News, Seat of Power

Uzodimma: We’re going into rural areas now to open them up

… Parleys Council chairmen, monarchs, councillors as work commences next week

Governor Hope Uzodimma on Thursday met with the Interim Management Committee Chairmen, traditional rulers and councillors from all the 27 local government areas of Imo State to sensitise them on his readiness to commence infrastructural renewal in the rural areas.

The parley which took place at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers also had in attendance critical ministries like Health and Finance and agencies of government that will interface with the local government stakeholders on all the projects – health centres, roads, water boreholes and security outfit – which government plans to launch next week in the rural areas.

“We are going into the rural areas now to open them up. We will attack all the roads in the rural areas and I have called you to this meeting as stakeholders to sensitise you and to tell you the need for you to own the projects,”  Governor Uzodimma said.

The Governor said that it was necessary to get the buy-in of stakeholders from the local governments, particularly in identifying community-based projects like Health Centres which will be renovated and equipped by the government between now and December 15.

He urged the stakeholders to identify location of existing Health Centres that have not been functioning so that the renovation can be carried out. ” Work will start by Monday or latest Tuesday. So between now and Friday you would have indicated where the facility is and we will do the needful.”

The governor said the idea is to uplift the wellbeing of the rural dwellers.

The Governor reiterated that he met a dillapidated State Capital and felt the right thing to do was to first “uplift the status of Owerri as a befitting state capital before going into the rural areas.”

“I want the people to know what is coming into their communities.The people have the right to ask questions. How the job is being done to ensure it is in line with our specification. And also inform us if not properly.”

Governor Uzodimma said apart from the Health Centres, the rural roads in the 27 Councils will receive face lift and that boreholes which have not been working will be made to work.

“We will attack all the roads in the rural areas.”

Continuing the Governor said, “We are going to support all the communities with Security Outfits to be flagged off on November 30, 2021. The Government will give all the support.” 

The Governor used the occasion to thank the traditional rulers in Imo State for their unflinching support and also condoled them over the killing of two of their members in Njaba local government area, both of who he described as “brilliant and ebullient traditional rulers.”

He regretted that sequence of challenges affected government’s timeline for both city and rural infrastructural renewal, noting that the burning desire to carry is high despite the challenges.

Hear the Governor: “Our plan was to concentrate and complete the re-development of Owerri within one year, but immediately we started, it became one crisis after another from Covid19 to EndSars, to Unknown Gunmen, coupled with the release of prisoners who now went into the communities to do what they know best. It was like Imo was held captive. The perpetrators went into social media to unleash propaganda to deceive the people as a way of hiding their active participation and encouragement of the insecurity. However, our people are now realizing the roles played by these fifth columnists.

 “Between now and Christmas, we want to make sure that all local Health Centres are renovated, with drugs, equipment and personnel provided. Not minding the encumbrances arising from the insecurity that came up during the period under review which has affected our cashflow very seriously, we will do our best to deploy whatever that is left prudently so that our people will get value for whatever services we are going to render.”

He urged the Council chairmen, traditional rulers, councillors and other stakeholders in the communities to work ad s team to ensure that the essence of the projects is realised.

He told them to take seriously the issue of security in their areas and hinted that the State’s Security outfit will be formally launched by November 30 just as he informed them that government has concluded arrangements to reactivste the existing Development Centres and increase them from 44 to 50 with Town Union Presidents (President General) of  playing key roles.

Chairman of the Imo State Traditional Rulers Council and Community Policing Council, HRH Eze E. C. Okeke thanked the Governor  for the meeting and solicited more roles for the traditional rulers in ensuring that the projects in the communities are preserved.

Oguwike Nwachuku 

Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor 

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