The management, staff and students of Imo State University have adopted Governor Uzodimma as their candidate for the November 11 governorship election and promised to work for his re-election.
The adoption took place at maiden interactive session as the Visitor to the University, at its Auditorium, on Monday November 6.
Consequently, Governor Uzodimma reassured that his government will do everything within its powers to allow the Imo State University (IMSU) stand on its own, “if possible be completely autonomous.”
The Governor said the visit was to interact with the Staff, Management and students on the way forward and to encourage members of the University community to be the best they can, including working to be on their own.
He said: “To bring our people out from the old order, we need courage and creative thinkers that can come from Imo Tertiary Institutions, hence the need to have appropriate mindset and sincerity of purpose in all we do.
“One is only a hero when the society says so. If Imo State University is strong, Imo State is strong.”
The Governor said that he is interested in value addition in the State through merit, saying, “I am a slave to merit.”
He enjoined the University Community to allow people to vote their consciences in the upcoming Governorship election not minding that they adopted him as their sole candidate.
Governor Uzodimma urged the students, the staff and management to see him and the 3R government as partners.
He pleaded with the students to acquire knowledge and skills and appealed to the youths in particular who are in the bush to come out and embrace counselling, rehabilitation and empowerment so as to become useful citizens of the State, noting that “the earlier they begin to be focused, the better for them.”
He reminded them that “the decision of what you will be in life is decided by you. That is why you should start now to take decision that will be positive in your lives.”
Governor Uzodimma used the opportunity to announce the flag-off of Cohort 3 Imo Skill-Up Project that will see to the training of 40,000 youths on specific digital skill areas that could guarantee them gainful employment both within and outside the country.
“When youths are kept busy their brains are busy and channeled away from crimes and that is part of the main objectives of the Skill-Up Project.”
The Governor challenged the University Community to put all machinery in place to ensure Imo State University returns as the ‘’Number One State University in Nigeria’’ and assured that his Government will continue to support them.
In a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. U. U. Chukwumaeze welcomed and thanked the Governor for not only being a Visitor to the University but a father and friend.
He enumerated all the “firsts” the Governor is associated with in the University and Imo State in general to include: maintenance of three Universities, highest donor to IMSU Library, the only Visitor to clear an eight-year backlog of Convocation in Imo State University and the first Visitor to give automatic employment to best graduating students of the University.
Other, he said include, training of students on scholarship in the University, appointment of Imo Stars into the Governor’s Executive Council and appointment of himself as the VC and the Commissioner for Education, Prof. JohnCliff Nwadike without reference to previous relationships as is obtained in Nigeria today.
The Vice Chancellor inferred that the University Community will vote for the Governor in the November 11 Governorship election as a show of appreciation to the man who has assisted them to recover their lost accreditations, paid their salaries as at when due and even paid them 13th month salary every Christmas.
Prof. Chukwumaeze recalled how the Governor magnanimously paid salaries of IMSU lecturers even when they were on strike, gave them palliative to cushion the effect of the petroleum subsidy and has assisted them to sponsor the staff and management to workshops and conferences both within and outside Nigeria.
He said more than 200 academic staff and non-academic staff had benefitted from the workshops and conferences.
The Imo State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Johncliff Nwadike in his remarks thanked the Governor for coming on the visit which he said was a show of special love for the University.
He thanked the Governor specially for paying the University’s staff salary arrears of February 2020 which was owed them for a long time.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Osita Nwebo commended the Governor’s resilience and continuous support to the University that has sustained them in the face of difficulties.
He challenged the University Community to remember that to whom much is given much is expected, saying that “it doesn’t make sense to change a winning team.”
Passing a vote of confidence in the Governor and asking the University community if they agree that the Visitor has acquitted himself creditably there was a resounding yes that filled the University auditorium.
Thereafter, there was an interactive session where the Governor fielded questions from the students and the lecturers on areas of concern.
The Student Union Government (SUG) of the University also gave the Governor an award during the occasion.