Abia state gubernatorial aspirant Etigwe Uwa condemns killing of traders
Abia state gubernatorial aspirant and legal practitioner, Etigwe Uwa, has condemned the killing of traders at a cattle market in Abia state.
Gunmen attacked the cattle market in Aba, killing eight traders and 51 cows, police said on Thursday, in the latest violence to hit Nigeria’s southeast.
Uwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said there was no justification for the killing and described the incident as an assault on law and order in the rule of law.
“There is no justification whatsoever for such a dastardly act,” Uwa said in a statement. “I commiserate with the families of the people who were going about their lawful businesses and were killed in a cold-blooded and unjustified manner.
“I call on whoever is responsible for this action to immediately desist. This is also a moment in which the government of Abia state must get alive to its responsibilities of maintaining law and order and ensuring peace and security not just of Abians, but of everybody in Abia State.”
Uwa insisted that such attacks on defenceless traders were as a result of years of leadership failure. He said the government has failed to provide jobs and improve the quality of life of the people.
“If people have a good life, they will not resort to criminality,” he said.
“If people have a good life, they will not take the laws into their hands. At the root of some of these issues is the failure of leadership.
“I understand the issues around people who feel aggrieved about what they may perceive as marginalization; I would say that there are better ways of channelling those grievances than taking the lives of innocent people who have done nothing wrong to the people who perpetrate these acts.”
On the well-being of workers and development, the Senior Advocate said the fortune of Abia State can improve and emphasised that he has ideas to generate revenue to get work done. He also asked the government to sit up and act responsibly for its people.
He said: “There’s a problem of missed governance, maladministration in Abia state. There are no roads, Primary healthcare is almost non-existent, pensioners don’t get their pensions, retirees don’t get their gratuities, and workers’ salaries remain unpaid for several months. That is totally unacceptable.
“The government should sit up and quit giving excuses, if they keep giving excuses then they are just incompetent. The government needs to sit up and do what it ought to do. The government needs to find other ways of raising revenue to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“Apart from even looking for other ways of raising revenue, with revenue that the state government has, if it is appropriately utilized, Abia state should be in a much better position than we currently are.”
Etigwe Uwa SAN, FCIArb is presently a managing partner at StreamSowers & Kohn, a leading law firm in Nigeria. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990 and was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2010. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institue of Arbitrators, UK and a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.