Abia govt. apologises to Gombe State over cattle market attack

By Peter Uwumarogie

The Abia government, on Monday apologised to Gombe State government over the attack at the new Abia Cattle Market in Omumauzo, Ukwa West Local Government area of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that on Feb. 17 some suspected bandits invaded the market killing eight traders and some cows.

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia represented by Kalu Ogbu IV, the paramount ruler of Abiriba Kingdom in Abia State made the apology during a visit to Gov Inuwa Yahaya.

The governor described the event as “sad and deeply regrettable by Abia people.”

Ikpeazu while briefing newsmen in Gombe, stated that the visit was to “say we are sorry and to express our sympathy and condolence of the people and government of Abia State.

“It was a very sad thing and we do not know how to explain it but it was the handiwork of misguided and ill-advised fellows.”

The governor said that the state government was working to ensure that all those involved in the attack were caught and made to face the wrath of the law.

He said a new location had been given to the traders to do their business comfortably with adequate provision of security and other social amenities.

According to the governor, the unity built from the fall out of this unfortunate incident will continue to grow and Abia and Gombe States will continue to be friends and brothers.

He stated that in spite of some of the challenges facing the country, there was hope for Nigeria.

He commended his counterpart in Gombe State, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya and the leadership of Cattle Dealers of Nigeria for showing strong leadership since the event took place.

On his part, Gov. Yahaya said the meeting with the delegation was to “maintain the bridge so that it does not collapse.”

Yahaya, represented by his deputy, Dr Manassah Jatau, said political leaders, traditional and religious leaders had been challenged in recent time .

The governor solicited collective efforts to address security challenges while promoting peaceful coexistence.

On his part, Yahuza Yusuf, the acting National President of the Amalgamated Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria appreciated Ikpeazu for his response following the attacks.

According to Yusuf, Ikpeazu has responded to their request to relocate the market to a safer place and also supported the traders who lost their cows.

He said that the governor had promised to pay N2 million to the families of the deceased, adding  the pledge had not been fulfilled.

He commended the governor for his leadership role in supporting his members, adding that Ikpeazu was the only governor in the South East who had done that. (NAN)