The picture above shows the entrance of Imo Talent Centre or Bongo Square built and commissioned last year by His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State
Many have questioned the vision behind the wonderful structure which till date has not hosted any talent hunt event or bongo activity.
Since January 2013, the picture above has been the front view of the Centre and the banner reads ‘Watch live soccer’.
The question is has Bongo centre become a match viewing centre?’
The Director General of the centre, Mr Uche Ogbuagu, however denied turning the place to a match viewing centre, saying that it was done by his predecessor, Mr. Emma Duru.
Mr Ogbuagu said that he took over from Mr. Duru because practices like using the place as a match viewing centre as well as not keeping the surroundings clean were not permitted by Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
“Emma Duru’s one year in Bongo Square was a ‘Wasted one year’ and we have come to restore things to the way they are supposed to be.
We have cleared the grasses, restored the lights and are working on bringing companies that will sponsor activities here” Ogbuagu said.
He however added that he would be sending his Personal Assistant to remove the banners which have been there since he took over as the DG of the center and there is no evidence to show that matches have been viewed at the centre in the time of Mr Uche Ogbuagu as the DG.
Also speaking, the former DG of the centre Mr. Emma Duru denied that he derailed from the vision that founded the place, saying that `he did his best to keep the place running.
“Uche Ogbuagu knows nothing about the visions of Imo Talent Centre. As the National President of Rochas Creativity, I was supposed to continue with the activities of the club there, but this time involving more Imolites but finance halted all my plans.
We had a deal with a mega distributor of Nigeria Breweries to sponsor certain event, but they do that without selling their products there because the governor banned sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks at the centre.
I also had the right the right to let people use the place for wedding reception, album launch as well as other events that have nothing to do with talent hunt.”
Mr Duru also added that the match viewing centre afforded hundreds of Imolites the opportunity to watch African Cup of Nations as well as other matches free of charge and it was started with the governor’s consent.
“Heineken would have made the match viewing centre bigger, but because they could not sell their products there, they backed out of the deal” he added.
Both parties have reasons to be right in their action, but to Imolites and thousands of entertainers in the state, the place has not been used for anything that depicts its name.
the state government should see that the place is used properly and not appointing people who occupy the DG’s office just for compensation, while millions of Naira go fallow in a building that will never be used to actualize the vision that established it.
Interior of the centre
outside the fence showing the banner