Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that he has forgiven all those who offended him while he was discharging his duty as Governor in the past four years.
He made the remarks on Sunday at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri during a Pre- inauguration cum Armed Forces Remembrance Day Thanksgiving Service where he used the opportunity to renew his covenant with God and the people of Imo State concerning his governorship and resolve to serve only God and humanity.
Emphasising that he had wholeheartedly forgiven all those who have offended him, Governor Uzodimma also urged those he may have offended in the course of discharging his official duties to find a place in their hearts to forgive him as well.
The Governor noted: “In renewing this covenant, I also acknowledge my imperfections as a mere mortal. In the course of doing this job as a Governor, I may have, wittingly or unwittingly offended some people. I want to take advantage of my presence here at the altar of God to apologise to these persons and ask to be forgiven. In the same spirit, I have wholeheartedly forgiven those who may have offended me. I crave peace for our State. In that wise, let us work together in the atmosphere of peace for the progress of our State. ”
It was on a day His Grace, Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the Metropolitan See of Owerri Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, in his homily reminded politicians of the need to use their positions to serve God and humanity.
Governor Uzodimma said he was aware that only God gives power and having entrusted same in his care, first in 2020 and now following his reelection, the last thing he would do is to misuse it.
He said: “I know for a fact that I would never have been the Governor of Imo State without the approval of God. He made it clear that He bestows power on those He wishes. I also know my covenant with Him, which is to serve faithfully and honestly. I am here today to renew that covenant with God and the people of Imo State. I am also here to express my gratitude to God for the privilege of making me a Governor for the second time.”
The Governor canvassed for peace and invited all Imo people to embrace peace and unity so that the State can experience the development of everybody’s dream.
On the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Governor Uzodimma said it was not a coincidence that his inauguration Thanksgiving and swearing in ceremony on January 15 are taking place the same time, reminding the congregation of the need to pursue peace in our country.
He sought for prayers, always, for the souls of the departed soldiers who died defending the country and at the same, appealed to the public not to forget to take care of the families the dead soldiers left behind.
He promised that his government will continue to fulfil her obligations towards the wellbeing of the families of the unknown soldiers as well as those still in service.
The Governor assured that his message of Shared Prosperity, Renewed Hope, Rebuild Imo, Cure for Poverty, Development of Imo State as an organized Society where peace, progress and tranquility shall continue to resonate.
Governor Uzodimma’s remarks read in full: “We have just held a Thanksgiving Church Service for two very important events, namely the Armed Forces Remembrance Day and my inauguration for a second term in office. First, we are here to remember and pray for the repose of the souls of members of the armed forces, who lost their lives in the course of defending our fatherland, as well as the military veterans who are still living. Secondly, we are here to thank God for my successful re-election ahead of my Inauguration which will take place tomorrow. I consider it a divine and unique coincidence that these two events are taking place on the same day.
“The departed members of our Armed Forces whom we remember and pray for today are heroes and heroines who lost their lives during the civil war and other battles in the course of their national assignments. These national assignments were necessary to ensure that peace reigned in the land. Incidentally, the sober nature of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day moderates the mood that should normally be associated with the appreciation of the high responsibility of the office of the governor, which God and the people of Imo State have entrusted on me.
“Both occasions remind us of the supremacy of peace in the land, without which governance cannot thrive. Both occasions also remind us of the ephemeral nature of power and life itself and, therefore, the need for leaders to exercise power for the sole benefit of society. It is for these reasons that I compare the two occasions to Siamese twins who are inseparable.
“For me, therefore, it is both a privilege and a reminder of the sacred duties of my high office that I am being inaugurated on the same day we remember the sacrifices which our patriotic soldiers made to keep the peace.
“Let me thank our host, His Grace, Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, Metropolitan See of Owerri Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, for availing us of the opportunity and space for both ceremonies. I also commend all other clergy both from the Catholic Church and other denominations for joining us in this important church service.
“I know for a fact that I would never have been the governor of Imo State without the approval of God. He made it clear that He bestows power on those He wishes. I also know my covenant with Him, which is to serve faithfully and honestly. I am here today to renew that covenant with God and the people of Imo State. I am also here to express my gratitude to God for the privilege of making me a governor for the second time.
“In renewing this covenant, I also acknowledge my imperfections as a mere mortal. In the course of doing this job as a governor, I may have, wittingly or unwittingly offended some people. I want to take advantage of my presence here at the altar of God to apologize to these persons and ask to be forgiven. In the same spirit, I have wholeheartedly forgiven those who may have offended me. I crave peace for our state. In that wise, let us work together in the atmosphere of peace for the progress of our state.
“Let us always remember that it was also in the course of the search for peace that thousands of our countrymen whom we remember here today lost their lives in battles. By paying the supreme price, they offered the nation the relative peace we are enjoying today. Their sacrifice should not be in vain. This is why the government has set aside a particular day for their remembrance.
“While we pray for the repose of their souls, we must remember the people they left behind; wives, husbands, children, fathers, and mothers. The way we treat these dependants would actually determine if we value the sacrifices of the fallen heroes and heroines. This is not the responsibility of only the government but for all Nigerians.
“For the government of Imo State, we shall not relent in our efforts to provide succour to the dependants of departed members of the armed forces and for veterans who are still alive. We shall continue to partner with the Nigerian Legion and all other similar organisations that see to the welfare of the veterans and the families of our departed heroes.
“While we pray for our gallant officers, both living and dead, I urge the body of Christ to continue to uphold Imo State in prayers. Please do not relent in your prayers for a peaceful Imo State.
“Thank you and may God bless all of us.”
Earlier in his homily, Archbishop Ugorji reminded those in positions of authority that God gives them power to serve him and the people.
The Archbishop applauded the Armed Forces on their efforts to keep Nigeria one and the efforts of the Nation to remember the fallen heroes and heroins, not forgetting their families.
“The Veterans (Legion) deserve our attention; they need not only our sympathy but equally our assistance by donating generously to the Nigerian Legion Trust Fund.”
He called on Nigerians to refrain from lives of selfishness that shield them from patriotism just as he called for holiness anchored on chastity, honesty, purity and obedience.
The Archbishop said that political leadership means leading with the fear of God and in accordance with the Constitution.
He appealed for peace to reign in all aspects of the society, calling on those behind the terror, kidnapping and killings to sheath their swords.
The Archbishop took a swipe at those behind “media war’’ in Imo State that tends to heat up the polity, create hatred and division and cause more problems for the society and urged those behind such to refrain forthwith.
“Media war has cost a lot of devastation to the State and Nigeria in general,” he said and called on those using the media as a weapon of attack to “stop the crusade of calumny.”
The Archbishop also harped on the need for those in positions of authority to shun corruption which he said, has become endemic in all sectors of the society.
Turning to Governor Uzodimma and the Deputy Governor-elect, Lady Chinyere Ekomaru, both of who will be sworn in tomorrow, Ugorji committed them into the hands of God and prayed that God should endear them with the spirit of wisdom and understanding as they navigate the ship of Imo State for the next four years.
Top government dignatories, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, serving and former senators, and heads of the Armed Forces in Imo State joined the Governor and his wife, Barr. Chioma at the Thanksgiving Service.