Photo: Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State being conferred with the Chieftaincy title of Enyioma Mbaise by foremost traditional ruler in Mbaise, HRH. Eze Ositadinma Nwokocha, Umara ll of Amumara Mbaise during the 2022 Iriji-Mbaise festival which held at Itu Ezinihitte Central School…Tuesday
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State was on Tuesday honoured with a prestigious Chieftaincy title of Enyioma Mbaise (Good friend of Mbaise Nation) by ranking traditional rulers from the area in appreciation of his good relationship with the people of Mbaise.
The honour done the Governor was the climax of the 2022 Iriji-Mbaise national cultural festival which held at Itu Central School Field in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local government area on August 16, 2022.
In his remarks after all the pomp and circumstance associated with the festival such as the inspection of Yam Barn, the opening of yam dish and cutting of yam, Governor Uzodimma told the mammoth crowd of Mbaise sons and daughters who turned up for the occasion, that the development of Mbaise is top on his agenda.
”We cannot develop any other part of Imo State without developing Mbaise nation.”
The Governor gave the assurance that the development which has eluded the area for decades will be brought to them by his administration before other parts of the State.
Governor Uzodimma who described Mbaise people as highly intellectual, educated and as pacesetters, emphasised that as far as he is concerned “civilization started in Mbaise land.”
Governor Uzodimma said though he was invited as Special Guest of Honour to come and show solidarity with the people over the Iriji festival, his instincts tells him that he is part of Mbaise Nation because of his past history with the people.
“This is home-coming for me. So it is erronous for me to be regarded as a Guest. Rather, I am a co-host at this Iriji-Mbaise occasion organized by a people who are my own.”
Governor Uzodimma assured that “despite the threats and animosity from some quarters, nobody will succeed in creating enmity between me and my people because of selfish and personal interest.”
He thanked the organisers for working hard to keep fate with a festival that has become synonymous with the Mbaise Nation.
The Governor appreciated the honour done him by the Traditional Rulers who conferred the Enyioma Mbaise Chieftaincy title on him, despite the threat issued to them not to do so or face serious consequences.
Governor Uzodimma assured both the Royal Fathers and the organisers of the event that no harm would happen to them as government will ensure that no such thing happens.
“Let me sound a note of warning. If anything happens to any traditional ruler, political appointee or organisers of this event from Mbaise, we know those to hold responsible.”
He promised to deal the issue of bad roads as demanded by the organisers of the festival and Mbaise leaders.
“You will be living witnesses to my reassurance that development will come to Mbaise Nation under my watch. Take it from me that my government will leave Mbaise Nation better than we met it. There can be no development in Imo without first developing Mbaise Nation.”
In his welcome speech, President General, Olu Oha Mbaise, Chief Perry Opara thanked Governor Uzodimma and other dignatories for finding time to be part of the festival despite their busy schedule.
He lauded the Governor’s development strides in Mbaise in particular and Imo State in general, reminding him that Mbaise Nation will forever remain grateful for the flag-off of the Owerri-Mbaise-Umuahia.
Chief Opara however told the Governor that Mbaise Nation deserves good roads like yesterday and that his name will be etched in the psyche of the people if he does that.
In his remarks as Chairman of the occasion, Chief Paul Obasi (Paul and Paul), applauded the Governor for his numerous achievements touching on
the different political zones of Imo State, particularly the recent flag-off of the Owerri- Mbaise -Umuahia road among other projects and pledged the continuous support of Mbaise Nation to his administration.
He also emphasised the importance of good roads in Mbaise.
The event attracted the high and mighty from Mbaise and other parts of Imo State to Itu in Ezinihitte, the host local government area for this year’s Iriji-Mbaise festival.
Those in attendance include the Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku, Secretary to Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmas Iwu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 9, Umuahia, Isaac Akinmoyode, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. C O C Akaolisa and all the members of the Imo State Expanded Executive Council.
Also present were the Eze Imo, HRH, Eze Dr E C.Okeke, His Owerri zone Chairman, HRH, Eze Akujiobi, among numerous other monarchs from Imo State.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidates for Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri: Mr. Patrick Ndubueze, Osita Izunaso and Alex Mbata respectively, as well as other candidates for elective political offices from Imo State were also in attendance.
Foremost businessmen, Chief Tony Chukwu, Chief Henry Amadi, Chief Charles Amadi to name but a few as, well as current and former APC leaders like Chief Marcellinus Nlemigbo also graced the occasion.