1. On Monday, March 11, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results of the governorship election held in Imo State on March 9, 2019 and I was declared Governor-elect of Imo State.
2. It was a resounding victory for the good people of our State. I thank all those who contributed in one way or the other through prayers, voluntary service and hard work of staying in the queue and voting. Yes, this victory belongs to the ordinary men and women in Imo – the traders, artisans, clergy, labourer, farmers, teachers, students, youth and women of all ages.
3. I thank you for the great honour of electing me the Governor of the state and Hon. Gerald Irona, the Deputy Governor, for the next four years. Though you have collectively given us your mandate, this victory belongs to all of you who not only bought into our vision of a great renaissance but also toiled endlessly to ensure that the dream for our dear state is realised. With utmost humility, on behalf of the Deputy Governor-elect, we accept this call to service.
4. I am humbled by your trust in my leadership. For me the mandate which you have bestowed on me is sacred and I shall do all in my capacity to uphold that thrust. For your trust, we owe you unalloyed service.
5. This election is as epochal as its outcome is momentous. It is a fervent protest against impunity and the celebrations in all the nooks and crannies of the state is a testimony to your belief in the rightness and wisdom of our vision for Imo state and the new path to progress which we shared with you during the campaigns.
6. To our indefatigable team, men, women and youth who worked tirelessly, and gave their time, talents and resources freely in furtherance of the greater Imo dream, we say thank you.
7. My gratitude also goes to the leaders, faithful members of the PDP who not only found me worthy of the governorship ticket, but worked assiduously to realise this dream. Without your incomparable sense of duty, this moment would have been but a mirage. And to my darling wife, Ebere, your sacrifices and prayers have been my staying power. For being my pillar of support, I say, thank you. My dear mother, children, siblings and family members and friends I say thank you for all your sacrifices. To officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies as well as other officials who conducted, observed or monitored the election, I say a big thank you, for conducting a credible election. To fellow contestants, I salute your sportsmanship. You fought gallantly but like in every contest, a winner must emerge. I extend my hand of fellowship to all of you as the urgent and gargantuan task of rebuilding Imo is a collective responsibility.
8. We shall run an open, transparent and accountable government with due process as its hallmark. I believe strongly that those in positions of authority must render account of their stewardship to the people. The era of brazenness in Imo State is gone.
9. My fellow citizens, I will be governor to all Ndi-lmo both those who voted for us and those who did not. No part is greater or more important than the other. We are equal stakeholders in the Imo project and must therefore ensure that our people are united in the pursuant of the common good. We look forward to the future with hope. It is my duty and responsibility to ensure that we remain brothers and sisters with a common destiny. I am certain that with all hands-on deck, we shall achieve the Imo of our dreams.
10. We will run an all-inclusive government and not a government of exclusion. Ours will be a government that will promote the unity of the state, rather than accentuate the fissures that have characterized our relationship with each other in recent times. As the popular saying goes, “let us not listen to things that will divide us, let us rather listen to things that will unite us, for united we stand, divided we fall.”
11. All we need to do to realise this vision is to aggregate our skills, talents, and sundry resources in our collective basket of goodwill in productive cooperation as Imo is indeed a land of peace, known for the political sagacity of its people.
12. Our priority will be the reclaiming of the dignity of our people. We shall no longer be the laughing stock of Nigeria as only positive, productive and progressive stories will be told of the new Imo. Imo has always been known for the right things, with a huge reservoir of human capital waiting to be exploited for the great leap forward.
13. The elections are over. What remains is the fulfillment of the promises we made to our people. We entered into a social contract with you with our manifesto and we shall remain faithful to our obligations in that contract. This contract seeks to substantially improve the welfare, security, property rights, economic and social advancement of our people. We shall find creative ways of funding our ambitious infrastructural projects and give Imo the quality education, healthcare and general good governance that you desire.
14. The level of decay in the last eight years makes it imperative that the redemptive work starts immediately. To kick-start the rebuilding process, I shall set up in the coming days, a Transition team with clear terms of reference. This team will liaise with the outgoing government to collate and collect information on the state of affairs of our State. They will recommend the structure of our government. They will translate our campaign promises into actionable executive and legislative policies with clear time lines. In summary, they will be charged with making far reaching recommendations on the way forward for our dear state that has suffered from years of brigandage, lack of direction, Ad-Hoc approach to governance and lack of due process.
15. Finally, may I also use this opportunity to warn all those who may be tempted to do illegal last-minute transaction with the outgoing government, particularly financial institutions, which may result in further burdening the state with unsustainable liabilities that they will be doing so at their own peril.
16. All I seek is your continued support. Together, we will create the Imo of our collective dream. We shall not fail you.
17. Thank you.
Rt. Hon. Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha, CON
Governor-elect, Imo State
13th March, 2019