George Onyejiuwa, Owerri; Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Uche Onyeaguocha, yesterday alleged that primary intension of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, is to destroy the source of livelihood of the people, under the guise of urban renewal.
The former member of the House of Representatives, condemned alleged continuous onslaught on the people and accused Okorocha of using thugs from Ohaji/Egbema to attack traders and destroy their wares.
He said Imo has been turned into a jungle where rascality and use of brutal force have become the grand norm, stressing that the present administration whose constitutional mandate, he said, is to protect life and property of its citizens, has, “unfortunately, declared war on the people.
“It has, also, been noticed that the primary intention of Governor Rochas Okorocha has always been to destroy people’s means of livelihood, at a period when parents are expected to pay their children’s school fees.
“Both Eke Ukwu Owerri Market, New Market, Mechanic Village and other markets in the state were all destroyed by the governor, towards the end of last year, when people were struggling to raise money to pay house rents, school fees and others.
“This is only to destabilise and render the people hopeless, all in the name of urban renewal programme.
“It is only a clueless government, like this present administration, that does not know that, all over the world, inner-city roads are not meant to be too wide.
“Also, it takes only a reasonable government to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Wetheral Road and Douglas Road.
“To reduce the traffic congestion on Wetheral Road simply requires fixing Dick Tiger Road, Chukwuma Nwoha Road, the road from Orji to Toronto up to Road Safety, instead of destroying people’s property and utility facilities in the name of road expansion,” Onyeagocha said.
However, according to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), Mr. Kingsley Uju, who is in charge of operations, the government had earlier issued the traders a three-month notice, to relocate to Egbeada, where it has established a new market; but, the traders had refused to quit Douglas Road, Mbaise Road, Nworie industrial lane and Ama Hausa areas.
Reacting to criticisms of the urban renewal project, Governor Okorocha described those criticising the project as enemies who have no good intention.
His Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, who spoke to Daily Sun yesterday, while reacting to criticisms by some elites in the state, on the implementation of the relocation order, said such people do not want any change.
“They are enemies of the state. They have no good intention. They are allergic to positive change.
“They want the state to remain as it was when it was created in 1976. But, Governor Okorocha is repositioning the state for posterity and we thank God for that.”