Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

Uncontrollable tears of joy by Imo people marked the commissioning of five new roads in Owerri at the weekend by Imo State governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma.

At the commissioning of the newly dualised Douglas road, notable Owerri elders recalled with nostalgia the historical significance of the road, which is named after the first Colonial District Officer of Owerri, H. M. Douglas.

The high emotions continued at the commissioning of the abandoned MCC to Relief Market Road, which connects the major market in Owerri, where traders erupted with ecstasy as the governor commissioned the road.

The roads commissioned include: Dualized Douglas Road (Emmanuel Col- lege to Bank Road Junction), Thomas Moore/JP Ajelu, Dozie Nwachukwu Road, Assumpta Cathedral to General Hospital, Port Harcourt Road Junction, Aladinma Estate Roads, Archdeacon Dennis Road on Ikenegbu, among others.

At the ceremony, Governor Uzodimma said that the new roads and many others his administration has built and some ongoing, were part of his programmes for the restoration of Owerri municipality to its rightful place as the pride of Imo State and the Southeast.

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The governor noted that although some of the roads were federal roads, they were nonetheless part of the integral programmes of the state government meant to stimulate Imo economy in the COVID-19 pandemic era and beyond.

The governor also inspected several other ongoing road projects, including drains, and promised that most of the projects embarked upon by the govern- ment will be delivered soon.

Prince Bob Njemanze, a prominent Owerri indigene who shed tears of joy while commending Uzodimma for rehabilitating and dualizing Douglas road went down memory lane, to recall how the administration of Rochas Okorocha set out to destroy everything historical to the Owerri people, adding that Uzodimma may not know what he has done to the dignity of Owerri people by not only rebuilding Douglas Road, but also pledging to rebuild the Eke Ukwu market.

The Chairman of Njemanze Royal family dynasty, Prince Declan Njemanze, who also broke down in tears while commending Uzodimma for rehabilitating Douglas road, recalled that Owerri people were emotionally attached to the road because of its historical link to Sir Douglas which dated back to 1902.

At the commissioning of St. Thomas Moore Road, new Owerri, the Parish Priest of St. Thomas Moore Catholic Parish, Monsignor Anthony Njoku, commended the governor for a job well done and thanked God for raising a “messiah” in the person of Governor Uzodimma to attend to the roads that have been in a state of disrepair for so many years.