The desire of Imo people that Governor Hope Uzodimma continues in office after serving out his first four years in January 15, 2024, got a major boost on Saturday with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) backing his November 11, 2023 reelection bid.
It was a day an elated Governor Uzodimma reiterated that his Government was “installed by God” hence “there is no need to pretend about it.”
He said that is why he always obliges the demands of men of God who will lead Imo people to come before God’s presence due to the benefits of doing so.
The leaders of the highly respected Christian body anchored their position on what they termed Governor Uzodimma’s superlative performance in office.
The endorsement by CAN is in sync with the position many other groups and individuals, within and outside Imo State, had taken regarding Governor Uzodimma’s reelection.
The Church leaders spoke at the Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square, New Owerri at an Interdenominational Service for Peace and Unity organised by the Imo State Chapter of CAN with the theme: Peace and Unity – Bedrock for Sustainable Development.
The lesson was drawn from the Book of Psalm 133:1-3.
The occasion was also a consummation of one of the decisions recently taken by the Imo State Council of Elders with regard to Imo Charter of Equity, and the need for the people to seek the face of God on its implementation via an Interdenominational Service.
The Christian community had used the opportunity of the gathering to adopt and dedicate the Imo Charter of Equity document to God while also praying for peace, stability and security in Imo State, particularly as the November governorship election draws closer.
The event, a version of the annual Imo Prays that CAN has been organising in Imo State in the past three years attracted the who is who in the Christian community in the country, either physically present or ably represented.
The Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba was the Spiritual father of the day. He was ably represented by the Anglican Archbishop of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Dr. David Onuoha while the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, as one of the guest speakers, was also represented.
Emeritus Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Dr. Samuel CK Uche, His Lordship, Bishop Dennis Jacobs of the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Snr. Apostle Bethel Onumajuru of the OAIC, Rev Eches Divine Eches, the CAN Chairman of Imo State, among others were all present.
While praying for Governor Uzodimma and his family after the Imo Charter of Equity was formally presented to him by the Chairman, Imo State Council of Elders, HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Archbishop Uche described the governor’s performance as “superlative” and that he needs to be re-elected to continue with the good works he is doing in Imo State.
He urged all and sundry to support Governor Uzodimma with their love and appealed to the Governor to consider granting amnesty to the bandits living in the bushes and wreaking havoc from there, whom he said, must have taken to criminality due to “hunger and hardship.”
Governor Uzodimma in his remarks acknowledged that there is obvious similarity between Government and the Church which he said is “encapsulated in the service of the people.”
He therefore thanked God for making the day possible “and for the wisdom of the Christian Association of Nigeria Imo Chapter, for initiating Imo Prays,” noting that “Imo State is a Christian State and the people believe that prayer is the key to many things.”
He pointed out that the leadership of the Church in Imo State has shown a lot of evangelism that has made them to see and point out that what is evil is bad and what is good is good.
Also, the Governor thanked the Elders Council for their advisory role on the need for peace, justice and equity in Imo State and expressed happiness over the formal presentation of Imo Charter of Equity in an Inter-denominational programme.
He used the opportunity to advise Imo people, especially the politicians, Stakeholders and Leaders of Thought, to take the Charter of Equity seriously as it “will guarantee peace and unity and reduce political instability.”
He reiterated that only God gives power and as such “politics should not be a do or die affair.” “We all should submit to the wise counsel,” he said.
The Governor continued, “There is no point anybody trying to disorganise the society and State,” and called on Imo citizens to join the Elders and other Stakeholders who have expressed confidence in the Imo Charter of Equity.
He restated that “Imo State government does not need an interpreter to know that we need peace,” saying that as the government wishes the people good, it expects the people to also wish the government good.
“Political parties, campaigns and elections will come and go while Imo State will remain, therefore every Imo person who loves Imo State must wish Imo State peace, progress and development.”
On behalf of the government and people of Imo State, the Governor pledged: “I have received the Charter of Equity and will do my best to implement it.”
One of the Guest Speakers, Archbishop Onuoha who is also a member of the Imo State Elders Council, said Imo people are all brothers and sisters and should not hate themselves and create strives of disunity.
He anchored his speech on Genesis Chapter 13:8, in relation to Abram who later became Abraham and his nephew, Lot.
Archbishop Onuoha said: “It’s God’s decision to place all of us where we are: be it family, village, community or State and we have no choice of where we want to be because that is what God has made.
“For God to grant Imo the prosperity, unity and peace we desire there is every need to join hands together to make Imo State great and love ourselves as brothers and sisters.
“For us to see Imo of our dream we must repent of our sins, the Elders must speak up and should not see the insecurity in Imo State as a problem of the Governor or that of the Government.
“The unknown gunmen are known to some people, those who know them should tell them to stop killing their brothers and sisters.
“Running away from the rural to the urban, from Imo State to Lagos or Abuja or even to abroad is not a solution to the problems of insecurity in Imo State, rather what should be uppermost in our mind is the wellbeing and the welfare of Imo people.”
He then prayed, “from today God will give us peace, prosperity will be released to all Imo citizens because we are all brothers and sisters.”
The Chairman of Imo Elders Council, Eze Ilomuanya recalled that on April 23, 2023 the Elders Council met on the issue of peace and unity of Imo State and decided to take a resolution on the Imo Charter of Equity for future political arrangements of the State.
He then invited Governor Uzodimma to formally receive the Charter of Equity document from the Elders Council and called on the Prelate emeritus, Archbishop Uche to bless the document and pray for the Governor.
Prayers were also generously offered for Imo State, the government, the citizens, the security, the criminals, and the country.
Gospel singer, Mercy Chinwo was the guest artist who complemented the performance of multi- talented artist, Felix Ndukwe.
Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioners, political and government appointees, traditional rulers, among other leaders graced the occasion while attendance cuts across guests from the 27 Local Government Areas of the State.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor
May 13, 2023.