The parents of Somtochukwu, the 10- year-old boy who was killed in the stampede that followed the demolition of Ekeukwu Market in Owerri, Imo State, Mr. and Mrs. Ibeanusi, have called for justice over the killing of their son.
They lamented that the deceased was their only son and their source of hope and charged the Imo State government to bring his killers to book.
However, as controversies trail the demolition of the Ekeukwu Owere Market, on Douglas Road, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its Publicity Secretary, Ray Emeanya, yesterday directed that the party to mourn Sontochukwu by attending special Church services in honour of the departed.
Emeanya, who visited the deceased’ family at the weekend, also directed PDP members to observe the mourning period, by wearing black band in honour of the slain boy.
Also, in spite of the quit order, scores of traders carried out their transactions in the market yesterday, while others plied their trade at the Relief Market, off Egbu Road, Owerri.
But as the controversy rages, Governor Rochas Okorocha, yesterday insisted that the killing of Somtochukwu during the demolition of the Ekeukwu Owere, had nothing to do with the exercise.
A statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, maintained that he needed to be convinced after 72 hours that the boy was killed within the vicinity.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Police Command has assured that it has commenced investigation into the alleged killing of Somtochukwu during the demolition exercise last weekend.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said this in a statement yesterday, while also warning against hate speeches.
“The Police Command has begun full scale investigation into the alleged death of one Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, reported to the Police on August 27, 2017. Investigators have interviewed the parents and will stop at nothing in ensuring that the circumstances and ramifications of the matter are unraveled,” the statement said.
Also, in continuing its demolition exercise, the Imo State government yesterday rolled it bulldozers on the Ama Hausa Market, where the Hausa people had lived for years on Douglas Road following years of clamouring for its demolition.
The exercise came 24 hours after the relocation order to Ekeukwu Owere and Ama Hausa.However, Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has called on the people of Imo State to allow peace to reign in the aftermath of the crisis and reported loss of lives, which trailed the demolition of the market.
Ekeh, who hails from Owerri, announced a donation of N50million to be disbursed to victims of the market demolition and those who lost members of their families in last Saturday’s demolitions.