Nov. Poll: Why APC’s Uzodimma/Ekomaru ticket remains best for Imolites – Durugo

Sir Samuel Onyebuchi Durugo is the Chief Executive Officer of VTM Global Services Limited, a construction and Equipment leasing Company and also the Chief Executive Officer of Safac Engineering Company Limited, both based at kilometer 16: Port Harcourt-Aba Road Port Harcourt as well as the Director of Domino Favour Missionary Academy, Port Harcourt. The Umuokwu Izombe in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State-born businessman, who is now a chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), last weekend hosted some media executives in Enugu where he spoke on the forthcoming November 11 Governorship Election in the state as well his reason for supporting Governor Hope Uzodimma’s reelection bid. Excerpts:

We understand you are one of the key supporters of Gov. Hope Uzodimma and his running mate Lady Chinyere Ekomaru in the November 11, 2023 governorship election, what is the reason for your involvement in this project?

I must thank you for this question. I must say that I have numerous reasons for supporting the second term bid of Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma and Lady Chinyere Ihuoma Ekomaru in the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Imo State. Firstly, if you are a resident of Imo State or a visitor who is familiar with Owerri and other communities that constitute the 27 Local Government Areas of the state, you will attest to the fact that Imo has witnessed a paradigm shift in terms of good governance since Gov. Uzodimma took over as governor.

The old order of maladministration which was the situation before the ascendance of Uzodimma has suddenly disappeared. The governor began with the social cum administrative re-engineering of the civil service to the provision of durable infrastructures and transparency in the management of state affairs. I must add that the state government under Distinguished Senator Uzodimma has done quite much in human capacity building in addition to tackling security problems in the state in the past three and half years. 

Secondly, the choice of Lady Chinyere Ekomaru as his deputy in the forthcoming November 11 governorship election for me is a masterstroke because that shows that our governor is gender sensitive. Lady Ekomaru is not just a woman, but a thoroughbred mother and morally equipped teacher and leader. 

I have to say that the combination of all these factors is the reason why Gov. Uzodimma is the candidate to beat in the forthcoming November 11 governorship election in Imo State and many people in the state are rooting for him to come back for another four years term.

You mentioned gender balancing as one of the key factors that endeared you to Gov. Hope Uzodinma’s second term project, what do you think Imo women will benefit if the duo succeed?

With Lady Chinyere Ihuoma Ekomaru as the next deputy governor, average Imo woman will have her voice heard. I must say that in any home you visited and there is no woman, that home is incomplete and that I presumed our governor must have sensed in his choice of Lady Chinyere Ekomaru at this material time. This woman is an epitome of womanhood and one with intellectual and moral capacity needed at this crucial period to steer the ship of Imo State to safe harbour. I must add that having known Lady Chinyere Ekomaru before now, and her husband and children, I will say that Imo people are blessed that a mother her excellence is coming to be in government to assist our governor in the management of their activities. Like I had said before, this is the best time to bring a mother on board the state team and with her, we can get our mothers back on track and once that is achieved, we will get our youths and children back on track as well. 

The current problem plaguing the Nigerian society, Imo State inconclusive is the rot in many homes which translate to the raising antisocial and crime wave, with Lady Ekomaru as deputy what do you think she can do differently? 

Like I said before, the best model of leadership is one by example. If you knew the background of Lady Ekomaru, you will agree with me that she is a disciplinarian and a digitally compliant teacher who understands the direction of the millennium children and has what it takes intellectually to proffer workable solutions in handling family affairs especially children. She can assist Gov. Uzodimma to take Imo children on the path of morality and digital activities in things in global economy. 

Can you tell the public what they may expect from the second term of Gov. Uzodimma and Lady Chinyere Ekomaru considering the rate antisocial behaviours among our youths?

Some people who knew her as a lecturer at Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, will agree with me that she already understands how to decipher the psychomotor and cognitive domain of our children and youths as an educationist and this I believe will be one of her schedules of duties to her. 

As a young man and an entrepreneur, I must say that our youths have gone astray and required multidimensional approaches to return them on the path of moral rectitude, and that I believed would be achieved under the second term of Gov. Uzodimma with Lady Ekomaru on board. Needles to mention of the so much involvement of our young boys into yahoo, yahoo and all manners of fast lifestyles, all these are things of concerns that must be addressed. 

Already the state is promoting skill acquisition trainings under the Skill Up Imo initiative and had empowered 20, 000 youths with laptop computers so far. Also, another 40, 000 are undergoing trainings and will be empowered with laptops before the end December this year.

We understand that you held one million march in support of Uzodimma/Ekomaru guber Project on Saturday October 7, 2023, why that?

