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‘’Our Decision to demolish Ekeukwu market was burn out of the fact
that many victims had lost their lives to hoodlums as results, those so called hoodlums
now find shelter and succor in that market, making it a serious security threat,
I am very happy the operation went well and there was no causalities’’

This was the submission of His Excellency, Governor Rochas Okorocha
when grating interview with journalists after the demolition had taken place in
the presence of heavy security personnels that include the police and the
military representatives.


But in statement made available to urban express news online yesterday,
United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, described the demolition of the market
as barbaric, unconscionable and out of tune with the dictates of modern
societies that thrive on strict adherence to the rule of law and natural
justice where essentially, leading to the death of 10 years old boy who, accordingly
was assisting his parent in carrying out market activities on behalf of his
parent before he meet his untimely death as result of what government termed
demolition.
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 In a statement by its
President, Joe Ajaero, the group lamented that the demolition allegedly
supported by the Army, the Police and other armed groups both legal and
illegal, led to loss of lives, hospitalization of many others, and destruction
of property running into billions of Naira.
‘’ We call for an investigation to determine whether the deployment of
the military to aid the governor in the lawless act received the
approval of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.” We request
thorough investigation into the death of the killing of the 10 -year-old boy,  who meet his untimely death as result of what
the government describe as demolition that involves life’’, with a view to
ascertaining the exact cause  and bring the perpetrators to book.’’
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Meanwhile as the condemnation continues to trail the brutal murder of
10 years old Somtochukwu ibeanusi, the 34 Artillery Brigade has come up to
dispel rumour that it came without the conscious understanding of it constitutional
role.
 The Brigade’s Public Relations
Officer, PRO, Captain Haruna Timothy Tagwai, disclosed this, yesterday, when
our correspondent sought to know how the Army got involved in the Ekeukwu
Owerri market crisis.
‘’The Army did not come there on  its own. We are part of the
security of the state,” Tagwai said. While saying that the soldiers and Air
Force personnel were “deployed at the outer cordon of the entry and exits of
the market to prevent miscreants from looting,” the PRO also disclosed that
they were not close to the demolition site.
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“On all these, the heads of services were on hand to supervise the
work. The army respects the sanctity of life and protects same as a duty,”
Captain Tagwai said. Asked to explain why soldiers now force people walking
along Douglas Road to raise their hands and sometimes, forced to frog-jump, the
PRO said some miscreants had weapons on them therefore; there is the need for
people passing to raise their hands for the safety of all. About those being
flogged and frog-jumped, if there are pictures, it will help us discipline
those involved because, no one is supposed to be molested,” Tagwai said. Economic
activities in Ekeukwu Owerri and around the adjoining streets have
grounded  to a halt .urban express news correspondent , who took a tour of
the troubled area, noticed that all the commercial banks shut their doors
against customers. “The economy is in serious trouble.

 The commercial banks were
closed for business. I really can’t understand what is happening. I  do
not know if government really knows the number of people that have been thrown
out of business,” emeka  lamented. At
press time, vehicles were barred from entering Douglas Road through the Ama J.K
and Emmanuel College ends, while the families of the slain Somtochukwu Ibeanusi
have cried out that the police have seized the tally issued to them by the
morgue attendants of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.

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