Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has made a swift U-turn on the renaming of the popular Maria Assumpta Avenue in the state capital Owerri following a public backlash.
The road had been renamed Buhari Road during the Christmas season, generating tensions in the city, which has seen various streets renamed and statutes of some foreign dignitaries erected in recent times under the Okorocha administration.
However, in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information,
Prof N. O. Obiaraeri, the government said the road was not renamed and the new sign was placed in error.
Below is the full statement:
OKPORO UZO ASSUMPTA/
ASSUMPTA AVENUE OWERRI STAYS
This is to inform the public and particularly the highly respected body of Roman Catholic Faithfuls in Imo State and beyond that OKPORO UZO ASSUMPTA or ASSUMPTA AVENUE Owerri stays.
At all material times, it was never the intention of the Imo State Government to rename the said strategic road which spans from ASSUMPTA CATHEDRAL (beginning from the HOLY FAMILY statue built by the Rescue Mission Government) and terminating at Warehouse House Roundabout Owerri.
OKPORO UZO ASSUMPTA or ASSUMPTA ROAD AVENUE is symbolic for both religious and historic reasons in Imo State and these facts are not lost on the Government and people of Imo State.
All inconveniences occasioned by the initial oversight or error of wrongly installing a street sign suggesting a renaming of the street is highly regretted.
Imo Must Be Better.
Prof Obiaraeri N.O.
Honourable Commissioner For Information, Imo State.