The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has described the recent killing at the newly relocated Omuma-Uzo Cattle Market/ Abattoir in Ukwa West as unfortunate but vowed that the perpetrators will be punished.
He stated this at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba while receiving leaders of the Hausa Community from Gombe and Adamawa states.
“This administration takes issues of peace and harmony very seriously because there cannot be any form of sustainable development in an insecure environment,” he noted.
“I want to let you know that I recognise the need for peaceful co-existence between Abians and those who have come to transact legitimate business in the state, and am assuring you that the security chiefs in the state are working tirelessly to fish out the perpetrators of that ugly incident, who will not go unpunished”.
The governor, who commiserated with them especially the families of those who died in the sad incident, hinted that setting up a conflict resolution committee was to help in resolving the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers. He said the state government pays some compensation to either the farmer or herdsmen who lose their crops or cattle after a proper assessment of the situation.
According to him, the government will support the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and pay the medical bills of the injured. Ikpeazu also assured that those whose cows and goats were killed will be assisted to help them carry on with their businesses. He noted that the attack affected not just Hausas but Igbos, faulting the impression that only Hausas were in the business of selling.
The governor equally regretted the increasing level of insecurity in the country, lamenting that lives no longer mean anything to some people. He, however, assured the Hausa Community to live in the state without fear as his administration will protect their lives and property.
The Chairman, Hausa Cattle Market, Ibrahim Njidda, who also spoke at the event, recalled the cordial relationship Governor Ikpeazu shares with them in the state but regretted the recent incident. He appealed to the governor to assist them, consider getting them an alternative location for their trade and provide adequate security for them.