The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has expressed his regret over the alleged assault on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, by some security agents and thugs during a protest in Owerri last week.
The governor stated this on Tuesday while addressing the issues of the Joe Ajaero led National leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), on the sidelines of the visit by the Imo State Council of elders.
The governor apologized to the NLC leader while maintaining that the government cannot be intimidated by the blackmails of the union.
The Governor maintained that since the election of the NLC leader who happened to come from the state, he has never extended any olive branch to his state government even when the state government has done several times to no avail.
He narrated that the apex national position of the labour union which should bring positives to the state government and people of the state has turned out to be a curse which has always brought agony to the people of the state.
“The government of Imo state regret any ill action taken against the president of the NLC but the government cannot be intimidated by the blackmails of the union” the governor said.
The council, led by its chairman and former traditional ruler, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, praised the governor for his reelection and thanked the people of Imo for respecting the charter of equity, which stipulates the rotation of power among the three senatorial zones of the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the elders’ council and the former chairman of South East and Imo State Council of traditional rulers, His Royal Majesty Eze (Dr) Cletus Ilomuanya, CON, the Obi of Obinugwu said the elders came to congratulate the governor over his re-election while using same medium to thank Imo people for listening to the elders on respecting the Imo charter of equity.
“The Council, in congratulating His Excellency urges him to see his reelection as huge trust Imo people reposed in his leadership.
“The Council also congratulates Imo people for trooping out massively to freely exercise their right to vote peacefully during the governorship election .
“The Council thanks the good people of Imo State, for massively voting for His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma, which guaranteed his reelection for a second tenure in Office as Governor of Imo State,and is pleased that Imo people harkened to the clarion call by Elders in the State and believed in the Imo Charter of Equity.”
Continuing, the elders’ council enjoined other candidates who contested the election to respect and accept the election as the verdicts of Imo people while commending them for their peaceful disposition during and after the election.
“All candidates of other political parties who contested the November 11, 2023 Imo Governorship election are also enjoined by the Council to accept Imo people’s verdict on the election in good faith in the overall interest and benefit of the State.
“The Council commends the candidates for their orderly and peaceful conducts during and after the election,noting that all the contestants including the winner of the election have no other State than Imo. Election will come and go, but the brotherhood which binds us together must be preserved. No sacrifice made to ensure peace, unity, stability and progress of Imo State by all Stakeholders would be too much. We are all one.” declared the council elders.
Responding, The newly elected Governor of Imo state said he is appreciative of all the roles played by the elders’ council on his Re-Election campaigns most especially the enactment and promotion of the Imo charter of equity which he has continued to attribute in playing a major role in his last Saturday victory.
The Governor in unequivocal terms stated that he will do everything within his power and instrumentality of the state government to make sure that the charter of equity is sustained while assuring the elders that as long as he lives as the governor of the state, power will go to Owerri Zone after the expiration of his second term.
“I have no doubt that my successor will be produced by the charter of equity.
“The next Governor will come from Owerri zone and after it will go to Okigwe zone.
“The next Governor after me, so long as I remain alive as the governor will not come from Orlu Zone.” Governor Uzodimma assured the elders.
Continuing, the governor re-assured the elders to go home and rest as he promised that he will never betray their expectations.
“Go home and rest as I will never betray you” Uzodimma said.