Owerri the Imo State capital went agog on Tuesday as thousands of Imo people converged on the Freedom Square located along Assumpta Avenue Owerri in the city to celebrate “their freedom from the shackles of political manipulations and misrule by past administrations.
Unveiling the magnificent statue symbolizing freedom, the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha said the day was set aside to celebrate the day Imo masses resisted rape of democracy and manipulation of election by supposed political leaders during the May 2011 governorship election in the state. He declared that henceforth, the Square would remain a land of freedom where people would be free to express their feelings towards government’s policies and political figures in the state.
He further announced that May 6 of every year has been declared work free day to commemorate Imo Freedom Day.
Describing the statue, Governor Okorocha said: “The statue represents a typical Imolite, a macho man, handsome, well built, well created by God and given everything – intelligence and everything, but had leadership of so many years kept this man in bondage to the extent that he lost his shape and he is looking lean; even to the last wrapper that covered his nakedness was about giving way, when finally the light came”.
The celebration created an unprecedented traffic jam forcing many commuters trek long distances.