The Honourable Member Representing Owerri Municipal State Constituency And The Majority Leader Imo State House Of Assembly , Hon. Chief Lugard Osuji has in a press briefing held in Owerri reacted to The Demolition And Relocation Of Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market.
In What He Tagged, “AN AVOIDABLE EVENT”, Hon. Lugard gave an account of The Role he played as the Member Representing The Most Populous Constituency in Imo State towards ensuring peaceful negotiations. He Said;
“I have watched with keen interest the reactions of the people following the demolition of Ekeukwu Owerri Market.
They have come from my people, the Owerri Indigenes, the Traders, Journalists, Politicians and especially those who have wondered what the Members Representing Owerri Municipal Council’s position is regarding this event.
First and foremost my prayers , sympathy and condolences go to the parents and family of the little Lad Master Somtochukwu Ibeanusi who lost his life on that Saturday and all those who sustained various degrees of injuries that day. May the good Lord console them.
He Continues, ” My position has always been and has never changed, which is remodeling of Ekeukwu Market. This is because it’s current status posed health and security challenges for that part of the city.
Between May – July 2016, when the Government made its intentions known that it will remove the market from its present location, I called my people and Constituents to a town hall meeting first at the council hall and thereafter I went to the five(5) Autonomous Communities in Owerri. I did not stop there, I held several meetings with the market Unions/Leaders and the traders in general at the Amarachi Square I side the market. On that day, shops were closed in order to ensure that all traders participated.
The traders were told of the need to relocate to the site provided by the Government so as to prevent their goods from damaging in the course of reconstruction. To my Brothers and Sister – The Indigenes of Owerri, I know how emotional this market is for us because it is our identity as a people. But, I had informed them of the need to engage Government in a discussion on the matter. What I got in return is not what I would wish to put down in a press briefing. On one occasion , there was an unfounded story published in the Local Newspaper and Social Media that I was attacked by some youths.
I am sad today because a life was lost. I am sad because a number of traders have lost their wares. I am sad because serious issues bothering on the health and security of my people have been politicised. I am sad because the whole event was highly avoidable if only My People had not allowed their emotions to override their sense of reasoning. As a Person I do not believe in just discussing problems but also in finding solutions”, The Majority Leader opined.
Akajiudo Owerri As He Is Fondly Called further submitted, “I am still prepared to lead my people to the Government for a meaningful discussion on what to do with the site now that, of a truth , the Ekeukwu has been demolished and the Government is in the process of settling the traders to designated sites.
I know my people still remain a Peace-loving Community. I will urge them to join the Government to maintain peace in the Municipality. I know they are still the MOST ACCOMODATING People on Earth.
I will also urge them not to allow this city to be turned into a political battleground especially now that lots of politicians have their eyes on 2019.
God Bless Owerri Municipal, God Bless Imo State, God bless Nigeria”, Hon. Lugard Osuji Concluded.