Following the proposed plan by the Imo State Governor to relocate Eke-Ukwu Owerri market to Egbeada by the 1st of August 2016, the youths of Owerri “Nchi-Ise” have expressed their anger, readiness and resolve to resist the planned relocation with the last drop of their blood.
The apex leaders of the youths in their large numbers warned the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha to stay clear of Eke-Ukwu Owerri to avoid mayhem.
The youths through a joint communiqué signed by all the youth groups have adopted the resolution of Ndom Owerri General Assembly, who embarked on a peaceful protest at the government house to register their grievance to the state government.
In their separate interviews, the youth leaders of Amawom, Umuororonjo, Comrade Chukwuma Igbozuruike stated that they will defend the soul of Eke-Ukwu Owerri market with their last blood.
According to the youth president of Amawom Owerri, the youths of Owerri will resist the planned removal of Eke-ukwu market. He averred that the governor should be ready to crush both the youths, the men and women including the aged in Owerri, when he is ready to come into Eke-Ukwu Owerri market.
Igbozuruike made his feelings known while reacting to question fielded to him by some newsmen who visited him recently, further requested the governor to go back to Owerri master plan and use it to build the modern market at the new Owerri.
The youth leader in the meantime revealed that the original plan of Eke-Ukwu Owerri market was distorted and the reason why there is congestion on Douglas road.
He was of the opinion that Eke-Ukwu Owerri should remain to avoid problems.
Also responding, the youth leader of Umuoyima Community, Comrade Azoma Christian has asked the state governor to leave Eke-Ukwu Owerri market alone, as the youths under his command will join the other youths in Owerri to resist him, if he attempts to remove Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market.
The youth leader wondered why the Governor is bent on removal of Eke-Ukwu Owerri, pointing out that markets like: Benin market, Ogbogologo market in Asaba, Balogun market, Oshodi market, Ladipo market, Aswani market in Lagos State are markets that exist with governors of that areas making no moves for their removal.
In his reaction, the youth leader of Umuodu-Umugwa Community, Chief Obinna Ezenwa averred that Owerri youths are intact and will fight with their last blood to defend their indigenous market, Eke-Ukwu Owerri. He wondered if anybody is removing Governor Okorocha’s Ogboko market to anywhere.
On dualization of Douglas road, he posited that if the governor wants to expand Douglas road, he must follow the laid down rules and advised those whose stores were demolished without compensation, to protest.
Comrade Chibuzor Onyegbula, president, Umuororojo youths and apex leader of Owerri Youths affirmed that the youths in Owerri are ready to fight to save the symbol of Owerri, which is the Eke-Ukwu Owerri market.
He opined that what is annoying is that the governor never deemed it feet to meet with Owerri people in respect of his planned removal of the market.
Onyegbula however, advised the state governor to focus his attention on the development of other areas in Imo State, other than concentrating on the indigenous homes of Owerri people.
On the ongoing demolition exercise, Mr. Onyegbula said that the governor should stop punishing people by his demolition exercise and request him to pay the pensioners, workers and try to have human face in his demolition exercise.
He further urged Owerri people to put what is going on in the state before God for the desired solution.###
By Cyril Aririguzo