Imo State Governor-elect, Hon, Emeka Ihedioha, has reiterated his commitment to rebuilding the state when he assumes office on May 29, 2019, stressing that he would step on toes in the course of achieving the target.
Ihedioha stated this on Sunday at St. Peter’s Anglican Church Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise, during a thanksgiving service to mark his 54th birthday.
He said: “I am very committed to liberating our state. I will strive to correct the ills in our state and make things work for the better. And in the course of it, I will step on some toes.
“I want to appeal to those that may be hurt, not to take it to heart but rather bear with us and accept it as a sacrifice in the rebuilding process. Our primary purpose is to get our state working again and I want to assure you that our government will give every Imolite, reasons to smile again.”
He also pledged to dedicate his tenure to serving God and humanity, as according to him, only God can protect and guide him towards achieving the rebuilding of the state.
He maintained that only a state that is entrusted in the hands of God can realise the desire of the people.
He said: “It is a thing of great joy that God has led me through the years past. I am indeed humbled by the grace of God and His mercies in my life. He has shown me so much kindness and I must confess that I stand on a solid rock. He is my solid rock.
“Let me pledge, that as a soldier of Christ, I will dedicate my tenure as governor to the service of God, promoting Him and humanity because it is only God that can protect and enable us to accomplish our desire to make Imo, a greater state.”
This is just as he disclosed plans to announce members of his transition committee soon.
The transition committee, the governor-elect explained, is to evaluate the status quo and articulate the takeoff programmes of his administration. He therefore, urged civil servants and other stakeholders in the state to avail the committee useful information to achieve its set objectives.
He promised to set up a bureau to look into the issues of unduly sacked teachers who still have a lot to offer the state, even as he frowned at the level of mismanagement of the state’s finances.
Earlier, in his address, the Bishop of Mbaise Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Chamberlain Ogunedo, who officiated the service, prayed to God to give the governor-elect a heart of understanding to steer the ship of state according to His will and direction.
He also prayed God to sustain and protect the governor-elect and his mandate to be able meet the aspirations of the people.
Meanwhile, five socio-political organisations under the umbrella of Imo Salvation Forum (ISF), said they have submitted a comprehensive document known as Imo Salvation Charter to the governor-elect which contains some of the major demands of Imo people.
Reading a communiqué to journalists after a meeting that took place on Chidi Akurunwa Street, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri on Sunday, the stakeholders said their first line charge in the 10-point document submitted to the governor-elect, is a probe of the out-going Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
National Coordinator of the Forum, Chief Finbar Chidubem, who is also the President General of Imo Prosperity Network (IPN), said that with the emergence of Ihedioha as governor-elect, Imo has been liberated from Rochas Okorocha, adding however that there was the need to set agenda for the in-coming governor so that he would be properly guided on the major aspirations of the people that gave him mandate.
“We are here to inform you, gentlemen of the press, that we have formally submitted a 10- point document known as Imo Salvation Charter to the governor-elect.
“The election of March 9, 2019 that overthrew Rochas Okorocha was a massive revolution in which the people were determined to make whatever sacrifice that was necessary to bring an end to the primitive dynasty that he wanted to entrench in Imo State.
“Having succeeded in overthrowing the evil rule, it is now time to take stock of what happened in the state in the past eight years which led to the brutalization of our people physically, mentally and psychologically.
“This is because, not doing so would amount to the greatest disservice to Imo people,” the communiqué stated.
Apart from Imo Prosperity Network, other groups that form the Forum and who were all represented at the media briefing are Imo Sons and Daughters (ISD), Imo Peoples’ Congress for Development (IPCD), Imo Watchdogs for Transparency and Good Governance (IWTGG) and Women of Imo for Community Development (WICD).
In a related development, eminent Igbo Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction from the South East zone have congratulated the Imo State Governor-elect, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, over what they described as a “well deserved victory” during the March 9, governorship poll.
The group include Senator Ben Obi, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chief Achike Udenwa, Dr. (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, Chief Intend Ugochukwu, Senator Omezue, Prof. ABC Nwosu and Chief Dubem Onyia.
They also congratulated the people of the state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security operatives for the smooth conduct of the exercise in the state.
Leader of the delegation, Senator Ben Obi, said: “We have come here to identify solidly with a great man who has made us proud. We are here with the consent of our Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi, our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the entire National Working Committee of our great party to congratulate you on this rare feat.
“We are certain that your victory will bring development not only to Imo State, but to the South East.
“We wish to remind you that the task before you is quite huge because a lot of things have gone wrong in the state.
There is a lot of work to be done here in Imo and I believe that you have the capacity, contacts and the know-how with your team to turn things around for the better.
“We commend your commitment to our party. You were one man who stood firm by our party, during the caretaker committee transition. You stayed strong and served the party. We are here to tell you that you are not alone.”
Senator Obi, a former vice presidential candidate, urged those who have challenged the victory of the governor-elect to have a rethink in the overall interest of the state.
“We wish to call on our brothers who are challenging the victory of Emeka Ihedioha, to please give peace a chance and join hands with him to rebuild the state. He needs everybody and I am happy he has restated his desire to work with everybody towards rebuilding the state. “
Responding, the Governor-elect, Hon, Emeka Ihedioha, thanked the elders for their visit and reiterated his readiness to address the nagging challenges of the people when he assumes office.
He said he appreciates the huge task cum expectations of Imolites from him and promised to do his best to deliver.
“I am profoundly delighted on your well thought out decision to visit Imo State and to thank God for making it possible for me to win the election this time.
This is a victory for the ordinary Imo man and woman who stood by the truth to vote for our ticket. Across the nation, our victory is being celebrated and I understand the expectation is very high.
“In the past seven years or thereabout, we have had a misfortune of an unfortunate government. We have lost focus as a state such that most people in our state don’t understand what government means.
“I have a responsibility to restore order to bring our state back to life. I expect that a lot of work will be done at this time and on my part, I understand the desire to return our state to the path of glory.
I want to assure that the task of getting positive stories from our state is one we will strive to accomplish,” he said.
Ihedioha also reassured that he will run an inclusive government where well-meaning Imolites will join hands to move the state forward.