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Abia directs probe of Umuahia timber fire

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Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed the Commissioner of Police to investigate the conflict between traders at the Umuahia Timber Market Ahiaeke and operatives of the Abia Vigilante Service (AVS).

The clash allegedly caused injuries to seven persons hospitalised at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia and the burning down of some part of the market as well as AVS office building, vehicles and equipment by suspected traders.

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But the government, in a statement, frowned on the development and the sealing of the market by state revenue agency over-collection of taxes imposed on traders.

In the statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chris Ezem, the state-directed a probe of the incident and immediate withdrawal of AVS from the market.

He also enjoined the market leadership to assist the police to identify the arsonists.

Ezem stated: “The act of impunity of burning buildings and public institutions must stop. Arson remains a serious crime against the state and humanity and attracts severe consequences under the law.”

According to him, the government would discipline any AVS personnel who harasses or intimates citizens hence. He asked the people of the state to go about their legitimate businesses and avoid engaging armed persons in a fisticuff.

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AbiaOkezie Ikpeazu
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