The prestigious award of excellence in public service in the area of transparency and open governance given to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has been generating encomia from Imo indigenes who have also shown open excitement over the honour done their Governor.
Governor Uzodimma was among 44 awardees, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and 15 other governors, who were honoured at the weekend at Abuja for their sterling performances in different spheres of development in the country while in office.
The award – Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service (NEAPS) – was initiated by the Office of the Secretary to the Government on the Federation (SGF) in collaboration with The Best Strategic (TBS) Media.
Governor Uzodimma was given the rare award of excellence in transparency and open governance, amid 15 other brother Governors, an indication that his sermon on transparency and accountability, as the driving force of his 3-R mantra government that is anchored on Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery, has attracted the attention of critical government assessors.
An excited Chairman of the Board of Ben Uwajimogu College of Education Onicha Uboma, HRH, Eze Oliver Ohanweh said he was not surprised at the award because “Governor Uzodimma exemplifies selfless character and passion for humanity.”
While the Chairman of ALGON in Imo State, chief Willie Okoliogwo described Governor Uzodimma as ” the most conic Governor of the South East,” the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group, Mrs. Nkechi Ugwu said the award was both earned and deserved. “Everyone knows of His Excellency’s dedication to a better Imo and posterity will be kind to him.”
The media community was not left out in pouring encomium on the Governor.
According to the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Imo State Chapter, Chief Chris Akaraonye, “this award justifies His Excellency’s wonderful achievements in Imo State, expecially in road construction and rehabilitation.”
Yet, another prominent Imo indigene, a business mogul of note and the Duke of Owerre Nkworji, Sir Beneth Nwokejiobi not only congratulated Governor Uzodimma and described the award as “most deserving,” he said he was not in doubt that “Imo people will be the ultimate beneficiary of Governor Uzodimma’s transparent, open, selfless and committed government.”
Perhaps, the view of the Chief Political Adviser/ Head of Political Bureau to the Governor, Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu summarises the whole essence of the honour done the Governor.
Onuugbu said: “The commitment of an elected official to implementing due process in leadership guarantees the delivery of quality democracy dividends to the people, ensures a secure and happy society to the glory of God. Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is simply an icon in leadership.”
During the conferment of the award, the SGF, Boss Mustapha noted that NEAPS was instituted to recognise hardwork and purposeful leadership that is geared towards development of Nigeria.
He reiterated that the award was given out to individuals who have distinguished themselves in public service in Nigeria at the federal, state and community levels.
President Muhammadu Buhari who also attended the award ceremony commended the Office of the SGF for the initiative and reiterated the need to accord due recognition to those who have, through their offices, impacted the lives of the people.
While Jonathon was honoured with an award on peace building, Lawan and Gbajabiamila were recognized for Parliamentary excellence.
The Governors were recognized in areas they were deemed to have made commendable impact on the society.
Since assumption of office in January 15, 2020, Governor Uzodimma has been preaching and following through transparent and open (accountable) governance, taking into consideration the fact that corrupt system cannot deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
He has also not hidden his disdain for policies and programmes that make it difficult for the people to assess those in positions of authority.
It would be recalled that Governor Uzodimma was awarded the Sun Newspapers Governor of Year (2021), not just because of his commitment to the infrastructural renewal of Imo State, but for other considerations including his transparent and accountable disposition to governance.