BY: GREG IWU
An ultra modern market to be named Eke Ukwu Owerri market will be built at the site the market was demolished in September 2017.
The outgone Rochas Okorocha administration had demolished the ancestral Eke Ukwu Owerri market which sparked massive public outcry and condemnation.
This newspaper gathered that the present administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha had during electioneering campaigns vowed to rebuild the market.
On assumption of office, a Market Development Commitee was constituted to look at the possibility of rebuilding the market which was a source of friction between Owerri Indigenes and former Governor Rochas Okorocha.
The Commitee is said to have recommended the rebuilding of the market with state of the art facilities with a proviso that there will be no entrance into it from Douglas Road, Owerri.
A source who is in the know of plans to rebuild the market told this newspaper that the purpose of cutting off Douglas Road as an entrance point into the market is to put a permanent stop to the perennial traffic gridlock on the road and end street trading once and for all.
It is unclear what will be the fate of an uncompleted project said to be a school or hospital which the Okorocha administration had embarked on at the site of the demolished market.
Owerri Indigenes had been furious since the market was demolished which led to the death of 10 year old Somtovhukwu Ibeanusi who was allegedly mowed down by bullets suspected to be from security forces on the day of the demolition.
However it remains unclear if the Commitee made resort to an existing Masterplan of the market which was conceived by the Ikedi Ohakim administration..
It was learnt that a Masterplan to rebuild the market was initiated by the Ohakim administration which had sent a delegation to Tejuosho market in Lagos State to understudy if such could be replicated at Eke Ukwu market. The plan was in the pipeline before Ohakim lost re election in 2011.
“This market will be rebuilt with modern features and facilities. It is a promise made and it is a promise this administration will keep” a top level source close to the Commitee revealed to innonews.com.ng