My fellow Citizens of IMO state, my name is Ike C. Ibe. I was born at Emekuku hospital in Owerri a little over 48 years ago. I am from Obowo. I’m a lawyer and a humanist. In the last several years I have been in deep thoughts about the affairs of our dear state. I have followed these thoughts in recent months with publication of my now popular online series called “LET’S TALK ABOUT IMO”.
These series represents my modest effort at recounting how IMO used to be, how it is and how it could be. It represents my sincere effort at convoking a discussion amongst our people worldwide on what we need to do to make Imo a better place. Indeed comments have flowed on these series from all corners of the globe and I am happy all of us desire and dream of a better IMO state. I have that dream too.
More importantly I desire that God use me as that instrument that will make our collective dreams of a better IMO to become a reality. I have gone into consultations with God Almighty in prayers and I have talked to and interacted with our people all over the world. These consultations have been positive. Mindful of the overwhelming positive sentiments expressed by many of our people, with deep sense of humility and total submission to the will of God, I HEREBY ANNOUNCE MY INTEREST to serve the IMO people as their GOVERNOR beginning from May 29 2015. I am not just throwing my hat into the ring, I am also throwing my heart into the race. The road will be long, rough and tough but your support will make it seem short and smooth.
All through my life, events and circumstances have shaped me for this onerous responsibility. I have seen the good side of life and I have seen the worst side of it. At barely 26 years I was elected member and subsequently speaker of IMO state house of assembly, a responsibility that unfortunately was short lived due to military adventure. But during that short period, I practically became the center point and rallying force of developmental representation in the state.
I was forced into political exile in United States by General Abacha in 1994, an adventure that God also used to further prepare me for today. That exile also gave me the leverage and opportunity to find resources and organizations that helped to develop IMO state spanning through education, health, information technology, medical infrastructure, youth exchange programs etc reaching over 12 billion naira in global direct and indirect donations and investments into our state. I promised God and myself that I will return to help fix IMO.
On my return journey, I have faced many trials, tribulations and adversities that unfortunately culminated in my loosing my precious wife Nancy and my loving daughter Jennifer in the Dana plane crash of June 3 2012. Nancy was the rock of our family and Jennifer was the sunshine of our home. They paid the supreme price in our struggle to help develop our land. That tragedy caused primarily by corruption of our system has even emboldened me more to be a change agent for our people and to continue my philanthropic work and anti corruption fights.
I am inspired by fate and propelled by the hope that God in His infinite mercies has prepared me to be a testament of faith, courage and resilience and a symbol of illumination for His people. I will not fail God and I know He will use me as an instrument to bless His people. My antecedents speak for itself and my contributions over the years to the enhancement of our peoples’ lives and welfare are well known and documented. I am not a traditional politician but a spirit filled and development inspired IMO citizen and my general promise is that as your governor, IMO will witness unprecedented development for our people.
No IMO citizen will have to wallow again in socio-economic pains in the midst of state resources. We will use our abundant resources to improve the lives of our people without an unduly overburdening taxation. All IMO citizens will have a voice in my administration and all will be par takers in the redistribution of our commonwealth.
Our programs will consist of those little things that make more social and economic sense for the people and those big things that will catapult us to greatness and make us envied by all other states. Unemployment especially among the youths is our greatest challenge as a state. We must tackle this head on once we assume office. Education has come to its lowest ebb. We have to change this trend. Our industries left by Mbakwe have all disappeared. They will all be revived and more. We have lost our focus on agriculture. We will rediscover it. Health care needs of the people has taken a back bench. We will move the bench closer.
Our peoples’ capacities in little technologies have never been encouraged. This will take center stage. Our state can be a leader in tourism and culture as this hold the key to jobs and resources. One thing we have paid lip service to over the years is our diaspora resources and leverages. We have the capacity to tap into this. There are many things we need to tackle. The ideas are there and the capacity to implement them will come from 2015 with your help. We don’t have to reinvent all the wheels but just to modernize some of them and make others more efficient. From my research over the years, most local government areas all have resources we can tap to find the revenue to solve most of our state’s problems. Federal allocations should just be additional revenue. We will give the young people hope, restore the dignity of the senior citizens and leave a better IMO for the future generation.
