The Imo state chapter of the Barr. Charles Ezekwem-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid heart wrenching sympathy and condolence visits to the families of the victims of the forceful demolition and destruction of the ancestral Eke Ukwu Owerre International Market, in the capital city of Imo state of Nigeria, Owerri.
The delegation of PDP members and faithfuls led by the Secretary of Imo PDP, Hon. Ray Emeana visited the family of Mr Isaiah Ibeanusi, the father of late Somtochukwu Ibeanusi (only son), the nine-year old boy who was shot dead by security forces while on his way to the market being forcefully demolished by the Rochas Okorocha/Madumere/Nwosu and APC-led government of Imo state against the wishes of the people and a court order restraining the government from doing so.
On arrival, the PDP delegation met the family that was very bitter, pained and sad at the murder of their innocent son, with the father, mother, family members and friends crying uncontrollably.
In his condolence speech, Hon. Emeana said “We are here with heavy hearts on behalf of the PDP to condole with your family on the tragic loss of your young son. We’ve issued a publication that Okorocha’s government should be held responsible for the death and chaos witnessed as a result of the demolition. The major responsibility of a government is to protect lives and property but we are in a stone and barbaric age where government aids in the killings of innocent citizens in gestapo-style in Imo. I watched with shock the video of armed security agents shooting directly at people. What has happened in Imo is a genocide and the governor is a candidate for war crimes.
The Imo PDP has declared one week of mourning in Imo starting from Monday 28th August, 2017 in the 305 wards. We will hold church masses and services in honour and memory of the injured, deceased and the people of Imo state on Sunday 3rd, September, 2017, that by God’s grace this poisoned chalice will pass us by forever. We pray God to give you more children.” In his own speech, the PDP chairman of Owerri zone, Chief Bon Chukwu said “The wanton destruction of Owerri by Okorocha’s government is to show they want to put the people of Owerri and Imolites into extinction as it’s not only Owerri people who do business there. People from all over the state and beyond including Ogboko trade there. We assure you that you are not alone in this time of pain and grief. We are fighting a just cause and must continue to fight this impunity.
This is not a PDP fight but a fight to save the soul of Imo state. One of the conditions for an autonomous community is that a community must have a viable market, yet Okorocha has destroyed the one in existence in Owerri and relocated it to God-knows-where. Take heart.” The Owerri Municipal PDP Chairman, Engineer Okechukwu Oprah stated thus “We thank the leadership of Imo PDP for paying us this condolence and sympathy visit. PDP has always stood with Ndi Owerre and Ndi Imo against the maladministration of Okorocha in the time of grief. What Okorocha demostrated yesterday is a clear indication of what is to come in 2019. Ndi Owerri/Ndi Imo must fight courageously against the oppression and killings but we won’t take laws into our hands. Who authorised the involvement of the military in the demolition? We pray that God grants you the strength to bear this irreparable loss” In response, the Ibeanusi family thanked the PDP for “condoling with us and Ndi Owerre in their time of grief, pain and sadness.”
The PDP delegation which also included Hon. Ebere Chukwuemeka (State ex-officio), Hon. Eze Oguamanam (Owerri Municipal PDP Secretary), Mr. Onyewuchi Anoyue (Ward Chairman, Azuzi Ward 1), Comr. Stephen Njemanze (PDP Chairman, Ikenegbu Ward 1) visited Chief Leonard Osuji (Ebubeagu of Owerri) who was shot in the leg by security agents (soldiers) and sympathised with him and thanked God that he survived the “callous actions of the state government”.
In his reaction, Chief Leonard said “I thank you all for visiting me and sympathizing with me. The ancestral Eke Ukwu Owerre market is a market that has to do with culture and tradition, I don’t know why the governor decided to demolish and relocate it. Our elders and women went to him and knelt down to him but he insisted on demolishing the market even with a court order against such action. What happened yesterday has shown that he is a lawless person.”
The Imo PDP members also visited hospitalised victims who were shot and are right now receiving urgent treatments at the Intensive Care Units (ICU) of some hospitals in the state after undergoing emergency surgeries. The Imo PDP has taken care of the hospital bills of the victims.