The Somtochukwu hospital, a giant edifice hurriedly put up by the past administration after the demolition of the ancestral Eke Ukwu Owerri market, may go down, as part of plans to rebuild the market.
The present administration in the State led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha had consistently echoed it’s resolve to rebuild the State after widespread outcry and condemnation that trailed the demolition of the Eke Ukwu Market.
The Somto hospital was named after a 10 year old boy, Master Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, who lost his life during the melee that ensued when the market was brought down in September 2017.
The building was not completed before the past administration left office on May 29, 2019. No further work has continued on the project.
A Market Development Commitee set up by Governor Ihedioha which has now metamorphosed into Imo State Market Development Authority was constituted by the State government to assess and re asses the viability of returning the ancestral market to the site after it was demolished.
The Commitee was said to have evaluated the Somto Hospital project and concluded that aside it’s poor structural work, it has to give way for the new look Eke Ukwu Market with the trappings of modernity.
The Eke Ukwu Owerri market is one of the notable cultural identities of Owerri people who have continously hailed the Ihedioha administration for taking proactive steps to rebuild the market.
A source in the Imo State Market Development Authority who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the Somto hospital “is structurally defective”
“The Somto hospital building failed to pass an integrity test.The building was a mere block work which the test revealed.
“The test was done by COREN and other reputable engineers and it will not stand the test of time.
It was not ascertained if final approval has been given for the demolition of the Somto hospital building as the source said further evaluation of the project is still ongoing.