-Ogu Bundu Nwadike –
A major aspect of the concept of creative destruction is a system where old and deficient building structures are deliberately and consciously demolished and a new modern, bigger and better structure is erected where the old structure was pulled down.
Creative destruction has been identified as one singular system with which the physical environment of world has been developed. Most cities today were once villages. But with creative destruction skyscrapers replaced mud houses, bungalows, etcetera.
In the past few months, there has been a government policy for the demolition of some supposed government buildings that are simply “dangers awaiting” to happen that may cause avoidable damage to lives and property. We call such houses, “death traps”!
On our guided tour of Imo State Government House, Owerri recently, we observed that the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers had on its walls the sharp red inscription “Marked for Demolition”! First, we shuddered! Next, we smiled!
Then, we noted that a very solid modern 2021 model palatial edifice was standing just behind the now declared moribund “Exco Chamber”. While the exterior was decently regal, the interiors were simply heaven, with ample appropriate golden decors and furnishings.
We saw that Governor Uzodimma, the brain behind the erection of the edifice, has very high taste of good quality to have set up such an great emporium for executive congregations on serious issues of building the State and the nation, and driving it to desirable growth and development.
It dawned on us that all the while, indeed for years, while Rochas was governor, Imo State in real terms didn’t have any befitting Executive Chambers. That’s because of the new modest but very exquisite structure we saw that has been meticulously raised by Governor Uzodimma in honour of Imo State and Imo people. In comparison, the difference is quite clear!
In short, as it was in the new Exco Chamber so it was in the Governor’s Lodge which has been tremendously renovated and refurbished and made very much habitable by Governor Uzodimma unlike before when Governors Lodge was Elephant Grass and Rodents Lodge. Government House, Owerri now has a Governor’s Lodge in the real sense of it. We so saw and we so say!
Indeed, looking around and critically assessing the Government House, Owerri which we last stepped into in January 2020, we agreed intoto that Imo State now has a befitting Government House as against hitherto, when the place looked more like a Garment House.
We noted that what obtains now under the watchful watch of Governor Uzodimma is “Imo State Government House, Owerri” as was boldly engraved in stone directly facing the main entrance into the seat of power in Imo State! It was no longer “Douglas House” nor “Peoples House”! And the new nomenclature made a whole lot of more sense than the previous names. “Imo State Government House, Owerri” ! Pure and simple!
As stated earlier, as we undertook the tour of Government House, we continued to wear our wry smile because we were there live as political appointees of the Government of Imo State in 2019. We saw things for ourselves. Not “Dem say”!
We were there in the same “Sam Mbakwe Exco Chamber”, when the government engaged the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Council for the Registration of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) to conduct Integrity Tests on some government buildings.
Incidentally, a lot of the buildings constructed by Owelle Rochas Okorocha failed the NSE and COREN Integrity Test for extensive wear and tear. One of the buildings that failed was the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers, which was tottering at various trajectories!
It was via the same project testing programme that it was proven with facts and figures that the now demolished tunnels on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, the Amakohia Flyover Bridge, the Orji Flyover Bridge were tottering dangers awaiting to take lives and property of innocent Imolites. The use of the bridges was outlawed by the Government and closed to traffic by the administration before Governor Uzodimma arrived.
We smiled also because we remembered that His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, on assumption of office, inter alia, promised to continue from where his predecessor stopped.
We recognized that if that ousted government had remained in office, it would have by and by demolished the tunnels, the bridges and the Exco Chamber as recommended by NSE and COREN to prevent avoidable mishaps that were capable of throwing the State and Ndimo into preventable mourning moods.
With the “Marked for Demolition” we saw on the Exco Chamber, it was clear that at any time soon that dilapidated rotten structure will be pulled down for the overall good of Imo State and Imo people.
Incidentally, our Government House visit and tour as guests of Governor Uzodimma, was about the time Senator Rochas Okorocha wrongly asserted in public that Governor Uzodimma refurbished, repainted his projects and presented same for President Buhari to commission.
We then reasoned that it would be better for Owelle to go and collect his Exco Chambers now before it’s demolished and he fumes again with public complain of his Exco Chamber being demolished. That impossibility is on a lighter mood joke, anyway!
On a more serious note, photos abound displaying and showcasing the building which had only served as an Exco Mortuary in disguise, since it had great potentiality of caving in at any time upon the very important people who from time to time converged in the structure for their legitimate executive enterprises.
The immediate past administration as a first assignment took select core consequential stakeholders and leaders of Imo State on a guided tour of the “Government House, Owerri” that Rochas left as his legacy. The general verdict was that it was a neglected place laced with substandard decayed building structures.
It’s quite impressive and reassuring that Governor Uzodimma is keeping to his promises of continuing from where his predecessor stopped. The planned demolition of the substandard death trap which Rochas, “the builder”, called “Exco Chamber” is a succinct testimony. Obviously, the structure would have been demolished by the administration that Governor Uzodimma succeeded.
On that note, when the substandard building is brought down soon and its location leveled for a better standard structure to stand, it’ll be a matter of “to be forewarned”. Hence, when Rochas will raise his trumpet to complain about Uzodimma demolishing his project, “Sam Mbakwe Exco Chamber”, let Ndimo, Nigerians and the world at large know that Governor Uzodimma, after due deliberations and consultations, implemented the recommendations of the NSE and COREN, which in the previous administration, owing to failure of integrity tests, recommended the demolition of the Exco Chamber, to save lives of Imo people and property of the Government of Imo State. The world is watching!
By God’s grace, Imo State must be rehabilitated, reconstructed and recovered!!
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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