Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Labour party, LP, has called for the urgent resetting of Imo State for good governance, peace and security.
The party noted with deep concern that the festering insecurity in the state might not subside unless “there is a resetting of the state.”
Gubernatorial aspirant of the party in Imo state, Maj Gen Lincoln Keonyemere Jack Ogunewe (retd.), who made the call in Owerri during a book presentation in honour of the presidential candidate of LP, Peter Obi, said that until there was a paradigm shift on the modus operandi of the state, the woes of the state might persist.
He hinted that the Labour party would soon embark on state-wide town hall meetings and campaigns to sensitise the people on the need to reset Imo State, which he regretted, was currently on static mode.
He said: “The worsening insecurity in Imo State could be likened to a television that is frozen; you cannot change the channel, volume or any function on the remote until you reset it. It is my utmost belief that Imo State needs resetting, hence our motto “TEAM RESET IMO 4 OBIDATTI.”
“We will work tirelessly to actualize the Peter Obi presidency. Soon, we will be embarking on Town hall Meetings in the 27 LGAs of Imo State vigorously sensitizing Imolites and selling Peter Obi and all our other candidates.
“A new era has come in Nigeria’s political history and Imo state especially. Let us join hands and resolve that “Old things have passed away; behold the new has come.”
“Join us to “Reset Imo 4 ObiDatti.” It’s a new beginning. It’s a new era.”
General Ogunewe argued that leadership is a burden and a calling; and not investments contrary to the mentality of some money bags in politics.
He cited the late Sam Mbakwe as an example of a passionate leader who sacrificed his personal comfort to serve his people.
“Leadership is a burden and not an investment. This is a self-evident truth that many ignore or don’t understand. A test of leadership is that it must not only be transparent but must be seen to be transparent.
“Those that have passed this test of leadership are always on the side of justice, equity, history and the people. The late Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe (Dee Sam) passed this test of leadership. Dee Sam was simply clothed in his simple self and not clothed in titles or praise names.
“As the first Civilian Governor of Imo State, he lived and served his people, Ndi Imo. He was passionate and even traded his dignity and was tagged as the Weeping Governor.
“Dee Sam was not weeping for yesterday but for today. He saw Imo of tomorrow, the hatred, the chaos, the killings and therefore wept. Mbakwe’s government was a people’s revolution, a revolution of love and peaceful co-existence that galvanized the people to achieve common goals. Chief Sam Mbakwe galvanized Imolites to build the Imo Airport through their sweat and blood.
“Indeed, Dee Sam wept. He saw tomorrow and wept. Look at Imo state today, a peaceful and progressive state and judge for yourselves. We are so divided, we hate one another, no brotherly love which has turned a once peaceful and progressive state to a state of killings too many.”
The retired General expressed worry over the worsening insecurity in Imo, and called for urgent action to restore peace and security to the state.
“We now live, move and sleep in fear because we know that we can be killed within the slightest provocation or for no just cause.
“Why can’t we come together as one people and forgive each other in love? Can’t we as one people strive for a genuine reconciliation? Don’t we know that a state of strife and insecurity drives away investors and stifles progress and development? Are we not aware? All Imolites need to make sacrifices and embrace peace before it is too late.
“I am a security expert having spent 35 years in the service of Nigeria in the Army. I held several command, staff, intelligence and diplomatic postings which greatly exposed me in different spheres of life.
“I know that conflicts of any nature cannot and can never be resolved by bullets, guns and threats but by negotiation, pacification and reintegration.
“No one is happy with the rate of killings in Imo State which could have been resolved if leadership at all levels played their parts; leadership at the family level, community, Local Government Areas and the State.”