THE Imo State Government has dismissed reports that it is involved in the attempt to pull down the Akachi statue, in Owerri erected by the former governor, Rochas Okorocha.
The denial Thursday followed news agency reports that the State governor, Emeka Ihedioha ordered the demolition of the Tower, barely 24 hours after his swearing in.
A press release Thursday by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Steve Osuji, warned against unruly behavior and called on the people to remain law abiding.
Warning that defaulters would be prosecuted, the press release stated that, “security agencies have been put on alert to maintain law and order across the state.”
The Akachi tower, which was recently commissioned by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was built by the last administration as a tourist attraction.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that “the demolition was supervised by soldiers who barred journalists from covering the exercise.”
Amidst fears that the new administration will demolish other monuments in Owerri, Osuji insisted that the Ihedioha government “has no hand in the attempt to pull down the Akachi statue. If government deems it necessary to pull down the statue or any structure for that matter, it would be done properly and in accordance with the law.
“Does it stand to reason that a government that is barely 24 hours old, with no handover notes whatsoever and without an office to work from yet would concern itself with an ordinary statue?
“Let it be known that the new government in Imo has its eyes set on nobler goals, which include fast-tracking the rebuilding of Imo State.”
He noted that according to reports a mammoth crowd had besieged the Akachi statue about noon on Thursday, “hacking at it and trying to pull it down, apparently acting in pent up anger.
“Imo people seem to have nursed a loathing for the statue right from the beginning, considering it a monument that portends ominous auguries for the people of the state.
“Another version suggests that the contractors who have been working rather endlessly around the statue for some time but who may have not been paid, may be responsible for the breaching of the giant statue.