We will work for our people and our people will work with us. Together, we will build the IMO of our collective dreams where our people will be proud again to call home. There have been many broken promises by politicians over the years. Though our people have lost faith in governance and their leaders over the years, I urge you to trust and believe in me as this is a new dawn. I will not deceive you and I will not steal from you. I will work for you with all my energy, time and skills and I’m prepared to endure further pains for the sake of lifting our people high and ending their indignation. God knows my heart and it will be stretched out that IMO will rise again.
I will present myself at the appropriate time for nomination in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I hope to get that ticket with your support and I urge you to remember me in your prayers. My dear friends, I am convinced we will overcome any obstacles on the way. Rise with me. Walk with me. Work with me. We can do it. We should do it. We will do it. Working together, I have no doubt that by May 29 2015 we will take back the people’s house from where we will do nothing but serve the people. Through our efforts, I know Mbakwe’s IMO will rise again. Long live Imo state. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless and keep us all.
I HAVE SEEN 99, WHAT IS 100?
Life is a journey. It’s not a destination. I have seen it all. I was born at Emekuku hospital at the time when the drums of war were starting to beat. I stayed in the hospital on and off for almost two years. I was very sick. At a point one nurse leaked to my mother that the hospital couldn’t cure me and was planing to give me an injection to permanently put me down. My mum disappeared with me from the hospital and resorted to praying. She consoled herself that I will survive and grow to be an asset to the society. Mum told me these many years after I recovered.
At five years old I drowned in a local river at Odenkume my maternal home. My late cousin Eucharia rescued and resuscitated me. At seven years I was playing with my cousin Bonaventure when he accidentally launched a cutlass to my head that practically opened my skull. For one week I was at the local dispensary at Ogbotukwu almost dead, but the life in me refused to go. At 17 years just getting ready for university I had a major nasal surgery in Lagos. I was comatose for several days but still made it. As a young kid, we watched our parents do all they could to raise us and provide for us. It wasn’t always rosy. My mum worked extra hours to help my dad finish university as an adult teacher and became a lawyer, a legislator and later a high court Judge. Sometimes we shared one piece of meet in the soup. We overcame.
I managed through dint of hard and became a lawyer and broke all barriers to go to the house of assembly at barely 26 against all odds. I even rose to become the speaker at an incredible record age of 27 with no godfathers. When I stood against the military and condemned their abortion of democracy, I was made an unwilling guest at the Obinze military barracks and I later went into forced exile in the United States of America.
While in America I teamed up with other NADECO leaders to bring global heat on the military to restore democracy. We were hiding and traveling the world campaigning and speaking for the sake of nation building. That was when I married my beautiful high school friend Nancy and we had the 2 most wonderful daughters in the world Jessica and Jennifer. We delved into humanitarian work bringing smiles to faces of the downtrodden all over IMO state. For 15 years we lived a very happy life mostly in the US while doing our humanity work in Nigeria. We illuminated many homes, fixed many broken lives, and revived many lost souls.
Then in June 2012 I lost almost all– my wife and my daughter Jenny died in the senseless Dana plane crash. But the spirits of my wife and daughter have constantly been the fillip that has enabled me continue my journey in spite of all. I have doubled my zeal for public service and humanity work because life is not a destination but a journey. In this maze of life,nothing else will faze me again because I have seen it all. I have lived and I have been left but I’m still traveling on that journey and seeking God’s purpose for keeping me here still. But I have one more MAJOR DESTINATION. That’s the Douglas House Owerri. God will use me as that instrument to put permanent smiles on the faces of nearly 5 million IMO people from 2015 to 2019. He has prepared me for this. I have seen 99, government house is just one figure…100. I have never had any interest in money more so now that my personal needs are drastically limited. So I can only but use the state resources to work for the people. Help me on this particular journey to get to this destination. It’s that simple. And you won’t regret it. God bless and keep us all.
IKE C. IBE
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