Obedient youths and women from Okigwe Senatorial Zone of Imo have pledged their support for Gov. Hope Uzodimma to ensure the continuity of infrastructure development of the state.
The two groups made the pledge in separate rallies held on Saturday in support of Mr Uzodimma’s re-election bid in the November 11 governorship poll.
The youths, numbering at least 1,500, marched through the major streets of Owerri, with posters expressing their support for the governor.
They later converged on Okigwe roundabout where Mr Uzodimma received them.
The leader of the youth group, Emeka Mandela, said that Mr Uzodimma had shown capacity for leadership with verifiable track records of better human relationships.
Mr Mandela said that they had reserved their voter cards for him and would use them accordingly to re-elect him.
He said the governor’s love for youths, his leadership quality and youth-friendly programmes explained the reasons for their support for him.
Mr Mandela, however, appealed to the governor to involve more youths in his administration.
Responding, Mr Uzodimma commended the youths for coming out in their numbers to support his aspiration based on their personal conviction about his performance.
He said that his government recognised the place of the youths as future leaders of the country in general and Imo in particular.
“Obedient movement is a patriotic movement not in support of any political party but in support of good leadership, future and interest of Nigeria.
“One of the things we must achieve as a government is to create a succession plan that will carry the youth along because if youths are given opportunity, Nigeria and Imo will become part of the digital global community.
“I know what you want in Imo and I share in your dreams of making sure that Imo comes from the bush back to track, driven with the youth population energy,” he said.
At the Okigwe women’s rally for Mr Uzodimma, held at Anara in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area, the women also promised to vote massively for Mr Uzodimma.
The Okigwe rally was organised by the director-general of NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, and the House of Representatives member for Okigwe North, Marian Onuoha, among others.
In a welcome address, Mrs Akobundu described their action as a peace rally for the distribution of palliatives and to bring all the leaders, sons and daughters of Okigwe together.
She further said that the event was for them to resolve how to appreciate the governor for the infrastructure development brought to Okigwe zone since the inception of his administration.
Mrs Akobundu urged the women, men and youths of the area to use their votes to further appreciate the governor.
Also speaking, former Gov. Ikedi Ohakim, said that Okigwe people had agreed to give Mr Uzodimma 100 per cent of their votes.
“Okigwe is intact and we have decided to reciprocate the love we share with you,” Mr Ohakim said.
At Okigwe, Mr Uzodimma commended the organisers of the rally for remembering the cordial relationship that existed between him and the zone which, he said, spanned many years.
He said that in 2003, 2019 and 2020, he was at the same venue to talk to Okigwe people, adding that he had come again in 2023 to talk to them.
“I will not take the love of Okigwe people for granted,” he said while appealing to them to eschew violence and believe in his ability to lead Imo with the fear of God.
In a speech, the governor’s wife, Chioma, commended the women for their support of her husband and urged them to vote for him on November 11.
She, thereafter, launched the distribution of palliatives to 350 indigent women from the zone.