Hope Uzodinma is a Nigerian politician who serves as the governor of Imo State since 2020. He was declared the winner of the 2019 governorship election by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, after nullifying the election of the former governor, Emeka Ihedioha. Uzodinma is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former senator representing Imo West constituency. He is also a businessman and a philanthropist who has contributed to the development of his state and the nation.
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Full name: Hope Odidika Uzodinma
Date of birth: 12 December 1958
Age: 65 years (2023)
Spouse: Chioma Uzodimma
Education: Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)
Political party: All Progressives Congress (APC)
Hope Uzodimma Biography and Early Life
Hope Uzodinma was born on December 12, 1958, in Omuma, a town in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State. He is the son of Chief Michael Uzodinma, who held the traditional title of Igwe of Ozuh Omuma, and Ezinne Rose Uzodinma (née Nneoha). He is a kinsman of the Okoro family of Etiti-Omuma. He is a devout Catholic and belongs to the Igbo ethnic group.
Uzodinma attended Mgbidi Secondary School in Orlu West Local Government Area, where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1982. He then proceeded to the Federal University of Technology Owerri, where he studied Maritime Management Technology and graduated with a Diploma and a Higher Diploma. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the Washington International University, and a Master’s degree in Human Relations from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He also has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Political Science from the University of London, and an honorary Doctor of Administration degree from the Imo State University.
Career and Politics
Uzodinma began his career as a businessman and an entrepreneur. He established several companies and ventures in different sectors, such as oil and gas, maritime, construction, agriculture, and hospitality. He is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Shippers Council.
Uzodinma ventured into politics in the early 1990s, when he joined the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and contested for the Orlu Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives. He later joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1997 and became the party’s candidate for the Imo State governorship election in 1998. However, the election was cancelled by the military regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
In 1999, Uzodinma joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and became the coordinator of the PDP’s presidential campaign in Imo State. He also served as a member of the PDP Board of Trustees and the National Caucus. In 2003, he defected to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and contested for the Imo State governorship election, but lost to Achike Udenwa of the PDP.
In 2007, Uzodinma returned to the PDP and contested for the Imo West senatorial seat, but lost to Osita Izunaso of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He challenged the result at the tribunal and the court of appeal, but his petitions were dismissed. He then appealed to the Supreme Court, which ordered a rerun election in 2011. Uzodinma won the rerun election and became the senator representing Imo West constituency. He was re-elected in 2015 for a second term.
As a senator, Uzodinma served as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation and the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise. He also sponsored and co-sponsored several bills and motions, such as the Nigerian Maritime University Okerenkoko (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2016; the National Transport Commission Bill, 2016; the motion on the urgent need to investigate the alleged failure of the Nigerian Customs Service to auction confiscated goods; and the motion on the urgent need to investigate the circumstances surrounding the concession and privatization of some government property by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
In 2018, Uzodinma defected from the PDP to the APC and became the party’s candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Imo State. He came fourth in the election, according to the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which declared Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP as the winner. Uzodinma challenged the result at the tribunal and the court of appeal, but his petitions were dismissed. He then appealed to the Supreme Court, which on January 14, 2020, nullified the election of Ihedioha and declared Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of Imo State. The Supreme Court based its judgment on the addition of 213,295 votes that were allegedly excluded from Uzodinma’s total score by INEC.
Uzodinma was sworn in as the governor of Imo State on January 15, 2020. He is the seventh governor of the state since its creation in 1976. Since assuming office, Uzodinma has embarked on various projects and policies to improve the welfare and security of the people of Imo State. Some of his achievements include the payment of salaries and pensions, the rehabilitation of roads and infrastructure, the establishment of the Imo State Security Network, the launch of the Imo State Agricultural Revolution Programme, the inauguration of the Imo State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Lands and Related Matters, and the signing of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2020.
Uzodinma is married to Chioma Uzodinma, who is the first lady of Imo State. He has seven children, namely: Sophie Nkem Uzodinma, Sandra Nkechi Uzodinma, Hope Uzodinma Jr., David Uzodinma, Michael Uzodinma, Daniel Uzodinma, and Joshua Uzodinma. He is also a grandfather to several grandchildren.
Uzodinma is a philanthropist and a humanitarian who has donated and supported various causes and organizations, such as the Foundation for Youth Development, the Hope Uzodinma Foundation, the Hope Uzodinma Scholarship Scheme, the Hope Uzodinma Empowerment Programme, and the Hope Uzodinma Medical Outreach. He has also received several awards and honours, such as the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS), the Grand Commander of the Order of Imo State (GCOIS), and the Zik Prize for Leadership.
Uzodinma is one of the richest and most influential politicians in Nigeria. He has an estimated net worth of $1 billion, according tonupebaze.com.ng. He owns several properties and assets, such as a mansion in Owerri, a house in Abuja, a hotel in Lagos, and a fleet of cars, including a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, a Range Rover Sport, and a Toyota Land Cruiser. He is also a major shareholder in several companies and ventures.