What could have been a major disaster was averted just by divine providence in Owerri, the Imo State capital when a pedestrian bridge built by Governor Rochas Okorocha at Heroes’ Children’s Park, opposite Concorde Hotel, collapsed under the governor.
The incident, which happened when the governor stopped over on his way to the NUJ Governorship Debate to interact with some students of Development Comprehensive Secondary School, Owerri, who were around the park when he came, caused a stir among on-lookers and passers-by.
Trouble however started when the governor took the students up the bridge to teach and inspire them on how to become leaders.
No sooner had the governor started the teachings with the students when the bridge caved in with the iron bracing of the bridge cut under the weight of the governor and the students and the students panicked and started shouting “Jesus! Jesus!!”, while the governor feigned ignorance of the situation even as his security aides rounded the spot to help him down.
Our correspondent who was there reports that when the incident happened, the governor’s aides, especially the members of the security operatives, who were visibly shaken, started shouting to the students: “Jump out!, get down!, jump out!” and the students jumped out from the bridge and ran for dear lives.
In the midst of the melee, the governor said “we’re too many here, please jump down”.
Our reporter can report that this was the first time the bridge was being used since it was constructed two years ago by Governor Okorocha.
It would be recalled that Akachi Road Bridge and several buildings (including the multi-million naira Imo Film Academy, a new security gate being constructed behind the main entrance gate to the Government House; office complex being constructed in the Imo State university campus, Owerri as well Princess Hotel Okigwe) constructed by the governor in the state had collapsed raising questions about the standard of such projects.