Uzodimma relaxes curfew in Imo from 6pm to 6am

October 24, 2020
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…Announces release of N2b for immediate youth empowerment

Governor  Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has announced the immediate release  of N2 billion as take-off fund  for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries of a comprehensive youth empowerment scheme in the state.

The money will be taken out of the N6 billion the government has earmarked for an accelerated youth empowerment programme in Imo.

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Governor Uzodimma made the disclosure on Saturday in another broadcast where he relaxed the 24 hour curfew the government had earlier imposed and reinforced on Wednesday.

According to the governor, the curfew will now start from 6pm and end at 6am everyday for now even as he emphasized that those on essential duties are exempted.

“I  am glad to announce to you therefore that my government has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) out of N6,000,000,000 (Six Billion Naira) earmarked for an accelerated  youth empowerment programme.

“The N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) take off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries of this scheme which will commerce next week,” the governor explained.

The empowerment programme, the governor said, is targeted at an estimated 500,000 Imo youths to be trained in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd batches in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, including providing them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises.

The training will come under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP) and to be overseen by the State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship.

Governor Uzodimma lauded the youths from Imo State in particular and youths from across the country in general for comporting themselves responsibly during the #EndSARS protests by pulling out after making their grievances known, noting that the unfortunate destruction of government facilities and private property in Imo in the guise of protests afterwards was the handiwork of mercenaries hired to wreak havoc in the state.

The full broadcast by the Governor is presented below…

My beloved Ndi Imo, I address you once again on the current crisis in our country. This is the third time I am doing so in just one week. It underscores the importance my administration attaches to the safety of Ndi Imo and a peaceful Nigeria.

My heart is gladdened to note that a vast majority of our people heeded the clarion calls by  both President Muhammadu Buhari and myself on the youths to call off the EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably.

In my  search for peace, I met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests across the nation. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa , Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths, under the banner of Coalition of Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders of Nigeria. My gospel to them was the same: You have made your point and the relevant authorities have not only heard but are also taking necessary actions.  End the protests and allow the government to address your demands.

I feel fulfilled that Youths across the country in general and in Imo State in particular listened to wise counsel and have done the needful.

I use this opportunity to particularly salute my beloved Imo Youths for making me very proud indeed. I have always known that I can count on you at all times. For heeding to my advice and promptly calling off your peaceful protest, I commend you. You have demonstrated uncommon maturity and patriotism in a uniquely troubled  time  of our nation. I am very proud of you.

Yet duty still beckons. The task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state.

We must recognise that there are a few unrepentant and unpatriotic elements who will want to cash in on crisis situations to execute their wicked agenda of mayhem against our state. Often they entice and recruit unsuspecting  youths as willing tools for their destructive crusade. This is what they are doing now and we must say no to them. Our youths must say no to them, so that they don’t dent and soil your noble reputation as peace loving youths.

The gallant majority of peace loving Imo youths owe it a duty to stop these unpatriotic elements from manipulating a few youths who are still vulnerable to their antics. I  charge you not to rest on your oars until no youth in Imo State is available for hire by these merchants of death and destruction. They are the avowed enemies of the peace and progress of our dear state, and they are on the prowl again.

My esteemed Imo youths,  you will recall that during my interface with you, I assured you of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of my administration’s determination to address your needs. I  am glad to announce to you therefore that my government has approved an immediate release of a  takeoff fund of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) out of N6,000,000,000 (Six Billion Naira) earmarked for an accelerated  youth empowerment programme. The N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) take off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries of this scheme which will commerce next week

The programme will train in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches, an estimated number of 500, 000  (Five Hundred Thousand),  Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises.

Known as the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP), the State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation. A training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday October 27th, 2020.

In this regard the 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills are to be given their start up capital very soon. The ministry will work out the details for this in addition to the time table for other training sessions.

I should however add that available intelligence reports at my disposal indicate that those behind the vicious burning Police of  Stations, courts, INEC offices and Local government Headquarters in different parts of the state are not from Imo State. Every indication point to the fact that they are mercenaries hired to wreck havocked in the state.

The sponsors of these mindless carnage are not far to fetch. Security operatives are on their trail. I am confident that sooner than later they will all be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law. Let all those who mastermind the unprecedented carnage and wanton destruction of public and private property in the state be assured that they will not escape the long arm of the law.

My esteemed Imo people, as the situation in the state and the country gradually returns to normal, it is necessary to relax the curfew announced on Wednesday.

Consequently the curfew will now start from 6pm to 6am everyday for now. However those on approved essential services are exempted.

Once again I thank all the good people of Imo State for your understanding and support during these trying times.

God Bless Nigeria

God Bless Ndi Imo

God Bless Our Youths

Sen. Hope Uzodimma

Governor.

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