From Chuks Moses, Awka.
As the speculations of plans by the Anambra State Government to sell the abandoned Shoprite Shopping mall complex at the former site of the defunct Ikenga Hotels, Awka continues to gain prominence in the state, prominent citizens, stakeholders and watchers of Anambra State politics have been reacting against the move.
Latest among the reactions was from Awka monarch, Obi Dr Austine Chukwuezugo Ndigwe, Eze-Uzu III who described the alleged plan to sell the abandoned uncompleted shopping mall as “not likely”.
“I want to believe it’s not true,” he added.
Speaking through his Media Assistant, Chief Sam Nweke, the Awka helmsman noted that “since there were the shopping chain outlets in Enugu, Onitsha and an on-going site at even Nnewi, that of Awka would be completed and made functional.
“Again, we still retain Ikenga Hotels’ landmark sites with memorable projects at Enugu, Nsukka and Abakaliki. It would therefore be proper for the Awka site to be retained and replaced with a befitting equally memorable project”, he emphasized.
Ndigwe, according to Nweke, pointed out with sadness that the former governor came, demolished the hotel and started the mall project but left it uncompleted.
He added: “Now they are planning to sell it. No. The idea is not fair. We passionately plead with Governor Willie Obiano to complete both the Awka mall as part of the upgrading and revolutionising of development of the state capital for posterity, which he promised us before the world during his electioneering campaign.
“Awka is ever ready to work with you to achieve any developmental goals, hence would come in if there is need for partnership in order to get the job done in record time. This and more such anticipated projects would immensely assist in giving Awka it’s pride of place and befitting look as a 21st century state capital.
“We also commend the governor and his team on the on-going de-silting of the drains to enable floods flow freely within the city whenever it rains. The move was timely. We also salute his team’s dedication towards replacing and repair of the street lights in the capital city and environs. It has really given the city its deserving look which other states are now emulating.”
However, while urging Obiano on, the traditional ruler drew the Governor’s attention to the menace of flood in Amikwo, one of the prominent villages in Awka.
“We kindly plead for his intervention in the repair of all broken drains and road network to be given zealous attention so as to complement his beautification of the state capital’s environment generally, he said.