Imo State Deputy Governor-Elect, Rt. Hon. Gerald Alphonsus Irona has said that funds meant for Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC will no longer be diverted, but will be used for the development of the oil producing areas of the state.
Irona stated this while addressing thousands of stakeholders of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency, who gathered in Oguta to receive him after the announcement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the just concluded governorship election in the state.
He used the occasion to preached forgiveness and reconciliation, urging his supporters to forgive all those that may have offended them in anyway, even as he assured them of his readiness to reconcile with all stakeholders in the area, irrespective of political and party affiliation.
“We must use ISOPADEC funds to develop our place. We shall end the practice of sharing of ISOPADEC funds. We shall take care of our women, youth and elderly. We will touch the lives of our people. Our brothers shall no longer be used as thugs. We shall not steal your money. If it is about money, we would not have won this election. We earned the confidence and trust of Imo people. We will ensure that the trust is sustained.”
“You must begin the process of reconciliation. No matter the political party anybody belongs to, I want to tell you that I will bring everybody under one roof. This is a task I have given to myself.
“I will start from my community, Local Government, Federal Constituency and of course Orlu zone. I will reconcile every reconcilable person or group. My people, out of benevolence, brought me from Councillorship, to Local Government as Chairman, then House of Assembly and House of Representatives.
“Today, I am Deputy Governor-elect. What has God not done for me? You will see a different Irona. We shall not let you down.”
Speaking on his experience in the opposition for over a decade in the state, Irona stressed, “We remained in the PDP; transformed PDP and conducted the best primaries ever in the history of Imo. We chased away all the criminals and sanitized the party. I told you earlier that nobody will rig my election. So it has happened. Of all that they did, could they rig us out?”
He poured encomiums on his political leader, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, pledging his continued loyalty to the Arthur Nzeribe political dynasty.
“I am grateful to our leader, Chief Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe. I am proud to come from this dynasty. Nobody! Nobody! Nobody will destroy this dynasty. He is the man that taught me not only how to do politics, but to manage my resources; a man with a forgiving heart; a political colossus, strategist and father of all.”
Irona used the occasion to call on all those that left the political family of Chief Nzeribe to return, assuring them of warm reception.
“I want to say it here that our brothers who, for certain circumstances decided to leave this family should return. I promise that I shall not oppress, harass or intimidate anyone with this position. I shall not take away anyone’s property from them.
“I promised you that all your efforts will be rewarded. It is also your duty to protect your own. The task is huge, but, with your support and prayers, we shall succeed. Don’t come to me to run anybody down. If you do it, you have lost my friendship.”
Highlights of the event were visits to the oldest man in Oguta, Sir Benneth Maduagwu Okororie, traditional dances, among others.