BROADCAST BY GOVERNOR HOPE UZODIMMA OF IMO STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF MAY DAY, IN OWERRI, ON MAY 1, 2021
Today is a great day for workers all over the globe. May 1st, otherwise known as May Day is traditionally reserved World over to celebrate workers. To celebrate the noble sacrifices workers have made to ensure better working conditions for all workers. Some of them paid with their lives just to secure a better tomorrow for the working class.
On this auspicious occasion of May Day celebration therefore I salute workers all over the country, particularly Imo State workers, for their understanding in the face of the Coronavirus which threatened the welfare of workers. To Imo State workers I say thank you for your patience, for your cooperation and patriotism, in the face of the numerous challenges that assailed us on assumption of office.
Apart from the fact that the dreaded Covid 19 pandemic welcomed us in office, we in addition inherited an empty treasury. The situation was not made any better by the fact that there was no handover note to navigate our take-off as government.
Notwithstanding these daunting challenges, we did not just hit the ground running but did so with uncommon courage and innovation which has changed our dear state for the better. Prominent in this regard is the complete digitalization of the fiscal operations of the state which has greatly reduced corruption in the public sector. Behind this revolutionary automation exercise is a data centre that is ranked the best in the country.
Fortunately for us, during the trying times of the automation process, the organized Labour stood firmly behind us. This is the time to appreciate you the workers for your solidarity and maturity. Thank you very much indeed.
I am glad to note that as the saying goes, after the rain comes sunshine. Today our payroll system is fully automated and our workers and pensioners are paid regularly as and when due, except for the few that still have issues with their data information. However, these issues are being resolved expeditiously and all those affected are assured of the prompt payment of their outstanding arrears once their issues are resolved.
You will recall that after addressing the payroll system, I tackled the issue of welfare for Imo workers. Apart from ensuring that I secured a conducive working environment for you through rehabilitation of the Secretariat and provision of critical infrastructure therein, I saw to it that official vehicles were provided for Permanent Secretaries to ease their transportation problems. I followed it up by providing free buses for junior civil servants. These have been running religiously.
You would have noticed that disgruntled politicians in concert with militants and other criminal elements have unleashed violence in our state known traditionally for its peace and hospitality. Unable to contain themselves over the developmental strides of our administration in just one year, these enemies of our state have devised devious ways of not only distracting us but striking fear in our citizens. Some of them have even come out to unmask their real intention which are to make the state ungovernable.
Let me assure the good people of Imo State that investigations to unmask the sponsors of these security breaches in the state have reached an advanced stage. Very soon the long arm of the law will expose and prosecute them
Recall that at the onset of this administration, these same people had vowed to make the state ungovernable for us. Our only crime against them is our resolve to hand over the state and its resources to the people as the true owners. While I sympathize with them over their feeble and futile efforts at intimidating us, let me declare here that the state will employ all lawful machinery at its disposal to crush criminality.
Last Sunday’s attempt to burn down my country home was just their Lilliputian way of sending the message that Imo State is insecure. As always, they failed woefully. The government in collaboration with all the security agencies is more than capable to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. I swore an oath to that. I will never shirk this sacred responsibility.
It is quite unfortunate that despite the impressive progress we have recorded in the first year in office, some people have failed to appreciate the glaring evidence everywhere that Imo State has taken a turn for the better. This group of fifth columnists has therefore elected to disrupt the peace of the state. Although their actions are quite regrettable, it is my duty as the Governor of the state to ask everyone to sheath the sword and make room for development.
I must warn that the day of mindless criminality in the state are over. Let me use this opportunity to assure all Imo people that I will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the security and safety of all of us. Be rest assured that my administration is willing, able and capable of protecting the lives and property of all Imo people and residents alike. Without any fear of contradiction, I can declare to you that the recent security challenges in the state have been effectively contained. Imo people should therefore go about their lawful businesses without any fear whatsoever.
In the last one year, this administration has been responsive to the yearnings of our people by resuscitating critical infrastructure including roads. Just before the recent security breaches, distinguished Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR), have commissioned some of the 22 completed roads while work is ongoing on 24 others. We brought back Adaplam Nig. Ltd into life after years of abandonment. We brought back Otamiri Waterworks to life. People in Owerri metropolis now have access to potable water.
As workers, you should be glad that we have created a platform to make our youths employers of labour instead of roaming the streets aimlessly. Through our empowerment programme, we have trained thirty thousand of our youths in different skills and we will soon assist them with the resources to start up their own businesses. Our women are also beneficiaries.
In the areas of education, agriculture and technology, we have done quite a lot. The details could be found in my one year anniversary brochure. But suffice it to say here that I have kept faith with my promise to Imo people to serve you honestly and diligently.
So as we celebrate this year’s May day, my assurance to the people of the state and especially our workers is that I will continue to do my best to ensure that things get better for all of us. I want to assure the workers of Imo State that your welfare will always remain my number one priority. Whatever is necessary to make the organised Labour leadership more effective and efficient I assure you of my commitment to it. In this respect, I assure you that all outstanding check-off dues for the different unions will be cleared in the next few weeks. In like manner, I will not relent in ensuring that Imo workers get the best available training and retraining opportunities and the best available working conditions.
I am not a man who makes excuses. I have come to work for the people, no matter the circumstances. No amount of distraction can derail me from my mission. All I ask is for enabling environment of peace so that Imo People can get the very best we can offer.
For us to see those better days, we must refrain from acts that would impede development and progress. We must therefore resolve that this is the only state we have and we should not let any selfish political interest come between us and the state. Politics will come and go but Imo state will remain. Yes, Imo state is the only state we can call our own. Let us preserve and protect our commonwealth.
Let us say no to banditry and anarchy. Both are ill winds that blow no one any good.
Once again, congratulations to the great workers of Imo State on this occasion of May day celebration.
Thank you all and God bless.
Sen. Hope Uzodimma