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RELOCATION OF EKE-UKWU OWERRI, A POSITIVE RESOLUTION

RELOCATION OF EKE-UKWU OWERRI, A POSITIVE RESOLUTION

The things one worries about are not the reasons for worry at all, they are challenges; opportunities for us to grow as we easily find solutions to our problem.

Sometimes a situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exist. to those who realize that having taken on responsibility, made the right decisions and worked harder to achieve success in life.

These comments are not for some Imolites who have generation that have never seen the state in its brief shining moment of glory and never had any elevated  sense of expectation, perception modesty or destiny of either themselves or for the state, but been perverse and never appreciates good things.

At least people never believed in the acts of journalists who often ask how, what, where and why did certain events happened, they are more like detectives than scientists they investigate, question and challenge records from the post to the present and future.

Every New Comer in Owerri goes through terrible period in which he or she is shaken to the core, no matter how strong her or his physique, how calm her or his nerves, and the suffering of the New Comer became worse and worse in the city of Owerri as a result of Ekeukwu Owerri.

History had it, that Eke-ukwu Owerri was sited around 1860 with small attachment on the road of Douglas where the indigene of (Owerri NcheIse) displayed their Local Agricultural Produce like Cassava, Vegetables, Palm-oil and Fruits harvested in their rich farm land so that those who are travelling to Onitsha, Lagos, Aba, Port-Harcourt and other river rime areas in the present South-South geo-political Zone would by their products.

History also had it that the population of the Eke-ukwu Owerri was not up to fifty (50) people that comprised mainly women of about 50 to so years and above

As time went on it started accumulating people from other in the interior of the Zone who perched on the Douglas road when it was constructed around 1906.

The process of expansion of Eke-ukwu continued until 1967 to 1970 when the market was temporarily lost in sight, but immediately after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, the market started again, this time around about 1000 people from the Zone who were displaced in Port-Harcourt, Calabar, and other states of Western Region made use of the market.

Consequently, the market known as Eke-ukwuOwerri witnessed tremendous population Explosion in 1976 when Imo State was created out of the Former East Central state in Enugu, Civil Servant, Parastatals who were transferred from Enugu to the New State of Imo with Owerri as its capital city started using the market as their main market

similarly, because of the great influx, the population of the market gone up to 50,000 and a lot of Improvise were made as stall or shops in the market using ordinary zinc and road which were popularly called batchers during this period, Owerri Muncipal Council was created and they started collecting rents from the market as well as taking care of the market.

this continued until 1987 when the Eke-ukwu Owerri was burnt down into ashes, these were speculations at that time that the Local Government or the Owerri Municpal Council in collaboration with the security out fit in Owerri known as the “Black Eagle” burnt down the market so as to take full control of the market so as to take full control of the market, when this speculation was over the military governor of Imo State at that time Navy-Capt. Amadi Ikwueche saw how the market was burnt, with over 60,000 traders squeezing themselves in the market again, he called for the relocation of the market to move it to a more conducive area, that would stand the test of time, but late Eze Njemanze and the embattled Owerri Nnchi-ise resisted the move by governor to relocate the market

Meanwhile the entire governors that have governed this state including Amadi Ikwueche Tanko Zubairu, Evan Enwerem Chief Achike Udenwa and Chief Ikedi Ohakim to relocate the Eke-ukwu Owerri prove abortive.

Presently, due to recent crises in the Northern Nigeria caused by dreaded Boko Haram and the heinous activities of Militants in the Niger Delta region of South-South geo-political Zone, a lot of igbo traders majority from Imo State were displaced and they relocate to Owerri their state capital, making the population of the market to little less than two million traders

Now because of this uncontrolled population of the trader in the market, all the adjoining rods that beautified Owerri Capital territory have been converted to market, generating dirts that cost Imo State over three million naira to evaluate on daily basis

Furthermore, when the present Governor of Imo State Owelle Rocha Okorocha saw the menace and increasing dilapidation of the market, he made a move again to relocate Eke-ukwu Owerri to a more conducive area but the indigene of Owerri-Nchi-Ise had refused to relocate the market. Recently their youth and their mothers wore black attire and demonstrated against the proposed relocation of Eke-Ukwu Owerri, saying that they will destroy every human being of any microbial organization who support the relocation of Eke-Ukwu Owerri because it is their ancestral market and could not be relocated to any  other place or area.

However, some traders in the Eke-Ukwu and the street traders have group themselves along the Elders Forum of the market contacted their hoodlums, saying that they are going to resist the Governor of the state Owelle Rochas Okorocha if he comes to demolish the market as he has said to be commenced on the first week of August 2016.

An investigation carried out from the street traders revealed that they have vehemently reiterated their earlier decision that the Governor of Imo State Owelle Rochas Okorocha cannot remove them from Douglas roads and other popular streets which include school road, Ekeonun Rotibi, Christ Church road among others Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State.

One of their street traders who gave his name as John Okonta told journalist at the heart of Douglas road over the weekend that many Governors which include Amadi Ikwueche, Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim made frantic effort to remove the street traders from Douglas but all their efforts proved abortive.

“Previous administration in the state have influenced some big heads to make sure that we were removed, but we still existed up till today, so I believed that Rochas is joking and he will fail like his predecessors”

Another street trader from school road who also gave his name as Franc Ahamba also told the journalist that no amount of pressure can remove them from the area because the indigene from Owerri Municipal located the area to them, therefore it is very wrong for anybody to remove them from the area .

I want you to remember that Former Governor of Imo State, Governor Ikedi Ohakim tried it with military and police but failed invariably another trader from Ekeonunwa street, Andy Nwaokoro also stated that nobody can remove or relocate them from this place because the street is a part of Eke Ukwu Owerri, and more over the area did not belong to Imo State Government nor Owerri Municipal Council. He also highlighted that the governor of Imo State Owelle Rochas Okorocha built Relief Market Extentsion Plaza and told them to pay two million (N2m) before they could get a shop there “ In short that Aboki cannot remove us from this place”.

Investigation however revealed that Eke-Ukwu Owerri gave rise to street traders in Douglas road, School road, Eke-onunwa and Rotibi streets among other and had contributed to over congestion and serious traffic lock jam and overcrowding which has increased tremendously and has resulted to the unremitting increase of insecurity.

However because of the menace of street traders, that is blocking the entire road, many motorists operating in Imo State have seen Douglas route as “BamudsTrisngle”.

Recently a pregnant woman gave birth in tricycle as a result of Traffic jam that lasted over four hours and they named the child Douglas, also four accident victim from Aba road who were rushing to Federal Medical Centre Owerri bled to death in Douglas as a result of everyday lock jam.

It was also gathered that in Douglas road there are motor parks to Aba, Umuahia, Onitsha, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers among others and the road also host Fidelity bank, two Eco banks, Zenith bank, Micro Finance banks, Heritage bank, First bank, Sterling bank and also United bank for Africa (UBA). Aldo the street hosts’ two Petrol stations the MRS and Total Filling Station were also located in the Douglas road.

If Eke-UkwuOwerri is not relocated it will cost a catastrophic blow on the existence of government and affect the physical, psychological and socio-economic condition of the urban life.

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