BusinessDay

Protect your domain, Uzodinma charges Imo monarchs

…says, 5km road awarded per LGA, N100bn spent on roads in 2 years

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has charged traditional rulers in Imo State to do everything within their powers to safeguard their domain and protect their subjects against any form of criminality.

At a meeting the governor held with all the traditional rulers from the 27 local government areas of Imo State, he reminded them of their responsibility to protect their communities and their subjects as they are “not only custodians of cultures and tradition but as well, chief security officers of their various communities.”

The meeting with the traditional rulers was held at the Eze Imo Palace at Mbari Owerri Imo State.

Uzodinma commended them for their contributions so far towards peace, security and development in Imo State but regretted that in the process of their efforts for a better Imo society they have suffered humiliation and even deaths.

He promised that government would continue to work with them in the task ahead “so that together the menace and distractions of bandits and unknown gunmen will be a thing of the past.”

He reminded them that the security challenge in Imo State is not a child’s play though not peculiar to Imo State. “It affects almost all the states of the federation and as such cannot be treated with kid’s gloves,” he said.

The governor reiterated that he has come to serve the people and to repair all the sectors that were rotten and damaged by past administrations in the areas of politics, civil service, education, health, roads, water supply, among others.

He also informed the monarchs that the rot in the state is nauseating, citing example of how government has been paying salaries to 6,500 secondary school teachers every month whereas in the bio-data exercise carried out on July 7, 2022 government was only able to record 3,000 secondary school teachers.

He said that it was regrettable “where people are still fraudulent and collecting salary that does not belong to them.”

Governor Uzodinma reminded the monarchs that his administration has recently awarded contracts of five kilometers per local government area and that two kilometers of the 5km has been given out to contractors with advanced payments made.

To realise the project, he urged the traditional rulers to supervise and monitor the construction of the roads in their areas and at the same time, confirm to government on their completion before final payments are made to the contractors.

He also said that the monarchs would be held responsible if they go ahead to approve payments when jobs are either shabbily done, not completed done or not done at all.

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He explained that Imo State government had spent over N100 billion on road infrastructure in the past two years of his administration which even his government does not have in its account.

Governor Uzodinma encouraged the traditional rulers to warn their subjects, especially the politicians, not to kill or fight anybody on his behalf for the purpose of winning a second term election, saying “second term is predicated on performance.”

He reiterated his call on criminals and bandits to drop their arms and come forward to receive pardon and amnesty from his government.

According to him, his administration is ready to protect all communities; all local government areas and Imo State against any form of insecurity, noting that his administration plans to do so by funding the local vigilante and the Ebube Agu to work in collaboration with the security agencies in Imo State.

Responding on behalf of the monarchs, the chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, thanked the governor for finding time to address them and promised to work in tandem with his government to flush out the criminals in Imo communities.

In addition to security, Eze Okeke said that the traditional rulers have been engaging the INEC in stepping up voter registration exercise in the communities to enable Imo people secure their PVCs before the 2023 election.

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