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Uzodinma’s demolition of Somto Hospital, Owerri

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uzodinma’s-demolition-of-somto-hospital,-owerri

SIR: The demolition Of Somto Hospital Owerri, on the directive of Governor Hope Uzodinma refers. For the records, Somto Hospital was built in memory of an innocent 12-year old boy who was callously killed by soldiers during the demolition Of Ekeukwu Market Owerri in August 2017, on the directive of then Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Before the Ekeukwu Owerri Market (an ancestral market) was demolished, I had called for caution.  An Owerri son high profile appointee of the then governor was removed from office because he reportedly cautioned against the demolition of the ancestral Ekeukwu Market.

During the 2019 campaigns, some governorship candidates promised to bring back the Ekeukwu Owerri Market on the same spot it was, if elected. Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Ikedi Ohakim, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and a few others, all pledged to rebuild Ekeukwu Owerri Market.

In fairness to Governor Hope Uzodinma, he is only doing what he promised. Emeka Ihedioha, would have demolished Somto Hospital for Ekeukwu Owerri

Market to bounce back. Ikedi Ohakim would have done the same. Senator Ifeanyi Araraume would have done same thing.

Now, thousands of displaced traders within and around the demolished Ekeukwu Market have turned into nuisances, by blocking roads with their wares. Do you blame them? Do you chase them around? They are already frustrated traders.  Hope Uzodinma has decided to rebuild the demolished market, so that these traders can go back to meaningful trading.

Over three years since the demolition of Ekeukwu Market, traders have cumulatively lost over n100 billion. Owerri indigenes collecting informal taxes have lost over N700 million. Owerri Municipal Council has lost over N2 billion. Imo State government has lost over N700 million, shop owners and landlords have lost over N20 billion and yet, Somto Hospital built in replacement has not yielded one kobo for anybody or government. I stand to be challenged.

Five weeks ago, Governor Uzodinma goofed when he laid the foundation stone for the take-off of the rebuilding of Ekeukwu Market, while Somto Hospital structure was still standing. I had expected him to first demolish the uncompleted Somto Hospital project before laying the foundation stone of the market.

Now that the uncompleted Somto Hospital project is being demolished, I want Ndimo to support it.

Nobody is witch-hunting Rochas Okorocha on this matter. I am calling on misinformed Imo citizens who are already condemning the demolition of Somto Hospital to pull their break of condemnation, and reason rationally along the lines I have adumbrated above.

On this one, Governor Hope Uzodinma got it right, and deserves a very big applause.

  • Dr Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha Owerri, Imo State.

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