Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has restated the avowed commitment of his administration towards prioritizing the security and welfare of all lawful residents in the State, irrespective of where they come from, as he describes the ugly incident at the newly relocated Omuma Uzor Cattle Market/ Abattoir in Ukwa West as unfortunate and condemnable.
In a release made available to www.newsmirrorng.com and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir, Onyebuchi Ememanka says that, Governor Ikpeazu stated this at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba while receiving leaders of the Hausa Community in Aba together with Hausa Leaders from Gombe and Adamawa states, commiserated with them especially the families of those who died in the sad incident.
The Governor said that his administration takes issues of peace and harmony very seriously because there cannot be any form of sustainable development in an insecure environment. He said that this was the philosophy behind the decision of his administration to devise a means to resolve conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers in the State by setting up a Conflict Resolution Committee where the State Government undertakes to pay some compensation to either the farmer or the herdsmen who loses his crops or cows, after a proper assessment of the circumstances of the situation.
He said that he recognizes the need for peaceful co-existence between Abians and those who have come to transact legitimate business in the State, disclosing that the security chiefs in the state are working tirelessly to fish out the perpetrators of that ugly incident and assured that they will not go unpunished. He also assured that every necessary step will be taken to avert future occurrences of such dastardly act.
The Governor regretted the fact that our country is getting increasingly unsafe and becoming a place where the sanctity of human life no longer has meaning to some persons. He recalled his days as a student of the University of Maiduguri and the excellent relationship he shared with the people there and advised the members of the Hausa Community to live in the state without any fear as his administration is capable of protecting their lives and property.
He added that the State Government will provide some form of support for the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and take care of the medical bills of the injured as well as assisting those whose cows and goats were killed to enable them carry on with their businesses. He noted that the attack affected not just Hausas but Igbos also, noting that the impression that only Hausas were in the business of selling cows was wrong.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman Hausa Cattle Market – Alhaji Ibrahim Njidda who briefed the Governor on the incident, recalled the very cordial relationship Governor Ikpeazu shares with them in the state and regretted the ugly incident that claimed human lives and livestock resulting to huge financial losses. He appealed to the Governor to assist them and also consider getting them an alternative location for their trade and the provision of adequate security for them.
Also speaking, the Patron of the Aba Hausa Community, Alhaji Musa Iheakaram thanked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his quick intervention through his Chief of Staff – Prof Prof-acb Agbazuere and other key government officials while he was away and for his personal visit to the place. He also restated their appeal for an alternative location for their business.
Also, the Executive Chairman Ukwa West LGA, Chief Okey Kanu said that the Hausa Community enjoyed good relationship with their host Community within that short period before the incident and request that security be fortified in the area.
The meeting attracted the presence of the Member Representing Ukwa West State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon.Godwin Adiele, his counterpart from Ohafia North, Hon. Mandela Obasi, Honorable Commissioners for Trade and Investment, and Homeland Security, Chief John Okiyi Kalu and Hon. Sopuruchi Bekee, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Professor Agbazuere, the Deputy Chairman of Ukwa West LGA, Hon. John Ajuzieogu, the Traditional Ruler of Asa North Community, Eze Emeka Ottah and the Sarkin Hausa of Aba, Alhaji Shehu Bello as well as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Homeland Security, Mr Chigozie Ubani.