Hon Ebere Chukwuemeka, popularly called ABJ, is an illustrious son of the Umuororonjo Autonomous Community in Owerri Municipal Area Council of Imo State. He is also a successful business man and a grassroots politician.
He served as Transition Committee Chairman of Owrerri Municipal Council during the reign of Governor Emeka Ihedioha. He is a major stakeholder in Owerri Municipal and a top Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo State.
During his period of six months in office as TC Chairman of Owerri Municipal, ABJ executed several people – oriented social, economic and infrastructural development programmes and projects for the people of Owerri Municipal Area Council. He received accolades and commendations for his achievements.
Recently, an Owerri based local tabloid, Eastern Lead Express Newspaper of Wednesday, February, 16th, 2022 ran a story with the headline: “Umuororonjo Drags Owerri Municipal to Court over New Stadium, EX TC fingered”.
The newspaper reported that Hon Chukwuemeka (ABJ) and the Owerri Municipal Council, have been dragged to Court, for allegations, that are false. He reacted immediately. In this interview with some journalists in Owerri, Hon. Ebere Chukwuemeka, debunked the newspaper report and present the true facts,
The Elders of Umuororonjo Autonomous Community, alleged that you built the locked-up shops, at the old Stadium at Tetlow Road illegally and without consultation with them. Is that true?
No. It is not true. The shops were built legally and with due consultations with the elders and people of the community. They were pleased with the project and gave the approval.
It was also alleged that before the Old stadium and Shopping complex were demolished by the Rochas Okorocha administration, the people of the community had fifteen (15) shops downstairs. But, when you rebuilt the complex, you did not give, even one shop to the community. True or false?
That is also not true. Some land space of the former Stadium and Shopping Complex was used to build the Youth Hall by Senator Francis Ezenwa Onyewuchi. Another part of the space, was used to build the Youth Plaza (for the youths of the community). They have occupied their shops. The Youth Hall, is generating revenue for the community.
The Elders of the community also alleged that when the shopping complex was completed, you allocated the shops to your friends and cronies. What is your reaction to these allegations?
That is far from the truth. We don’t have community land, in Umuororonjo. What we have are family and kindred lands. The families that own the land were captured in the allocation of the shops. Some of the families that were allocated shops are: Elder Denis Agulonu, Elder Denis Mbara, Mr Enyeribe Ejiogu and Mr Cornelius Ukagba.The other people of Umuororonjo Community, were allocated shops. The women of Umuororonjo Community were also allocated shops and the Town Union rented the shops given to Umuororonjo Community. It is unfortunate that the people who are complaining now were with Rochas Okorocha Government and conspired with him to demolish Eke Ukwu Owerri market and the Old Stadium Plaza. Their leader served as a Commissioner in the Judicial Service Commission under Rochas Okorocha’s Government.
You were in office for just six (6) months. What are your achievements?
We re-built the demolished old Stadium Shopping Plaza, in record time. The Plaza has been fully occupied and the Owerri Municipal Council, earns substantial revenue from the complex.
We approved four (4) 500KV transformers for various locations in the council. We installed one (1) at Oha Owerre Hall at Tetlow/School Road Junction. It has been functioning since then. Other transformers were yet to be not installed, before we suddenly left office.
When we came to office, the Owerri Municipal Council Headquarters Complex at Douglas Road, was in a terrible state of the neglect.The internal roads were bad, with pot-holes and worn-out tars, everywhere. Some of the roofs in the complex were collapsing and leaking during rainy season.
There was no electricity power in the complex. There was no water running. The toilets in the premises were bad. The paints on the buildings were peeling off like abandoned complex. Therefore, when we came to office, we tarred the internal roads. We also provided water. We provided electricity power supply. We landscaped the complex. We repainted the complex with Bright-yellow colour; for aesthetics.
Indeed, when Dist. Senator Francis Ezenwa Onyewuchi, visited the complex on a working tour, he was amazed at the work we have done, within a short period of just six (6) months! He commended our efforts.
When we assumed office, there was no security outfit at the Council Headquarters. The lives and properties of the council and workers were not safe. The lives and properties of the council and workers were not safe.
Therefore to guarantee safety, we established the Owerri Municipal Council Security Guards. We employed more than one hundred (100) Security Guards, to man the Council Headquarters and all the nooks and crannies of the Council. We bought three vehicles for the Security Guards.
We also employed Women Sweepers at the Owerri Municipal Headquarters Complex.
When we assumed office, the old stadium, at Tetlow Road was already demolished by the Rochas Okorocha’a administration, without any plan to re-build it. We considered the commercial value of the stadium. Therefore, we decided to re-build the stadium. It was 80% completed, before we suddenly left office.
What is your message to the Elders and people of Umuororonjo Autonomous Community?
We request the people of Umuororonjo Autonomous Community, to disregard that false news story. They should commend our short-lived tenure at the Council, for the achievements we recorded while in office. We shall do same and more, if we are given another chance to serve the people of Imo State diligently. That is our Mantra.