Uzodimma inaugurates Oguta General Hospital named after Arthur Nzeribe

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Governor Hope Uzodimma on Friday honoured late Sen. Francis Arthur Nzeribe, a great son of Imo State and Nigeria of Oguta extraction, naming the newly inaugurated 42 bed General Hospital in Oguta after the maverick politician and appealing to the traditional rulers and stakeholders from the area to ensure that the facility in protected. 

 Besides naming the hospital Senator Arthur Nzeribe Memorial General Hospital, Oguta,  the Governor of Imo State also used the opportunity of the inauguration to commission a bridge linking the Oguta community to the late politician’s house as part of the honour done him.

 In an elaborate ceremony at the old Oguta General hospital where the brand new one  established by the Governor is sitting, Governor Uzodimma said honouring past heroes of Imo State like Senator Arthur Nzeribe became necessary since he “showed the way and others followed.”

 Addressing the Mammoth crowd that graced the occasion, the Governor expressed joy that “for once the three Local Governments Oil Producing areas of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru East are having General hospitals built through the 13% oil derivation as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic as amended.”

 The Governor regretted that instead of the 13% Oil derivation money becoming a blessing to the communities, “the reverse is the case, as more often than not, the inhabitants of oil producing areas are not well taken care of.” 

 He decried the fact that for more than 24 years of the birth of the 13% oil derivation law “evidence has shown that in all the years, nothing in terms of development of the environment and the people is pointed at anywhere, rather the people are allowed to suffer and the youths blackmailed and neglected and even tagged criminals.”

 He explained: “As a result of the neglect of the youths, all we get from the areas are thuggery, banditry, and nobody bothers to know the root cause of the bad behaviours of the young men.

 “Instead of the leaders in the areas coming out clean and being vocal to give reasonable answers on the bad behaviours of the youth, they hide under the peanuts they receive from the oil companies to deny their people their rights.

 “Any nation that is not interested to provide sufficient welfare for her youths upbringing and development, that nation is doomed to fail.”

 He reiterated that when he became Governor of Imo State in 2020 he looked at the parlous situation and vowed that the narrative must change, insisting that “our young men and women must be carried along and the oil producing communities deserving of the best and must get it.”

Governor Uzodimma said that to achieve common good it occurred to him that “the only way to provide a proper welfare package to the oil producing youths, men and women is by teaching them how to fish and not by dashing them fish.”

 The Governor said on understanding the root cause of the problem, “a comprehensive assessment of all that is concerned is to establish and reduce the infrastructural deficit in the area,” noting that “this can only be by establishing those things that will elongate their lives and make them feel that actually oil is being produced in their area.”

 “Many of the youths are addressed as touts because government, their leaders and Stakeholders have not been able to speak for them,” a narrative he said he is determined to change. 

 He said globally today, “there is a new world order, and the new world order is about creative thinking and evolution of progress and success hinged on the fact that ideas rule the world.

 “This implies that it is better for you to know the problem of the people and how to solve it, and only then the society will thank you and you become their hero.

 “There is need to create heroes with enterprising spirit which an average Igbo man is known for and which is gradually disappearing and must be reawakened. 

 “The enterprising spirit is what our fathers and forefathers is known for.”

 Governor Uzodimma charged every politician in Orlu zone who believes that politics is about welfare as well as the people, to “emulate the late Senator Arthur Nzeribe who exemplified quality leadership and a role model while on earth.”

 He informed the audience that the reason for establishing the hospitals in the affected communities is because “75 percent of deaths in the oil producing areas are avoidable, hence the people of the areas must be allowed access to good and quality health facilities.”

 On a lighter note, the Governor said that “God who singled out the three LGAs out of the 27 LGAs and gave them oil did not make mistakes.”

 He said for them to fully gain the advantage of the natural endowment he has “decided to use the 13 percent oil derivation to develop the people and their environment.

 He then charged the Traditional Rulers and Town Union Presidents in the areas hosting the Hospitals to own them up and protect them from vandalism, even as he urged all to work hard to protect their common heritage “no matter the political party because they are for all of us.”

 Also, Governor Uzodimma called on the youths to shun violence and all forms of vices that will put them in trouble, insisting that “our destiny is in our hands and what we call our dog is what it will answer.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of  ISOPADEC Board, HRH Eze (Professor) Dele Amuzienwa Odigbo thanked Governor Uzodimma for remembering the people when it mattered most.

 He said that with the new hospitals the Governor has provided affordable health care facilities for both preventive and curative medical services to the host communities.

 Eze Odigbo added that the people of Oguta will compensate the Governor with their votes come November 11, 2023, to further demonstrate their love for him.

 The Managing Director and CEO of ISOPADEC, Chief Charles Orie did not only pour encomia on Governor Uzodimma for rewriting the history of the oil bearing communities but reminded them of the need to massively vote for the Governor and the All Progressives Congress.

 The Commissioner for Health, Dr Proper Success-Ohayagha also thanked Governor Uzodimma for what he is doing in the health sector in Imo State, particularly in the primary healthcare and informed the audience that the Sen. Nzeribe Memorial General Hospital is fitted with state of the art equipment that can deal with all community based health challenges.

 Governor Uzodimma had inspected the facilities in the hospital accompanied by some top government officials and Oguta stakeholders.

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