Okorocha, Ekweremadu, Obasanjo mourn Imo monarch, Njemanze
Traders protest against move to relocate market
Prominent citizens, including Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, his deputy, Eze Madumere; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and one-time Military Governor of Imo State, Maj.- Gen. Ike Nwachukwu; have commiserated with the lineal descendant, Prince Iheanyi and the entire Njemanze family over the death of the monarch of Owerri ancient kingdom, Eze Emmanuel Emenyonu Njemanze.
In their letters of condolence at the weekend in Owerri, Okorocha and Madumere said they received the news of the death as a rude shock, recalling that he distinguished himself in the civil service before his enthronement, adding that his good legacies would not be forgotten.
They, therefore, asked for the repose of his soul.
On his part, Obasanjo regretted the ‘huge loss’, saying the passage of the pharmacist cum traditional ruler has robbed the nation of his wise and rich counsel, praying God to grant his soul eternal rest.
According to Ekwerenmadu, the contributions of the late first class monarch would be missed.
To Nwachukwu, Eze Njemanze was soft-spoken, honest, trustworthy and always willing to offer his services, noting that he had an influence in his life while growing up.
Meanwhile, scores of elderly traders from the popular Ekeukwu Owere Main Market staged a peaceful protest over government’s plan to relocate the ancient market to Egbeada, a suburb of Owerri, the state capital.
They insisted at the weekend in Owerri that Governor Okorocha should rescind the decision and also jettison the rumoured move to tax them.
The traders, under the aegis, Elders and Stakeholders Forum of Owere Main Market, also stated that they no longer have confidence in the leadership of Owerri Market Traders Association (OMATA), accusing the executives of playing into the hands of the state government in the bid to relocate the market.
Addressing reporters at the weekend in Owerri, spokesman for the protesters, Chief Adolphus Onuoha flanked by the chairman of the body, Chief Emmanuel Okeke, said some of them have been trading in the market for no less than 45 years, accusing street traders, numbering about 10,000, of being responsible for the decision to relocate the entire market.
Contacted, the executive members of OMATA declined comments, referring reporters instead to the Elders’ forum.