Uzodinma demolishes hospital for Eke-Ukwu Owerri market reconstruction
By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri
Imo state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, says his administration took the controversial decision to demolish expansive hospital built by his predecessor in other to pave the way for reconstruction of Eke-Ukwu Market in Owerri into a world class market.
Recall that Governor Rochas Okorocha had, during his reign, demolished the ancestral market and started building a hospital at the site. The protest that rocked the controversial market demolition claimed life of a 6-year-old boy, Somtochukwu. Although, Governor Okorocha eventually named the facility after the slain boy upon completion, it never functioned till Uzodinm’s administration kick-started its demolition on Monday.
Orient Daily gathered that though wild jubilation greeted the demolition of the hospital and planed reconstruction of the Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market, some people viewed it as a misdirected political vendetta against the former administration.
Chief Joseph Nze, a community leader in Owerri was quoted as arguing that the idea of demolishing the new hospital was an affront on the people of the state.
“This hospital and many other such structures built by the Okorocha administration were not built with the former governor’s personal funds. He built them with Imo state funds – public funds. So, when you go on a demolition spree of projects initiated by your predecessor, when you haven’t built any at all, you should know that you are not fighting Okorocha, but Imo people,” he argued.
Another political leader from Owerri, Rt. Hon. Ernest Ibejiakor, however, hailed Governor Uzodinma for laying the foundation for the reconstitution of the ancestral Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market. Ibejiakor, who was a former speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, as well as a former member, Federal House of Representatives for Owerri Federal Constituency, informed journalists shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony held in Owerri, last Monday, that the ancestors of Owerri would forever be pleased with Governor Uzodinma for taking such positive steps.
He reassured all traders in the market of the governor’s promises to return back their shops, in addition to providing adequate security, bank, fire service station, as well as a state of the art parking lot.
“The governor has reinstated the position of Ndom Owerri before the demolition. What we owe him is our maximum support and to protect the sites and equipment of the contractors handling the project.”
The former lawmaker appealed to the contractor to take the job seriously and see to it that they did not exceed the 18 months deadline given to them by the governor.