Ekeukwu Market: Owerri people draw battle-line with Okorocha
The Owerri Community Assembly has said that Owerri people will resist the building of any other structure at the demolished market space except a market.
This was the consensus during the first leg of their one-week mourning which commenced on Friday at their ancestral hill, Ugwu Ekwema, which is also a sacred meeting place where Owerri people gather to take serious and binding decisions.
At the solemn assembly that drew men and women from all corners of the Owerri senatorial zone and beyond, speaker after speaker reiterated that the Ekeukwu Market was not like every other market but an ancestral heritage that is tied to the identity of the Owerri people.
They condemned the blood allegedly spilled by the Governor Rochas Okorocha administration, and washed the hands of Owerri people off the death of the innocent 10-year old Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, who was killed during the market demolition.
They prayed that the killers and sponsors of the killers of the innocent will not go unpunished. Chairman of the occasion, Barrister Ken Njemanze (SAN), conveyed the mood of the people when he explained that the market, which was part of the cultural identity of the people and their means of livelihood, was put in place by their forefathers.
He held that the space occupied by the market is a heritage site and particularly dear to every Owerri man.
The assembly regretted that since the government was willing to spill blood to demolish the market, they must also be ready to kill every Owerri man if for any reason any project that is not a market is sited at the market space. A visibly angry speaker said, “We shall resist it to the uttermost.
The governor and the Imo State Government must be willing and ready to kill us all if they insist on building anything else on this market space outside a market. This is their opportunity to remodel the market and not to allot the space.”
They maintained that for the last one week, the people of Owerri has been under siege of government sponsored military and militia group and regretted that the state government regardless of the state anthem that promotes rule of law, insisted on relocating the market in spite of a subsisting order of the court which restrained the government from enforcing the plan.
The community was unanimous in agreement that the sponsors and perpetrators of the terror and criminality that was visited on the small Owerri community must be brought to justice and committed to prison.
While noting that immunity is not enough protection against murder of the innocent, Ken Njemanze (SAN) stressed, “We must also apply all necessary legal steps to ensure that the victims of the senseless demolition are adequately compensated”.
•Text courtesy of Sunday Telegraph.