Imo State is one of the seven states created by the Federal Military Government on February 3,1976 during the Murtala Muhammad regime. Hitherto, the area known as Imo State was part of the defunct East Central State which was one of the twelve states initially created by the Federal Military Government (General Yakubu Gowon's regime) in 1967.
With the creation of more states in 1991 by General lbrahim Babangida, Abia State was carved out from Imo State. The new Imo State is divided into twenty-seven local governments areas (LGAs), and three senatorial zones.
Situated in south eastern Nigeria, Imo State covers an area of 5,530 square kilometres. Imo State shares boundaries with Enugu and Ebonyi States to the north, Anambra State to the west, Rivers State to the south and in the North and Rivers State to the South, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States to the east.
The inhabitants of Imo State are Igbo. The official language of the state is Igbo alongside English. Imo State has a rich cultural heritage. This is manifested in dressing, music, dance, festivals, arts, and crafts.
Imo State derives its name from Imo River, which takes its course from the Okigwe/Awka upland. It lies within latitudes 4°45'N and 7°15'N, and longitude 6°50'E and 7°25'E. Imo State has many rivers. The main rivers in the state are Imo, Otamiri and Njaba. The major lakes are in Oguta and Abadaba in Obowu local government area.
The main streams draining the state are Imo, Otamiri, Njaba and Orasi rivers, all of which have very few tributaries. Except for Imo River, which runs through the area underlain by the Imo Shales, other rivers rise within the coastal plain sands. Generally, river valleys constitute the major physical features, which are often marshy. The vegetation is tropical rain forest.
Hope Uzodinma was born on 12 December 1958 in Omuma; his father Chief Michael Uzodinma held the chieftaincy title of Igwe of Ozuh Omuma and his mother was Ezinne Rose Uzodinma (née Nneoha). He is a kinsman of the Okoro family of Etiti-Omuma. Uzodinma is a devout Catholic and is married to Chioma Uzodinma with seven children.
He holds a Diploma in Maritime Management Technology, and Higher Diploma in the same field, from the Federal University of Technology Owerri. He also has a bachelor's degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his entry into politics, Uzodinma was a businessman with vast business interests. He had the ceremonial title of Onwa-Netiri Oha of Omuma in Oru local government of Imo State.
Early political career
Hope Uzodinma began his political career during the Second Nigerian Republic, joining the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), where in 1983, he became the Imo State youth leader. In the 1990s, with the aborted transition to the Third Nigerian Republic, Uzodinma featured prominently as a member of the United Nigeria Congress Party.
In 1999, after the return to democracy, Uzodinma joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP), where he served as a member of the party's National Caucus, National Executive Committee and on the Board of Trustees, at various times between 1999 to 2017. As a party boss in Imo State, Uzodinma was a close associate of the Governor Achike Udenwa until late 2002, when ahead of the April 2003 elections he decamped to the Alliance for Democracy (AD), becoming the party's candidate for the Imo State gubernatorial election. After losing the election to Udenwa, he returned to the PDP in February 2004. He later contested the PDP governorship primaries in December 2006, coming in second to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. In 2011, after the incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim joined the PDP, Uzodinma endorsed him to run for a second term as Governor of Imo State, favoring him over Rochas Okorocha who he later won.
In January 2011, Uzodinma won the PDP senatorial primary for the Imo West, gaining 2,147 votes, while the incumbent Senator Osita Izunaso came second with 891 votes. Uzodinma was later disqualified by a federal high court judgment as he had not been cleared by the PDP electoral panel led by Nwafor-Orizu. In March 2011, a court of appeal issued a stay of execution while the case was being decided, leaving Uzodinma free to campaign. On 5 April 2011 the Court of Appeal upheld the federal high court judgement, Uzodinma later appealed this decision at the Supreme Court. In the April 2011 elections, Uzodinma received 85,042 votes, ahead of former Governor Achike Udenwa of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 64,228 votes and Rajis Okpalan Benedicta of the All Progressives Grand Alliance with 57,110 votes. In May 2011, the Supreme Court overturned the earlier decisions and declared that Uzodinma was the valid candidate and therefore had been elected.
On 29 May 2011, Uzodinma was sworn-in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Imo State (West Senatorial District). He was re-elected for a second term in the Senate during the 2015 election. In 2018, he left the Peoples Democratic Party and joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in order to contest for Governor of Imo State in the 2019 general elections.
Governor of Imo State
In March 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission sitting in Imo announced the governorship election results of Imo State: Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP who won with 273,404 votes, Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance with 190,364 votes, Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressives Grand Alliance with 114,676 votes; and Uzodinma in fourth place with 96,458 votes. Uzodinma later challenged the victory of Ihedioha up to the Supreme Court. On 14 January 2020, the Supreme Court declared Uzodinma, the duly elected Governor of Imo State. The court held that results from 388 polling units were wrongly excluded from votes ascribed to Uzodinma and the APC in Imo adding that the first appellant Uzodinma holds the majority of lawful votes cast.