The one million march was organised under Gov. Uzodimma/Lady Ekomaru Intergrity Movement, which by the special grace of God, I am the leader and facilitator. The programme was a huge success because we even surpassed our expectations and people who witness the event can attest that it was the mother of political gathering in Imo in recent time. 

And what prompted me to embark on this project was saying that one good turn deceives another. In Nigeria today Imo State inconclusive are faced with serious problems of insecurity and unemployment. 

But our governor has done so much to checkmate the activities of criminals and insurgents in the state. This problem of insecurity you know was inherited.from the last administration, but the present administration has deployed a lot of resources in make the state safe for socio-economic and political activities to thrive. Owerri, the state capital has bounced back to it’s social life. Night life is gradually returning as we use to have it before. 

The governor has constructed a lot of roads now making vehicular movements from Orlu to Owerri, Umuahia to Owerri and Isiala Mbano to Owerri now seamless. This is not to gloss over the urban roads in Owerri and the constitution of many other roads in various communities in the 27 Local Government Areas of the state. 

In the last administration, the order of the day was chain roads and acid rain rain in the state, but that era has gone for good due to the coming of Gov. Uzodimma. A lot has been done to train the youths and equip them in the area of ICT and digital economic activities.

Beyond roads, what else do you feel the Uzodimma administration had achieved since he became governor?

Thank you very much. Go to Umuokanne in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, a standard hospital project has been completed and Equipped also in Oguta, and Omuma in Oru East Local Government Area, we all have well built and equipped hospitals all done by Gov. Uzodimma. 

Again, the civil servants in the state now have very rosy tales to tell rather than the situation they were in during the previous administration. There is no civil servant in the state being owed salary and that is the reason why the students, civil servants and the business community in the state are delighted to have His Excellence Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma return to complete another four years term. 

I must tell you at this juncture that all achievements recorded by our governor in the past three and half years were things that endeared me to invest my personal resources to support his second term bid through mobilizing of people at the grassroots, as well as funding other activities to ensure he win landslide.

The concerns before now is that people from Owerri and Okigwe Senatorial Districts have been complianing of being marginalized in terms of the governorship position by the Orlu Senatorial District where Gov. Uzodimma comes from, what is your take on this?

The constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria settles this situation in that everyone is covered by law to exercise his fundamental rights of association with political association inconclusive. And it is on this baseline, that democracy thrives. I would have decided to fly the flag of any political party in this coming governorship election and so long as people voted for me, no one can pull the carpet off my feet on the basis of where I come from. 

And so, it is for this reason that the various political parties are fielding candidates in the forthcoming November 11 governorship election in the state. 

But I must say at this juncture that Imo people should serve as a model to other states of Nigeria in terms of the politics of governorship. Yes, Orlu zone had produced produced former Governors Achike Udenwa, Rochas Okorocha and now Gov. Hope Uzodimma as against former Governor Ikedi Ohakim and Emeka Ihedioha who functioned briefing before he was ousted. What is very remarkable, for these governors from Orlu zone is their transparent and fair management of state resources and positions and this style of administration should be copied by other states to reduce tension in our polity. What Imo people are interested in, is the capacity of a candidate standing for governorship position and not where the person is coming from. 

A retrospect of what Imo people do during governorship elections since the return of democracy in 1999 is to scale up candidates jostling for governorship election and at the end they would vote in the best among the candidates. I must observed that this should be emulated by other states so long as they will equally adopt the equitable sharing formula of resources these past governors.

As a business man, what do you feel the Gov. Uzodinma should do for a nice business climate in the state?

Presently, the governor Introduced the three 3R policy in his first tenure. Under this policy, a lot of programmes aimed at promoting business activities are on board. The provision of quality infrastructures and security are very important roadmap for building the confidence of investors and all these are vigorously being pursued by the governor. 

Like you know this is campaign period, it is not every plan the All Progressive Congress government of Gov. Uzodinma that is to be unveiled because the opposition might start copying them and making noise all over the place, but as one privileged to be part of the fold, I must reveal 

that Imo is in safe hand under Uzodinma in the next four years. 

What advice do you have for Imo people ahead of November 11 governorship election in the state?

My advice is to appeal to Imo people to consider the good works of Gov. Hope Uzodinma and massively vote him in for the second term in office. I advised them not to allow fair-weather politicians to deceive them by promising them things that are not possible to achieve all in a bid to fraudulently get their votes. 

Again, a vote for Gov. Uzodimma and Lady Ekomaru is consolidation of Imo State at the central government equally controlled by APC under Senator Bola Tinubu. And our people should not lose grip of this political opportunity by allowing lions in sheep clothing to trick them off the road.

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