Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemns killings in Abia cattle market, consoles victims’ families
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has lamented the recent killing of eight traders and 20 cows at the New Cattle Market in Omumauzor, Ukwa West Council of Abia State.
Unknown gunmen had reportedly invaded the market on Tuesday and killed some traders and several others were injured, while attempting to escape the attack.
The group strongly condemned the killings, saying it was disheartening that innocent Nigerians could be murdered in the area the way they were killed, while doing their legitimate business.
In a statement issued in Enugu, yesterday, by the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, it commiserated with the bereaved families and urged the security agencies to work hard and apprehend those responsible for the dastardly act.
“When our attention was drawn to the dastardly act, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, delegated the President of the Abia State chapter, Comrade Okey Nwankwo to find out the cause of the incident.
“Preliminary investigations showed that the mayhem was not caused by the youths of the host community, as they demonstrated courage, sympathy and solidarity with the traders by assisting the victims.
“We are delighted that a team of the Abia State government led by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the Governor, Prof. Anthony Agbazuere, visited the market to assess the situation and sympathise with the traders.
“Furthermore, the state government responded swiftly by mobilising the various security agencies to the scene that night to secure the lives and property of the traders and go after the assailants,” the statement reads.
The group explained that Ndigbo were hospitable, forward looking, entrepreneurial, cosmopolitan and maximisers of opportunities and that they were always willing to partner lucrative opportunities irrespective of ethnic or religious persuasions.
“Thus, the several cattle markets in Igbo land have not only broadened the scope of our trans-ethnic economic relations, but has also boosted the momentum of Igbo funeral ceremonies.
“It is, therefore, inconceivable that any right thinking Igbo can contemplate such a heinous crime against operators of the cattle market,” the statement added.
The group said Obiozor had sent condolences to the bereaved families and to the government of Abia State, even as it implored leaders of all categories to exercise restraint, maturity, wisdom and strategic thinking to overcome the perilous times in the country.
“Obiozor was delighted when Governor Okezie Ikpeazu visited the scene and vowed to “fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and deal with them in accordance with the laws of the land.”