Unlike his first-time inauguration which was modest and near solemn, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s inauguration as Imo state governor for the second-term, was with pomp and pageantries and witnessed by the top echelon of political leadership in Nigeria. Happening on a day dedicated to the remembrance of fallen heroes, tagged the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerian
Unlike his first-time inauguration which was modest and near solemn, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s inauguration as Imo state governor for the second-term, was with pomp and pageantries and witnessed by the top echelon of political leadership in Nigeria.
Happening on a day dedicated to the remembrance of fallen heroes, tagged the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, created time to be at the inauguration of his close political associate and Chairman of the Progressives Governors forum.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had every reason to host an elaborate inauguration because his first swearing-in ceremony was ordered by the Supreme Court and done pronto without the usual fanfare. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Imo State Government House, hours after Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja. Everything happened within 48 hours after the Supreme Court’s pronouncement.
The Supreme Court declared him winner on January 14, 2020. Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja a day after on January 15, 2020 and on the same day proceeded to Imo state for the swearing in which took place late in the evening. In attendance at the swearing-in ceremony were the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of the State, Senator Rochas Okorocha and governorship candidate of APGA in the 2019 governorship election, Ifeanyi Ararume. That was year 2020.
The year 2024 inauguration was a different ball game for Governor Hope Uzodinma. For good reasons, he had every cause to celebrate. He was popularly elected by the people and not imposed by the Court. It would also be his last inauguration as an elected governor. He, therefore, lined up series of activities to celebrate the event including President Tinubu commissioning some legacy projects in the state.
In attendance at the inauguration were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ben Kalu and Chairman of the APC Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje.
Others were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Alex Otti (Abia), Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Rev. Ft Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Gov Lucky Aiyedatiwa (Ondo), (Kebbi State) Governor, Nasir Idris, (Sokoto)Ahmad Sokoto, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Innovation, Science s Technology, Uche Nnaji, Former Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Hon Uche Ekwunife amongst others.
His inauguration on Monday happened barely two months after his re-election. The governor and his deputy, Chinyere Ekomaru, were sworn in at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri by state Chief Judge Justice Theresa Chukwuemeka-Chikeka. The governor committed that his second term as governor would be remembered as an unusual one in terms of policy implementation.
His Inaugural Speech
Speaking at the event, Governor Hope Uzodinma further stated his past achievements and what he intended to achieve in the next four years as the head of the state. The governor also promised to promote the state.
“We’ve been able to lay a solid foundation for accelerated economic growth and development of our state we also addressed over the decades. We met in the civil service decay we met in the education sector and the health sector. In addition, we address the lingering problem of unemployment through a variety of youth empowerment initiatives.
“We carried out a digital version of dealing with the unemployment market, which included the provision of digital and other portable skills, including artificial intelligence to our teaming of young men and women,” he stated.
“I have already signaled this new direction in the 2024 budget is capitalised expenditure has the lion’s share of 491 point 2 billion naira out of the total budget of 591.2 representing 83% for capital projects.
When he spoke about the government’s vision for the state, he focused on a 10-year development plan that has the potential to make the state self-sufficient within the following ten years.
“This 10- year development plan is also designed to deepen the intervention framework of my mantra of recovery, rehabilitation reconstruction.
“In the development plan, we have identified in the priority sectors, including endorsements and projects, particularly agro industries and towards food security.
“The lifespan of the development plan was deliberately made to last beyond my tenure of four years. Because I believed that government is a continuum. Let me assure you on my honor I am determined to exceed my ancestor’s new records.
President Tinubu’s Charge
Speaking at the inauguration, President Bola Tinubu commended the people of Imo State for supporting a progressive agenda by casting their votes for the state governor in the most recent election. He did this after launching a rad project in the state and before attending the swearing in ceremony.
The president also praised the governor, describing him as a hardworking, industrious individual and a dependable Democrat who will ensure their hope is renewed as time passes.
He however, charged the governor to do more work to find economic recovery in the state by synergising with the federal government to deliver the dividend of democracy and to create rapid development in the state.
The president also urged Nigerians to continue to bear with his administration as the country is still bearing the brunt of the removal of fuel subsidy, saying the present pain can be compared to child delivery time which will its aftermath is usually full of joy.
“Before now, every one of us is enveloped with fear to come to Imo state. But today Imo is safe and happy and ready for business. What we have to do is for us to work together join hands and pay attention to our internal security. And today incidentally, is the armed forces Remembrance Day.”
Tinubu continued by saying: “The man Hope Uzodimma is a man very hardworking and industrious. I say congratulations. It is a great honour to be here in Imo State to congratulate the entire people of Imo State for being determined to vote for a second term in office. It is unique and resonates with the progressive’s agenda.
“There is no other way it would have happened. I assure you that you have gotten a good and dependable Democrat. A man who will talk and do. As his name symbolizes, we are here to assure you that your hopes are renewed. This has gone into the record book winning all the local government areas. So, he has to do more work and find good support at the national level to ensure economic recovery of the state.”