By Nwamkpa Modestus
Quickly, I want to say that iam under tension and shock while undertaking this exercise. Again, I want to believe that government is for the people and not the people for government. Equally, I have the conviction that every decision or action of the government must not always be right but just and MIGHT should not be elevated to be RIGHT. Constraints must be exercised by government in taking certain actions.
Last Saturday will ever be remembered as one of my horrifying days. I was still in my bed when I received the news of the mother of all demolitions in Owerri by our Governor. Out of inquisition, I dashed out into my Car and headed straight to Douglas Road, the centre of attraction and absurdity.
Just close to the post office, I could hear the sounds of cries, lamentations and guns raining the air. I saw fiercely looking and battle ready Soldiers, Mobile policemen and other auxiliary security agencies stationed as if Douglas Road was Sambisa forest. All those braggadocio and make- belief bravery by those security agents was just to demolish a mere market inside the town.
I saw people running helter scatter and I also saw people raising their hands up apparently as was commanded by the Soldiers. Infact, the entire environment looked like a war torn zone reminiscent of the situation in Sudan or Syria.
I managed to go a bit further into the crisis ridden zone while also raising my hands as ‘obedient’ servant. I saw government Bulldozers mowing down in a bizarre way and demolishing Buildings, Shops and destroying in a more disgusting and traumatizing manner people’s wares and properties. Chai! My God. I couldn’t but shaded tears- tears of pity for the poor, helpless and hapless traders.
In the first place, iam not against development and I will always support any genuine government idea or effort at development a place. I am also not against any plan of the government to either modernize the market or relocate the traders to a more befitting place but I am totally against the idea of demolishing people’s shops without providing an alternative place.
Although, government can claim that it had issued the warning to the Ekeukwu market traders long before now but to no avail but the truth of the matter is that Imo state governor Rochas Okorocha has no place for now that can absorb the traders. The new market being built at Akwakuma axis is not yet completed. The Road to the place is bad. The adjoining roads to the market are flooded as we speak. The entire place is not habitable yet and you are rushing to demolish the shops.
Meanwhile, this is raining season and clearly not the right time to carry out such demolition as if you are at war with your own people. After all, what is the urgency in carrying out the demolition?.
Again, is it true that the demolition was carried out in disobedience to Court ruling or injunction? If it is true, then an explanation is needed from government because the law is the regulator of our activities including that of government and flouting the law in any society is an invitation to anarchy.
No doubt, the government has the right and even an obligation to carry certain actions for the over ridding interest of the people but that action must be seen to have human face. Ordinarily, certain harsh actions of the government like the one under review must be accompanied with palliative packages that will cushion the debilitating effects on the people. At times, it is not every action of the government that seems right is expedient.
It may be right to demolish Ekeukwu Owerri but I do not think that it is expedient right now to undertake such action. The way the government carried out that action, it does appear that it was just out to show the people that it has power and can exercise it. And of course, the government has tremendous power and it exercised it without qualms of conscience. Remember, these were the same ‘My People, My people’ of 2011 and 2015. Now, at what stage did the water pass through the Bridge? I am simply at loss.
Anyway, we cannot be crying over spilt milk. The action had already been taken. Ekeukwu Market Traders must endeavor to endure it the same way the affected traders and Artisans of Orji Mechanic village, Shell Camp, Mbari Street, Okigwe Road, Bank Road, Capt Iheanacho, Ikenegbu Road etc endured their own. Maybe, they need to administer the same prescription to avoid having high blood pressure and death. My heart goes out to them and may God stand in the gap for all of us in Imo state.
It is therefore at this point that I will apply the brake. Until next week when I come your way again, please be reminded once again that we are still holding tenaciously our staff of Truth. Truth remains our only base and we vow to profess the truth and it is only the same Truth that will continue to set us free. Truthfully Yours, Nwamkpa Modestus.
Thank you for demolishing the Eke-Ukwu Market.
Thank you for unleashing your bullets to unarmed citizens.
Thank you for destroying our source of livelihood.
Thank you for sending us to an untimely grave.
Thank you treating us like animals without fundamental human rights.
Thank you for being a dictator!
Thank you for inflicting hardships upon us.
Thank you for the numerous uncompleted projects in our land.
Thank you for forcefully ejecting us and making us wallow in penury and abject poverty.
Thank you for not paying our parents salaries as at when due.
Thank you for insulting our elders in the name of " pension arrears".
Thank you for being insensitive to our problems.
We are glad and I guess you're satisfied!
I guess you're happy with your actions.
I guess you're feeling like a boss.
I guess you're feeling on top of the world simply because we 'foolishly' and 'blindly' voted you.
We have learnt our lessons the hard way.
We have cursed the very day we voted you in.
We have regretted knowing you.
We have cried, we have lost our properties, we have lost our lands, we have lost our close relations, we have starved beyond what you can envisaged. We have lost billions of Naira. We have lost HOPE.
The gods of 'Ala-Owerri' will never forget your evil deeds.
The blood of the innocent will surely cry for vengeance.
The cries and tears of the downtrodden must surely hunt you.
History will never forget you.
Today, you're the Governor, tomorrow you can be a commoner.
Nothing in this life lasts forever.
You have done your best, but you can't remove the smiles on our land because "ALA OWERRI WU OKE MBA".
Owerri is in the hands of God and not in your hands.
God of vengeance must surely strike. Karma must play its role. Whatever you sow, you must reap. Generations unborn will never forget you.
Hear me, 'Eke-Ukwu market is bigger and older than you'.
Thank you once more. I hope you enjoyed your breakfast.
Dear Lord, where are you? Come and hear the cries and tears of your people. Oh Lord, are you asleep? Oh Lord, come and show your mighty power.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER.