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    Friday, December 9, 2022

    Night Landing Facilities to be Installed at Imo Airport

    Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma says his administration has initiated arrangements to install night landing facilities at the busy Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (SMICA), Owerri to extend the landing time for travellers during this year’s festivity period.

    Uzodimma disclosed this on Thursday while speaking to a large audience of Imolites that gathered to witness the handover of 31 SUV jeeps as operational vehicles to the leaders of the traditional rulers in 27 LGAs, three Zones and the State Council.

    Reiterating his resolve to continue embarking on programmes that impact positively on the lives of the people of the State, the governor stated that indigenes and visitors coming to Imo through SMICA will now have the opportunity of landing at night, beginning this Christmas season.

    “We are installing night landing facilities at Imo Airport. When we have night landing facilities, our brothers and sisters who are coming home from outside the country during this Christmas period will land in Owerri at night.

    “Very soon harmattan will start and local flights are not allowed at night. And those who must come back will land in Port Harcourt or land in other neighbouring States, and then begin to come by road to Imo State.

    “When we have facilities for night flight and navigation, they will fly straight into Owerri and if there is need for them to sleep overnight before going to the villages, they will patronize our hotels.

    “We are talking about the impact of our growth plan and economic recovery. It’s like building a house. We must set out the plan, set out the pillars. We must design what is implementable and that is what we are doing,” Uzodimma said.

    On the issue of security, Governor Uzodimma further assured that there is nothing to worry about as government will stop at nothing to step up its game in protecting the lives and property of the citizens.

    According to the governor, the vehicles are to assist the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and his team across the State in their day-to-day operations.

    Presenting the vehicles, Governor Uzodimma noted that the Traditional Institution is a critical institution that represents the culture of the people and tradition and could be described as the “Citadel of Justice at the Community level.”

    He noted that the monarchs maintain security and dispense justice at the rural level and that some of them in doing so even lose their lives. He said the car gift was meant to encourage them not to relent in their service to the State.

    Uzodimma said that “from time to time a strong welfare package will be made available to the Royal Fathers of the State as a way of cushioning the effect of their non-participation in some activities that would have made them more comfortable.”

    He appealed to them to do well to speak to the youths to shun every form of criminality and come forward for empowerment programmes designed by the State Government to make them entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

    He seized the opportunity to plead with those involved in banditry, murdering of innocent citizens and other criminal activities that tend to make the State unsafe to think twice and turn a new leaf.

    The governor reiterated his earlier plea with Eze Imo and other Traditional Rulers to partner Government to curb crime and criminality, emphasizing that “in this Christmas festivities, Government will stop at nothing in ensuring that Imo people both at home and in Diaspora returning for Christmas will go about their businesses without fear of harassment and molestation.”

    He called on all and sundry to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari for his goodwill for Imo and in helping the State to share in both tangible and intangible dividends of democracy as exemplified in upgrading Federal Medical Centre into University Teaching Hospital and making Alvan Ikoku College of Education a Federal University College of Education in addition to the approval given for the dredging of Oguta/Orashi River to the sea that will open up Imo State to the outside world through the waterways.

    Uzodimma recalled how he did his best to turn around the near-decayed Imo State when he assumed office in 2020 by improving the Civil Service, working on the people’s mindsets and bringing back the people’s trust in governance.

    In her remarks the Imo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Rubby Emele said that the Governor is going about doing his best, not only in infrastructure but in human capital development.

    “Today is the Traditional Ruler’s turn and the next day it will be the empowerment of youths.”

    She described the presentation of the vehicles as a distribution of amenities to the Communities and Local Government Areas and “one of such numerous exploits of the Governor.”

    In his appreciation remarks, the Chairman Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze (Dr) Emmanuel Okeke thanked the Governor for his gestures to the Traditional Rulers and pledged their commitment to ensuring the success of his government.

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