It was pomp and ceremony on Tuesday, August 16 when Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma was conferred with the Enyioha of Mbaise chieftaincy title by the traditional rulers of Mbaise Nation.
The conferment of the title which was the climax of the 2022 Iriji-Mbaise festival held at Itu Central School Field in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Uzodimma disclosed that he has made the development of Mbaise a top priority.
The governor assured that the development which has eluded the area for decades will be brought to them by his administration before other parts of the state.
He described Mbaise people as highly intellectual, educated and pacesetters, emphasizing that as far as he is concerned “civilization started in Mbaise land.”
Governor Uzodimma said though he was invited as special guest of honour to show solidarity with the people over the Iriji festival, his instinct tells him that he is part of Mbaise Nation because of his past history with the people.
“This is home-coming for me. So it is erroneous for me to be regarded as a guest. Rather, I am a co-host at this Iriji-Mbaise occasion organized by a people who are my own.”
Governor Uzodimma assured that “despite the threats and animosity from some quarters, nobody will succeed in creating enmity between me and my people because of selfish and personal interest.”
He thanked the organizers for working hard to keep fate with a festival that has become synonymous with the Mbaise Nation.
He expressed his gratitude for the honour done him by the traditional rulers despite threat issued to them not to do so or face serious consequences.
Governor Uzodimma assured the royal fathers and the organizers of the event that no harm would happen to them.
“Let me sound a note of warning. If anything happens to any traditional ruler, political appointee or organizers of this event from Mbaise, we know those to hold responsible,” he warned.
In his speech, President General, Olu Oha Mbaise, Chief Perry Opara thanked Governor Uzodimma and other dignitaries for finding time to be part of the festival despite their busy schedule.
He lauded the governor’s development strides in Mbaise in particular and Imo State in general, reminding him that Mbaise Nation will forever remain grateful for the flag-off of the Owerri-Mbaise-Umuahia.
Chief Opara however told the Governor that Mbaise Nation deserves good roads, pointing out that his name will be etched in the psyche of the people if he does that.
In his remarks as Chairman of the occasion, Chief Paul Obasi (Paul and Paul), applauded the governor for his achievements touching on the different political zones of Imo State.