2020.

 

 

Governor Ortom also extended his sympathies to the Kyari family and prayed that God would grant the late Chief of Staff eternal rest.

For the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, Kyari was a pan-Nigerian who devoted his energy and time to the service of his country.

He condoled with President Buhari, Nigerians as well as the government and people of Borno State on the unfortunate loss.

Governor Uzodinma prayed God for the peaceful repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff and grant the President, the family of Kyari, and his numerous friends and associates the fortitude to bear the loss.

Joining his colleagues, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State prayed for Allah’s forgiveness and blessing for Kyari whom he described as highly reserved and loyal Chief of Staff to the President.

“On behalf of the government and good people of Kano State, I am commiserating with the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government, his families, and the entire Nigerians over the death of Malam Abba Kyari,” he said.

The governor added, “May Allah see him through in the hereafter. May he meet his Lord, with all cleanliness and may Allah give him everlasting peace.”

Governor Hope Uzodinma Tests Negative For COVID-19

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma addresses residents of the state in his Easter message at the Government House in Owerri on April 12, 2020.

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has tested negative for COVID-19.

Disclosing this on his Facebook handle on Monday morning, the governor said the test conducted on him to check if he has contracted the coronavirus disease has shown negative.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records Five New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 323

Uzodinma said with the result showing he is free of the virus, the state government will continue to do everything humanly possible to stop COVID-19 pandemic from finding its way into the state.

He also asked residents of the state to continue to observe all the precautionary measures put in place by the state government this period.

Pray That Nigeria Triumphs Over COVID-19, Uzodinma Tells Christians

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma addresses residents of the state in his Easter message at the Government House in Owerri on April 12, 2020.

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has asked Nigerians, particularly Christians to pray that Nigeria triumphs over COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world.

The governor disclosed this on Sunday in a statewide Easter message broadcast in Owerri the Imo state capital.

According to him, indigenes of the state to join hands with his administration in the fight against the deadly virus irrespective of their political or religious differences.

“You will do well to savour the joy of Easter for Christ is risen indeed and his resurrection is the assurance that we need that after the tribulation comes the shout of joy and hallelujah.

“The truth is that the hard and painful decisions that we have taken to prevent and contain the incursion of the virus into Imo State were forced on us purely by circumstances beyond our control.

“These measures have been applied with good results by other countries that have suffered the scourge of coronavirus,” he said.

READ ALSO: Easter: Ayade Sues For Renewed Faith In God

Uzodinma noted that for the battle to be won against coronavirus, the citizens should pray fervently to God for divine intervention.

Similarly, he wants the masses to emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ and bear the present COVID-19 hardships with the uncommon patience and perseverance with which Christ bore his passion and tribulations while on earth.

Speaking further, the governor said he is confident that in no distant time Nigeria will win the battle against the virus just as Christ triumphed over death.

While urging Christians in the state to observe the Easter service either online or through the relevant electronic medium, he advised them to continue to adhere strictly to laid down guidelines in order to prevent contracting the deadly coronavirus disease.

COVID-19: Imo Govt To Shut Down All Markets, Borders

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

The Imo state government says it will close down all markets and borders into the state as precautionary measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease.

Briefing journalists on Wednesday at the Government House in Owerri, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba said the closure will be effective by Friday, March 27.

Emelumba reiterated that all educational institutions in the state be shut down till further notice, stressing that more test and isolation centres will be established by the state government to ensure that people are tested.

READ ALSO: Presidency Confirms That President Buhari Tested Negative For Coronavirus

He explained that the government will provide hand sanitizers and test kits at all entry and exit into the state.

Although the state has not yet recorded any case of COVID-19, the Commissioner stated that Governor Hope Uzodinma’s administration will enforce compliance to all measures being put in place by the government to ensure that the deadly virus doesn’t find its way.

Imo Govt Shuts Down All Tertiary Institutions, Schools

(file photo) Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma addresses journalists

 

The Imo State government has ordered the closure of all tertiary institutions, primary and secondary schools in the state till further notice over the Coronavirus outbreak.

Addressing residents of the state during a broadcast on Saturday, Governor Hope Uzodinma said an isolation centre has been set up in Owerri to quarantine any person who tests positive to the virus.

The governor also asked relevant authorities to ensure strict compliance with the directives.

According to him, arrangements have been put in place to test all passengers arriving at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport of symptoms of the Coronavirus.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Index Coronavirus Patient Discharged

He explained that any passenger that manifests signs of the symptoms will first be taken to a bay that has been set up at the airport for further examination.

The move comes 24 hours after the governor constituted a nine-member committee on the prevention of Corona Virus disease (COVI-19).

The committee headed by former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Professor Maurice Iwu is to take proactive measure to prevent the spread of the disease which is ravaging many parts of the world.

Those Calling For Oshiomhole’s Removal Will Fail – Uzodinma

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma speaks to journalists. (file photo)

 

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has reacted to the purported removal of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

Speaking to journalists on Friday in Owerri, the state capital, Uzodinma said those calling for Oshiomhole’s removal will fail.

According to him, patriotic forces within the ruling party will not allow Oshiomhole to be humiliated out of office.

He also accused some members of the party of working with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to create a crisis.

“Many of us, leaders of the party, are aware that those clamouring for the chairman’s removal are working with the PDP to destabilise the party but they will fail.

“We will not allow them to humiliate our National Chairman out of office through illegal means or allow any action that will bring the party to public ridicule,” Uzodinma said.

While insisting that the APC chairman has not done anything to warrant his removal, the governor vowed that every arsenal will be deployed to ensure that the plan of those plotting his removal is foiled.

READ ALSO: Sanusi Arrives In Lagos From Nasarawa

Speaking further, Uzodinma said the guidelines of the party are clear on how the National Chairman can be removed from office which must be through the National Executive committee (NEC), adding that anything outside that was illegal.

He noted that the plot to remove Oshiomhole is a clear case of witch hunt otherwise those behind it would have come through the proper channel which is the party’s NEC, but they have refused to do so because they know they have no genuine case against him.

The governor also wondered why a genuine APC member will want to remove Oshiomhole who, according to him, has done so well for the party.

Rather than his removal, Uzodinma wants party members to come together, savour their victory at the last elections and plan how to consolidate for the future.