Government House, Owerri
An Award of Honour has been given to the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of journalism in the State and selfless service to God and mankind.
Receiving the Award from a group of Journalists under the aegis of the Correspondent Chapel who called on him at the Government House, Owerri, recently, Governor Okorocha commended the Press in the State for maintaining unbiased reporting of government activities in the past three years which he noted has kept the people informed, adding that more efforts were needed in grass-roots where many developmental projects were going on un-noticed.
Owelle Okorocha urged Imo people not to be in a hurry to forget how his administration has transformed Imo in the last 3 years and has restored security in the State which is evident in the resurgence of night life, eased the traffic in Owerri with the building of new bridges that join the new and old Owerri, brought great relief to indigent parents through the free education programme including modern school buildings and regular payment of workers salaries. Others are the various roads rehabilitated in all the Local Government Areas, the new look of the Government House, the Heroes Square and other infrastructural development, the transformation of Orlu, Okigwe and other areas to modern city, to mention but a few.
The Governor called on the journalists to always see the development of the State as a collective responsibility and collaborate with the Rescue Mission to actualize a better Imo State while he promised to hold regular meetings to brief them on the activities of government.
The Imo Chief Executive who said he operates open door policy directed that all public facilities including all stadia in the State be made available for any individual, organization or political party to patronize in the sale of their products and services. He however warned that while Traditional Rulers were free to receive and bless any politician who calls on them at their respective palaces, no one is allowed to neither abuse the privilege nor belittle Ndi-Eze by summoning any form of political meetings for them.
Governor Okorocha revealed that his government is building Sunrise and Slavery Parks in Owerri where the young generation can see pictures and relics of the civil war and slavery events that will make them aware of the futility of war in the future.
Speaking of tourism, the Rescue Mission Governor said the Wonder Lake at Oguta has been upgraded with multipurpose hall put in place, the hotel rooms expanded to accommodate more tourists to the area while plans are underway to build a Water Park, all to promote tourism in Imo State.
Governor Okorocha who is also the Chairman of APC Governors’Forum called on the newsmen to use their media and correct the wrong notion held by some people that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a regional or sectional party but maintained that it is the only national party that will offer Ndigbo top leadership positions at the federal level. ‘We want a Nigerian Party where the Igbos are strong; for me, l will take Ndi-Igbo to the right place and that is APC.’ Governor Okorocha noted.
He stressed the need to regulate the building of hotels in the State and directed the Ministry of Tourism to close down any hotel operating without building plan and approved land for operation.
The Governor congratulated the new Executives of the Correspondent Chapel for their partnership and thanked them for the Award just as he noted that his SSA on Media, Mr. Onwuemeodo has been able to coordinate Press matters in the State and urged them to keep us the partnership as well as‘report what is there.’
Speaking earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Correspondent Chapel, Mr. Christian Nwokocha said they came to give the Governor a due honour and thank him for the appointment of their colleague as the SSA on Media. He pointed out that the appointment of the Dr. Theodore Ekechi as the Commissioner for Information has beefed up the revenue generation of IBC as the Governor has in his friendly nature, granted freedom to both supporters and opposition party to air their views in the Orient TV and Radio stations, describing it as a good media practice; and expressed hope that the payment of pensions to IBC retirees will soon be actualized.
Mr. Nwokocha used the occasion to call on government to increase its revenue generation by providing tourist tickets for travelers coming into Owerri especially during weekends just as he promised the total support of the chapel in publicizing the activities of government always.
In his vote of thanks, the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Eze Prince Madumere thanked the journalists for reporting government very well from inception pointing out that it is the beginning of many good things to come.
Eze Madumere challenged them to carry out investigative journalism into the rural areas where they will discover many stories unreported and assured of them of government’s support.
Jane O. Amucha
For: SSA Media
February 17, 2014.