Serial digital entrepreneur and Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh have called on all aggrieved parties in Imo State to embrace peace, noting that no form of progress can take place in an atmosphere of unrest or insecurity.
He made this known while speaking at the Imo State Government House during a courtesy visit to Governor Hope Uzodinma on Monday, May 24, 2021.
The Zinox boss, who has been pained by recent developments regarding insecurity in Imo State, had decided, based on reportage and discussions with various stakeholders, to visit the state for a personal assessment of the situation, even as he noted that the facts on the ground show that the situation was not as bad as portrayed.
‘‘I think it is a temporary pain as activities were on full gear during the day and I hope nightlife shall soon return to what was a very peaceful state before this challenge,’’ he stated.
Ekeh, however, seized the opportunity to call for a cease-fire from all concerned parties.
‘‘The most critical thing to note is that peace is essential to the progress of any society. No meaningful progress can take place in a state where there is a high level of unrest, insecurity or a break-down of law and order. I wish to use this opportunity to plead with everyone to embrace peace, especially because this is not a time for division, but a time for all of us to band together and usher in progress in our dear state,’’ he declared.
The foremost digital disruptor, who hails from Mbaitoli LGA, decried the loss of lives and property in the state, noting that the situation may scare away potential and existing investors, if not curtailed.
Furthermore, he pleaded with the people of Imo State, to save the state from such a scenario and see dialogue as a better option.
‘‘Imo youths are very brilliant kids and street smart, but they must have faith in their future. This may be the right time to reskill to alter their destinies. Violence solves no problem.
Instead, it makes a bad situation even worse. Rather than resort to violence, it is better to dialogue or find a middle ground. I plead with you all to consider this whenever issues arise. I also understand that a governor is a busy man. In such cases, you can reach out to people like some of us to speak with him.
‘‘I urge you all not to allow yourself to be used to destroy the state. Remember that any actions we take today may also destroy the future of our children and unborn generations.’’
Also speaking at the event, Gov Uzodinma, who reassured the Zinox boss that things had normalized, disclosed his commitment to ensuring peace and security in the state as a means of creating a conducive environment for progress and for businesses and other entrepreneurial pursuits to thrive.
While speaking with journalists on the sidelines of an event, Ekeh restated his love for Imo State, noting that he would continue to support every government in power in the state, irrespective of the status, party or identity of the governor.
‘‘I am not a politician and shall never be one in this my lifetime. My single interest is supporting any government in power for the progress of the state. I can tell you the Governor assured me that he is putting a lot in place to revive the economy.
I frankly think the Federal Government, well-meaning Imo indigenes no matter where they reside, our friends and corporates operating in Imo state, should support in whatever little ways they can for absolute peace to return. I shall also do my bit.’’
In addition, the digital entrepreneur, who remains one of the biggest employers of graduates from Imo State, disclosed plans to enhance his investment in the state. Stating that the coronavirus pandemic was a huge challenge to businesses and individuals worldwide, Ekeh noted that Nigeria was also experiencing the bitter pangs of the pandemic, having to be ill-prepared for the crisis.
‘‘The truth is that no government or religious leader anticipated this disaster,’’ Ekeh disclosed.
He advised all to draw closer to God, even as he disclosed that God is the only distinguishing factor.
Ekeh, a renowned philanthropist, has touched millions of lives in Imo State and across Nigeria through his support for the less privileged, churches, educational institutions and other segments of the populace.
Through the Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation, his personal foundation, Ekeh has granted scholarships to many indigent students, constructed markets, provided Medicare for many and also set up an interest-free N1.5bn revolving loan scheme for entrepreneurs, among many other noble interventions.