Okigwe Senate Seat: Elders, Party Leaders Endorse Uwajumogu
Apparently impressed by the qualitative ways he has represented the zone in his capacity as the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, stakeholders, elders, apex and arrow-head party leaders in Okigwe zone of the All Progressive Congress, APC, yesterday, unanimously adopted the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, as their consensus candidate for the 2015 Okigwe Senate Seat.
The leaders, who spoke through Chief E.J.K Onyewuchi, told the Speaker that the meeting was convened by relevant stakeholders in the zone in appreciation of the monumental achievements of the APC led administration in the state, as well as the zone in particular, and to further register their resolve, commitment and support towards ensuring that the blossoming dreams of rebuilding Okigwe zone is achieved.
He noted that Okigwe sons and daughters were witnesses to the aggressive developments recorded in all the sectors of the state’s economy and lamented that despite their inability to give in their support to the Governor during the last general elections, at the instance of their son (Former Governor Ikedi Ohakim), the Governor had defied all odds of political vindictiveness that has characterized the state’s political space and had ensured that the Okigwe zone is developed at par with other zones in the state which is beyond the expectation of the people.
Continuing he said that as progressive leaders from the zone, they cannot over look the level of developmental strides of the present administration in the state, especially in the areas of infrastructural facilities like good road networks, the establishment of one modern General Hospital in each of the local government areas, the new school building blocks in each of the electoral wards, the Okigwe urban renewal which brought about the first stainless street light in the zone, free distribution of uniforms, shoes and other kits to complement the free and qualitative education in the state and most importantly, the citing and construction of two tertiary institutions in the area, a feat they described as having broken the age-long jinx of citing tertiary institutions in the area.
On the zoning of elective positions in the area, the elder statesman pointed out that in the year 1978, before the first ever senatorial election in Okigwe zone, the leaders which included, Prof. Echeruo, Former Governor Sam Mbakewe, Nze Philip Nwosu, Chief Benson Maduako, Chief Anamekwe and other stakeholders held a meeting at one Mr. ‘O.k 2000’s’ residence in Okigwe local government where he (Chief Onyewuchi) made the proposal that the first senate slot should go to Okigwe local government, a proposal which an Okigwe man stood up and zoned to Ehime Mbano, after which a conclusion was reached that the seat should rotate to all the remaining local government areas in the zone, except in a situation whereby a particular local government is considered to have performed optimally, that area would be given another chance to further represent the zone.
He emphasized that three local governments in the area, namely; Ehime Mbano, Isiala Mbano and Obowo have had their shots at the senate, while Ihitte-Uboma, Onuimo and Okigwe local governments are yet to represent the zone in the senate. He therefore made it clear that for equity and the zoning arrangement by the leaders, any credible candidate from the aforementioned local government areas should be allowed to represent the zone this time.
Reading from the communique adopted during their initial meeting to support the candidature of Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu, Chief Onyewuchi, posited that for the zone to continue to attract democracy dividends for its further development, the zone needed a personality who is approachable, humble, resilient, hardworking, dedicated, honest, as well as one who possesses a strong voice and charisma which can redefine the tide of things in the zone and make it a model.
The communique further hinted that after close analysis of all the aspirants from the zone, which was undertaken against any prejudice and inducement, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu was considered fit to have acquired the necessary credentials and excellent track records to represent the zone at the upper chambers of the National Assembly.
It also commended the closed working relationship existing between the Governor and the Speaker, pointing out that such relationship had brought development across the nooks and crannies of the zone.
Responding, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, who was surprised at the decision of the elders, stated that he was dump founded at the level of support and decision of the Okigwe people to endorse his aspiration.
He thanked the people of the area for keeping faith with the effort of the current administration to develop the state, especially, the zone, promising that the high level confidence reposed in him by the people would never be taken for granted.
The Speaker who averred that Okigwe zone has witnessed series of developments since the inception of the present administration, also challenged those whom he said were parading themselves as opposition political leaders in the zone to come forward and show the people their account of stewardship.
Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu however, cautioned those whom he described as zoning merchants to desist from mortgaging the development of the area through their divisive tendencies, maintaining that it was time for the zone to move forward from its current state, while the best candidate should be support to the do the job.
He noted that the current administration in the state has taken significant steps in laying a solid foundation for the future of the state and attributed it to the personal sacrifices of the leaders, whom he said have traded-off their comfort for the betterment of the citizenry of the state.
While commending Owelle Rochas Okorocha, for his remarkable achievements in the state, especially, the free education across all levels of education in the state, the Speaker attributed the high rate of crime in our different societies to lack of quality education and stressed that the state government policy on education has lifted the state from the doldrums of ignorance, while preparing the youths for a brighter future.
The Speaker further disclosed that a bill to accord the Umunakanu Ehime Mbano campus of the Imo state Polytechnic, a full Polytechnic status, while the state Polytechnic, Umuagwo would be upgraded to a university were before the State House of Assembly, even as approval has also been given for the release of funds for the immediate take off of the Imo State College of Education, Ihitte-Uboma.
He described the moves as an intellectual and economic empowerment for the people of the zone which must be sustained and consolidated, adding that the multiplier effect of this gesture would see these institutions attracting development across the nooks and crannies of the zone.
Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu, however, concluded with an assurance that if elected, his major priority would be to attract projects which would have direct impact on the welfare of the youths, women and children.
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