The information we’re receiving from the sports sub-sector of Imo State, that’s now under the hard knees of this fraudulent regime, fits very well into the character of the main dramatis personnae of the tragicomedy going on in Douglas House.


In one simple sentence, the regime’s characteristic fraud and forgery has been taken to the sports sub-sector of the State. The trending story is that some sports facilities have just been procured by Uzodimma. That’s true. But that’s not the whole truth!

The whole truth is that in real terms, just as Uzodimma hasn’t awarded any road construction contracts since he took over power, so has he not placed order for any sports equipment and facilities, since he took over power on January 14, 2020.

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We can rightly hypothesize that anything good happening in Imo State today is made in His Excellency, Governor Emeka Ihedioha CON, KSC, FNIFST, FNICS, who initiated them all in his seven-month tenure as Imo governor. Imo people are still waiting for Uzodimma to start work!


Therefore, the truth about the supposed sports facilities that arrived Imo recently is that Uzodimma has only taken delivery of an order placed sometime in 2019 by Governor Emeka Ihedioha for high quality sports equipment and facilities; actually an Olympic size gymnasium.


Agreed, Government is a continuum. But credit must be given to who credit is due. It doesn’t remove anything from Uzodimma to tell Ndimo that the sports equipment and facilities that he had just cleared from the seaport were actually bought by Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

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It’s because he fails to give Governor Ihedioha his due credits, that’s why we, his humble aides and agents, help Uzodimma to tell Imo people the truth. We challenge Uzodimma to deny our already expressed claims.


In retrospection, we recall that even though Governor Ihedioha procured 27 heavy duty road construction equipment for the 27 LGAs of the State. Uzodimma didn’t announce that he had already received 10 of the graders and parked them at Heroes Square.


He never deemed it fit to tell Ndimo the truth that Governor Ihedioha actually and factually purchased 27 heavy duty road construction equipment for the 27 LGAs of Imo State. So, we helped him tell the world!


This time around, it’s on the importation of sports equipment and facilities. Governor Ihedioha ordered and paid fully for them, but Uzodimma is keeping unholy silence about that, claiming and misappropriating the glory that belongs to the Supreme God and Governor Ihedioha. That’s most unfair!

On May 29, 2019 when Governor Ihedioha was inaugurated as the sixth democratically elected governor of Imo State, sports was literally not in the dictionary of Imo State.


But with a very clear vision of the immediate and remote immense benefits of sports to the society, Governor Ihedioha added sports into the lexicon of the working and running of Imo State.


The state-owned football club, Heartland FC, was relegated to Division 2, and weren’t performing well. They lost matches both at home and away. Dan Anyiam Stadium was in a state of rot and decay. There wasn’t sports in the capital, Owerri. There wasn’t sports in the 27 LGAs. There was no hope at all for sports in Imo State!


But as God would have it, Governor Ihedioha, however, ignited the fresh fire of sports as he commenced work at Dan Anyiam Stadium, and the brand new 27 mini-stadiums. Heartland FC began to win matches again. According to Governor Ihedioha, sports is globally a big-profit venture, which no serious society can afford to neglect.

Recall that in addition to the signature project of the 27 mini-stadiums, which was rated by the Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, as a world class vision, Governor Ihedioha also commenced the comprehensive renovation, rehabilitation and refurbishment of Dan Anyiam Stadium and Grasshoppers Stadium in Owerri. Uzodimma abandoned all!


Significantly, the 27 mini-stadiums vision was adopted wholesale by the Minister of Sports of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a national policy on sports, whereby each of the 774 LGAs of Nigeria will have a mini-stadium. He thus declared that: “Imo is the home of sports in Nigeria”!


Governor Ihedioha has a great vision for sports development as a veritable vehicle for youth development and youth employment creation. He appointed Nwankwo Kanu as his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Sports. Recall that Nwankwo Kanu is a product of youth sports in Owerri, many years back!

Exploiting the rule of law and due process to secure legal statutes for sports development in Imo State, Governor Ihedioha interfaced with the legislature and got necessary imprimatur for sports growth and development.


He promptly created the Imo State Sports Commission and appointed a very experienced sports administrator, High Chief, Ezinwa Fan Ndubuoke, as its Chairman. It’s noteworthy that Imo State Sports Festival was restored in 2019.


The Sports Commission was designed to guarantee seamless growth and development of Sports in the State, so that sports does not experience characteristic administrative bottlenecks and bureaucratic hiccups associated with the State Ministry of Sports.

It was at the instance of the Sports Commission’s recommendations to the government, that Governor Ihedioha placed orders for a modern, state-of-the-art gymnasium equipment and facilities for the State Ministry of Sports.


It was to serve sportsmen and sportswomen in the State, as well as Imo people who will be encouraged to improve on their health by making regular use of the gymnasium equipment at subsidized cost.


The big news is that Governor Ihedioha fully paid for the new gymnasium, including its shipment into Nigeria. And the gymnastics equipment and facilities arrived Nigeria via Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, since April 2020.


What Uzodimma just did and is celebrating now without giving due credit to Governor Ihedioha was simply clearing and forwarding. Uzodimma cleared the equipment from Port Harcourt and forwarded it to Owerri about one week ago. Simple!

It’s noteworthy that with the advice of the Fan Ndubuoke-led Imo State Sports Commission, Governor Ihedioha also placed orders for the purchase of various other sports equipment and facilities for all the sports associations in the State. That’s truth based on facts!


A very sizeable portion of the total cost of the sports equipment and facilities for the sports associations were paid for by the Governor Ihedioha’s RebuildImo administration. It’s not certain whether Uzodimma would pay the balance which was agreed between the government and the suppliers. Uzodimma loathes and detests paying contractors and suppliers!


So, while it’s a good thing that the brand new gymnasium equipment and facilities have been received by Uzodimma, it’s equally very good that Governor Ihedioha ordered and paid fully for them. Let that be in our records and chronicles of leadership achievements in Imo State!

By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!



Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

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