The Imo state government has given reason for the demolition of the Somto Hospital at the Eke Ukwu Market in Owerri, saying the building was neither a hospital nor a shopping mall as being speculated.
The hospital was built during the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha. But, it was yet to be equipped and functional before it was demolished on Monday.
The commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem, spoke in Owerri, saying that it was a carcass and a hide out for criminals, and that it was not serving any purpose to the people.
He added that the demolition had given way for the construction of a modern market of 1,850 buildings to begin immediately to boost the economic activities of the state.
According to Ebegbulem, “I am surprised when they were mentioning hospital there was no hospital and there was no shopping mall nothing there to show that it’s a shopping mall or Hospital.
“When we got there, that place has been converted to something else to tell you that there was nothing like a hospital nor even a mall. It became a public toilet and it became a hide out for criminals. It became a place where all sort of evil things are planned and executed. “As a result of that, the people of Owerri Nchi Ise, kept on lamenting due to the increase in criminal activities coming from that so called building.”
He continued: “The state government in an agreement with the Owerri people decided to build a modern market for the Owerri people whose ancestral market had been demolished by Okorocha as well as to boost the economic activities of the state.
“The day the governor Hope Uzodimma, did a ground breaking ceremony of that market it was like a carnival, you see traditional rulers and their subjects from the zone came out and were happy and excited. So there was nothing like hospital or shopping mall as the cronies of Okorocha, have been saying.”