Seek Redress Through Constitutional Review, Uzodimma Tells Ndigbo

  • NUJ Scores Uzodimma High On Infrastructure As Gov Receives Grand-Patron Award

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has advised Ndigbo to take advantage of the opportunity of the ongoing National Assembly Constitutional Review Public Hearing to seek redress of all that have been agitating their minds in the recent past.

The Governor gave the advice Wednesday in his remarks at the National Assembly Review Committee Public Hearing for Imo and Abia States taking place in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Uzodimma highlighted the constitutional issues agitating the minds of the Igbos to include rotational Presidency, State Police, Indigeneship in a State after 10 years of residency, devolution of more powers to the State, resource control, and many more.

He said, “These issues can be resolved through a constitutional amendment, hence the unique opportunity the public hearing offers to our people.”

Uzodimma added, “What we seek is justice and equity for our people to thrive and the Igbos owe nobody any apology.”

He however noted that the Igbos “cannot achieve it through violence or threats of secession rather through an avenue such as this that we can put forward our request and follow it through.”

The Governor who had earlier welcomed the constitutional review committee Chairman, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the Deputy President of the Senate and other National Assembly members as well as the general public, emphasized that the public hearing is an opportunity for Imo and Abia States to make their inputs on the amendments they seek in the country’s constitution.

He reiterated that it is an opportunity for them to key into efforts being made to work out an acceptable constitution that will address the concerns of the majority of Nigerians in general and Ndigbo in particular.

The Governor who noted that he attaches so much value to the public hearing said “there could not have been a more auspicious occasion than for the South East and Ndigbo to ventilate those issues that have been bothering them for some time, especially in the recent pasts than now.”

For him, the constitution review is the beauty of constitutional democracy because it provides a platform for the ventilation of various ideas for the good of society.

For the leaders of the South East, especially Imo and Abia, Governor Uzodimma said they are genuinely committed to the Igbo question, which is demand for Justice and equity.

“When the Igbos talk of restructuring or devolution of power they are talking of actually having an environment created for them to unleash their potentials and talents without let or hindrance.

“They are also talking of being treated equally like every other part of Nigeria. More importantly, they are talking about being part of the decision process in Nigeria. The Igbo leaders are not talking of domination or secession,” he explained.

Uzodimma appealed to Igbo youths “to listen to the voice of reason,” promising them “all shall be well.”

Earlier in his address at the Public Hearing for Imo and Abia States, Senator Omo-Agege who was represented by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, the former Governor of Abia State, said that the constitutional review embarked upon by the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is “meant to douse the raging agitation across the country resulting from the several infractions and inadequate provisions in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”

He called on Ndigbo, Imo and Abia in particular, to seize the opportunity to articulate their demands to be accommodated in the proposed constitutional review.

In a vote of thanks, the Senator representing Okigwe Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, Senator Frank Ibezim thanked Governor Uzodimma for making out time to attend the public hearing to declare it open.

He equally thanked all that were present, especially those that submitted reports, and advised others that are yet to submit their reports to do so, “so that the South East will not continue to grumble and agitate over what bothers them most.”

Apart from Governor Uzodimma and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, others present include the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Federal House Member representing Okigwe North Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Prince Miriam Onuoha, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem and other distinguished lawmakers, dignitaries, and people representing different shades of opinion from Imo and Abia States.

Meanwhile, Governor Uzodimma has been scored highly on infrastructural renewal by the National Executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) whose members also conferred on the Governor, the Grand-Patron Award of the organisation.

Conferring the award at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Owerri, Imo State, Wednesday night, the National President of NUJ, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, alongside other National Officers and the Imo State Executive Council members of the Union led by the Chairman, Chief Chris. Akaraonye eulogised the good works of the Governor that earned him the Award.

They described the Governor as a true Nationalist, who believes in the oneness of Nigeria, a philosophy they said is in line with the belief of NUJ.

The President of NUJ commended the several giant developmental strides of Governor Uzodimma in the area of road construction, especially some critical roads in Imo State that defiled efforts of past administrations.

On security, the NUJ National President also commended the Governor for putting in place the best security architecture that has tried to curtail security surge in the State and brought hoodlums to their knees,  noting that in spite of all odds, the security in Imo State is still one of the best in the country.

Also speaking, the Imo State Chairman of NUJ, Chief Chris Akaraonye commended the Governor on the way he has piloted the affairs of the State.

He used the opportunity to present some of the problems facing the Union in the State to the Governor, which include transportation and the State of Secretariat of Imo NUJ.

Receiving the award, Governor Uzodimma thanked the National President of NUJ and those that accompanied him for the recognition and conferment of the award and promised to uphold it to the letter.

He commended Isiguzo for his efforts and the progress he has made so far as President of NUJ of Igbo extraction.

He promised to give him the necessary support he deserves as the National President of NUJ by registering Imo State at the National Secretariat as a symbol of when an Igbo man was at the helm of the Union in Nigeria.

The Governor informed that NUJ is a union people always look forward to associating with, and sought the need to allow the body to participate in the discussions and resolutions of the problems of insecurity in Nigeria.

The Governor did not hide his feelings over the disgusting role of social media in fuelling most of the problems bedeviling Nigeria, especially insecurity through fake news.

He urged NUJ nationwide to help Government create the awareness that things are not as bad as they are posted and painted on social media.

He thanked the NUJ leadership for positively acknowledging his efforts in the areas of infrastructure and security of lives and property of Imo people and everybody in Imo State and promised not to relent as it is a mandate he has sworn an oath to uphold.

Highlights of the visits were the decoration of the Governor with the Grand Patron Award and the presentation of a plague to that effect.

Comrade Isiguzo used the opportunity to present to the Governor the newly elected Chairman of NAWOJ in Imo State, Mrs. Dorathy Nnaji.

Thereafter, the Governor announced the gift of two buses to the National and Imo State Chapter of the NUJ as a way of enhancing their operations both at the State and National levels.

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