From George Onyejiuwa , Owerri
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has said the Urban Renewal Programme of his administration tagged ‘Imo My Pride,’ is aimed at attracting investors as well as making Owerri a tourist destination.
The governor, who spoke yesterday, against the backdrop of the recent demolition of Ekeukwu Market in Owerri, said there couldn’t be meaningful development without causing some inconveniences to the people.
Okorocha said relocation of the Ekeukwu is the best thing that has happened in Owerri, in recent times, and urged residents of the state to disregard the rumours making round in the state and on social media as they do not represent the true situation of things.
“We want to seize the opportunity to inform the members of the public to disregard rumours making the rounds with regards to Ekeukwu and whatever it represents, those things are social media rumours and do not represent practical realities.
“The issue of Ekeukwu was taken beyond the scope it represents and I still maintain that the removal of that market was the best thing that has happened to Owerri Capital City and has brought sanity” the governor said, describing the Ekeukwu Owerri market as a den of criminals which had to be cleaned out.
“Before now, the headquarter of all criminal activities was at the Ekeukwu and, as we progress, we want to live like other cities in the world.
“In decent society markets of that nature must be placed at a proper place and not right in the centre of the city where it does not only constitute nuisance but also promotes criminal activities.”
The governor also said relocation of the market will make Imo State a tourist destination as well as attract investors to “come into our land, we shall continue with the urban renewal as we widen the roads, distill the gutters, relocating markets and making sure that keke operators are no longer in the streets of Owerri city.”
Okorocha accused some politicians in the state of unnecessarily attacking his administration in order to destabilise the state.
Meanwhile, the governor said he had directed the security agents to do every thing within their power to ensure that those behind the killing of Father Cyriacus Onunkwo are fished out.
“We heard of the murder and the wicked act that led to the death of the Catholic priest in Orlu.
“We, as a state, condemn this act and I have directed that the people concerned must be fished out and the police have gone to work. We are happy to announce that it took no time for a meaningful arrest to be made.”