By Ike A. Offor
Against all claims that Gov. Rochas Okorocha made a grave mistake relocating the Ekeukwu market in Owerri to a new site without adequate preparation and time given, his government has maintained that it did nothing wrong in the relocation plans.
Also, it was reported today that the security forces that moved traders to the new site shot and killed one young man, the government of Gov. Rochas Okorocha refuted this report.
In this press statement, the governor via his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo categorically said that the information for the relocation of this market has been made two years ago and that there were enough information and time to prepare everyone for the implementation, which is has taken place today.
Here is the press release:
GOVERNMENT OF IMO STATE PRESS RELEASE
ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS TO OUR FIRST PRESS RELEASE ON THE RELOCATION OF EKEUKWU OWERRI MARKET
It has come to our knowledge, the deliberate and Concerted effort being made by some elements who do not love Progress to use the relocation of the Ekeukwu Owerri market, to blackmail the government of the day and perhaps cause undue tension in the State.
These people who have refused or failed to appreciate the good of relocating Ekeukwu market Owerri to a more acceptable area have been dishing out rumours upon rumours including rumours of people being shot dead. These are wicked rumours.
The truth is that the Market is government’s Property and it is the decision of the government to relocate it to a better place and such action could not have led to such incident.
The Security Personnel around the market were there to ensure peace and they played that role professionally.
We are also aware that before now the hoodlums who have been using the market and environs as areas of their Operations have been threatening fire and brimstone over the government’s decision to move the market.
These hoodlums had also embarked on looting which led their being Confronted by some of the traders and it took the timely intervention of the Security Personnel to restore Order in that part of the market.
Unfortunately, those who hate progress have gone out with certain disturbing Claims and have also posted some photographs that have nothing to do with the Owerri issue on the social media just to see if they could discredit the government and the patriotic action taken in the overall interest of the State.
And Nigerians who have been following events in the State would attest that for almost two years the government has been announcing its intention to relocate the Ekeukwu Market to a better place.
The governor has asked the Security agencies in the State to investigate the rumours for the truth to be ascertained.