FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2019.
It with great joy that I welcome you all to the Imo State Day of Thanksgiving. The theme for this event is very apt and taken from Psalm 34: 3-4; “Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” I welcome, the Guest Speaker for today, God’s servant, Evangelist Uma Ukpai.
2. As Christians, gratitude to God is one of the fundamental tenets of our faith. It is enjoined in the teachings of Christ, especially in the Parable of the Ten Lepers in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter17. In it, Jesus had healed ten lepers, but unfortunately, it was only one, and indeed, a Samaritan, who came back to express gratitude to Christ. The rest nine simply melted away into the society.
3. Unlike the nine, Imo State government recognizes the magnitude of the grace of God upon the State. The significant transformations we have recorded in seven months could not have been possible without God. We are conscious of the warning in Deuteronomy 8:17 never to say “…My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” We take heed to acknowledge, therefore, the Lord our God, for it is He that has given us the grace to make this progress.
4. In our infrastructure rebuilding efforts, security, agriculture, sports and all. His mercies have been evident. The Imo narrative has changed. We are now a State known for positive developments.
• We are rated the least corrupt state in the country, by no less an agency than the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS);
• Rated the fastest growing economy by the leading economic journal in the country: Businessday, and
• Rated the Best Overall Performing State in ICT Development after the assessment conducted by the National Council on Communication and Digital Economy, in Gombe State, this month.
5. Today Imo State is sought after by many investors, international agencies and corporations. From aviation to oil and gas, commerce to tourism, Imo has become the favoured destination.
6. In another breath, this event affords us the opportunity to present our prayers and petitions before God for the coming year. We certainly need His wisdom, the resources and strength to pursue our MISSION, to rebuild, reposition and transform Imo State into a modern ecosystem. We also strive to create an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth and improved quality life for our people. Similarly, we implore His grace to make Imo State one of the top three most developed state economies in Nigeria by 2025 and ranked within Africa’s top ten economies by 2030.
7. I urge us all to make these points our prayer focus for the coming year. I must specially thank all our Fathers in the Faith; Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Priests, Ministers and, indeed, all the faithful. You have been to us what Aaron and Hur were to Moses in a critical period in the journey to the Promise Land. You have continually borne our hands up in our developmental efforts, by your prayers and the altars you have raised to God for the State. We pray the Almighty God would reward you all for your labour.
8. One again, I invite us all to join hands and let us Rebuild Imo. “Imo bu nke anyi.”
Merry Christmas to the good people of Imo State and a prosperous New Year.