On 15 January 2020, he and Placid Njoku were sworn-in as the Governor of Imo State and Deputy Governor of Imo State respectively In his inaugural address, he ordered the states accountant general to provide a comprehensive financial status for the state from May 2010 to January 2020, he also ordered the permanent secretaries of all ministries in the state to forward the status of all contracts awarded, whilst halting the paying for all ongoing contracts.
Imo State Government House
The Imo State government house serves as the Official home to the state governor or chief state executive of the state and their families. It is the official venue for events such as the state's executive council meetings, government conferences, swearing in of cabinet members and of course the Governor's official business. It can also be used as receptions and functions hosted by individuals; some arms of the state government also have offices at the state government house.
The economy of the state depends primarily on agriculture and commerce. One of the primary agricultural production is the palm oil
- Palm Oil Production
- Consignment Business
- Sales of Gadget
- Repair and Sales of Phones
- Raw Food Business
- Farming Business
- Pharmacy Business
- Boutique Business
- Restaurant Business
- Fastfood Business
- Imo State University
- Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
- Federal Polytechnic, Nekede
- Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Ideato
- Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo
- Alvan Ikoku College of Education
- Technological Skills Acquisition Institute, Orlu
- Alvan Ikoku College of Education.
- Rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road with Road About at Imo in Imo State, C/No. 6060
- Rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road Section I, II & III Imo/Abia States, C/No. 6126
- Rehabilitation of Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road Route 429 Section II: Anambra/Imo States Border-Ibinta-Okigwe Road, C/No. 5986A
- Construction of Mbaise-Ngwa Road with Bridge at Imo River, Phase I in Imo/Abia States, C/No 6157
- Construction of Ikot Ekpene Border-Aba-Owerri Dualisation Road, Section I, Phase I (11.26Km from Owerri End) in Akwa Ibom/Abia/Imo States C/No 6155
- Repairs of Owerri-Onitsha Dual Carriageway (Route No.25A)
- Emergency Repairs of Onitsha-Owerri Road
Oguta Lake is the largest natural lake in the state. It is a tourist attraction in Owerri and a prime spot for visitors and locals. During the Colonial era, Oguta Lake served as a port to transport palm products from the state. It was also used by the Biafran Navy as a marine base during the civil war
Unlike some other lakes, Oguta lake is not salty and therefore safe to swim in as there are no wild or dangerous animals within. Visitors, as well as locals, enjoy playing the game of golf on the lake.
A magnificent spot on the lake is the confluence point where two striking colours of water meet. At this spot, the Bluewater, and the Urashi River flow side by side without mixing. This happens without the external or man-made barrier.
There are lots to things to do in Oguta lake. From taking a speedboat ride to have a look at the magical confluence or go fishing, having a picnic at the lake bank, or visit the Oguta Lake Holiday Resort which houses some of the best facilities.
National Museum, Owerri
The museum was established in 1988 and houses some ancient artefacts mostly from the civil war. Most of the collections in the museum illustrate the way of life of early settlers in Owerri. The mini gallery was opened in 2002 and hosted an exhibition themed-Money and Household Utensils.
The National Museum offers a rich history of both the civil war and the Igboland as a whole. There are also several relics for tourist to see.
Mbari Cultural and Art Centre
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot to find out about the culture and history of Owerri. Owerri houses one of the perfect spots for art and culture enthusiasts in and around the state. Mbari Cultural and Art Centre offers magnificent relics of Igbo heritage that portray peace and prosperity.
There are three sections in the Mbari Cultural and Art Centre including Mbari House, Amphitheatre and the Mbari Museum Kitchen.
Nekede Zoo also known as Owerri Zoo was established in 1986 at the Old Nekede road. It is strategically located in proximity to the city centre. Nekede Zoological Garden houses a variety of animal species including Lions, Pythons, Ostrich, Monkeys, Crocodile, and others.
It is a popular spot for tourist and lovers of wildlife. Things to do in Nekede Zoo include taking a tour and admiring the different animals as well as taking pictures of these animals.
The Assumpta Cathedral which is often considered as the biggest cathedral in West Africa and one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Nigeria. It is favourably situated in the centre of Owerri which offers visitors a beautiful sight of the architectural work.
It serves as a worship centre for Catholics in Owerri. It is almost impossible to miss the marble statue at the roundabout. There are lots of religious activities that take place in this edifice at various times.
Owerri Amusement Park
The Owerri Amusement Park is a prime spot for recreation and entertainment in Owerri. The park offers a good number of fun facilities as well as some which are children friendly. Most residents and visitors in Owerri visit the park with family to play games.
Snacks and food vendors also make it easy for visitors to grab a quick bite while hanging out or playing games.
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