His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha ordered for the demolition of houses on one side of Umezuruike st. We are being told that the street has been marked to become a dual carriage way even though the original masterplan has it designed for one lane.
According to our source, right after the courts ruled in favour of the Imo State Government, His Excellency directed bulldozers to clear a whole stretch of houses. The heartbreaking part of this is that there will be no compensation to those being displaced. Yesterday, the streets of Owerri were flooded. Residents who had no where to take shelter were left to bathe in the unsolicited shower of blessing. A pathetic sight to say the least.
It will be recalled that sometime in December last year, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Tony Anwuka disclosed plans by the Imo State Government to demolish buildings in areas where goof, and etc where sold in the State. Those of us who are familiar with Owerri town will agree that Umezuruike St. is not one of the safest neighbourhoods. Many are of the opinion that it is an area known to breed armed robbers and professional “hit – men”.
Looking at it from a legal point of view, the forced displacement is justified but, what about the good ones in their midst? What about the elderly people? The physically challenged who have become accustomed to their abode? What about the expectant mothers and their young children? Where do they go from here?
All these years, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been highly regarded as a man with a compassionate heart for the needy. We are not going to dabble into the issue of monetary compensation. The only question playing in this writers head is – “How in the world could he harden his heart and watch these people displaced without adequate living arrangements provided?” Even if it is a temporary makeshift batcher for mass housing!!
The whole thing is too much to comprehend but as they say, the only thing constant in life is change. We appreciate the Governor’s effort to make Imo a better place. We are in no position to question the wisdom of His Excellency on any decision he chooses to take. All we have to do is to sit back, pray hard and watch how things will unfold believing God that every decision is in our best interest.