Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on Friday, inaugurated an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the affairs of Umuchieze Cattle Market, Lokpanta Umunneochi, with a charge to them to ensure peace and security or risk closure of the market.
Inaugurating the committee at the Ministry of Trade and Investment, State Secretariat, Umuahia, the Governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, charged members of the IMC to ensure that the market was not used by criminal elements as a hiding place from where they unleash attacks against innocent citizens and visitors to the state.
He stated that Abia has always been home to people from diverse places living peacefully together with the the people of the state emphasizing that the state will not tolerate any ungoverned space within its boundaries .
On the delay in inaugurating the committee, the governor explained that it was due to the need for security agents to properly screen the nominees in order to ensure that none of them was involved in criminal activities.
Furthermore, Governor Ikpeazu said, “As members of this interim market committee, you are expected to help translate our vision of making the state the number one trade and investment destination in the country where visitors and residents coexist peacefully in order to maximally benefit from the enablers provided by the government.
“We are worried about the recent upsurge in criminal activities around the cattle market and in addition to the security measures already put in place, we want to rid the market of criminal elements and also ensure cleanliness of the environment. You must ensure that trading activities happen only between the hours of 8am and 4pm with all cargo carrying vehicles parked inside the market as against the current practice of parking on the highway”, he directed.
He further urged the committee to ensure that all traders within the market were issued with identity cards and revenue collection streamlined to avoid multiple taxation and extortion.
Responding, Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Buba Abdullahi, thanked the Governor for the opportunity to serve and assured that the committee will carry out its task in the best interest of the people and work towards ensuring a harmonious relationship between cattle traders and the host community
Members of the committee include:
Alh. Buba Abdullahi – Chairman
Mr Nwankwo Paul -Vice Chairman
Alh. Baba Ahmed – Secretary
James Obete – CSO
Francis Anusi – Financial Secretary
Alh. Saleh Algare – Member
Alh. Annyim Umaro – Member
Alh. Amin Muhammed – Member
Prince Auwalu Hamma – Member
Alh. Nwafor Monday – Member
Mr. Ike Ezechinyerem – Member
Also addressing members of the newly inaugurated committee in her office, the State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Janet Agbede, charged them to ensure peace and tranquility within the market. “We have taken measures to ensure that the area is rid of kidnappers and other criminal elements and you should help us sustain the efforts or be held responsible for any breakdown in law and order”, she said.
The inauguration was attended by other top government officials including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Sir MC Egwu.