Activist Raises Concern Over Dismantled Enugu Monument

Written by on June 19, 2023

An Abuja-based human rights activist, Obiora Omeje aka “Zigma”, has expressed concern over the dismantled Iva Valley Coal Miners Massacre statue in New Market, Enugu State.


The statue was designed in memory of 49 coal miners killed by shooting because they protested for higher wages for their labour in 1949.


Zigma’s displeasure followed the prolonged delay in reinstalling the broken pieces after the road rehabilitation had been completed.


On Monday, the Enugu-born activist said, “That monument has become synonymous with the Coal City of Enugu. When they were removed, all sorts of rumours were rife about the intention until we saw the rehabilitation being carried out around there. I believe they have completed what they were doing and should also bring back the monument. If they are permanently removed, that would amount to an abuse of visual history.”


Omeje said that apart from aesthetic purposes and history, such monuments often become popular landmarks that help visitors navigate easily within the city.


He also noted that the New Market axis of the city, as an important access point into the city, required serious attention to make it as it should be in terms of appearance and ease of traffic access.


Omeje noted that the place needed to be properly handled by the government to avoid being choked up as it had been in the past.


While advising that the gate be reopened, he urged that the people have pedestrian access only, without vehicular traffic. This, according to him, is to avoid stampedes around the Coal Miners Massacre Monument Roundabout.


“It would also ease pressure on the access through the Iva Valley road that had made passage a nightmare for residents of the suburb,” he added.


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