Twenty decaying bodies and skeletons were found by security personnel during a search of the forests near the Lokpanta Cattle Market along the Umunneochi section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, according to Abia State Governor Alex Otti.
According to him, 50 more dead were discovered in and around the market, and the market was also linked to the ransom money made to suspected kidnappers.
In the state capital of Umuahia, on Sunday, Otti revealed this during the second round of his monthly media chat.
He said that, in keeping with his administration’s dedication to safeguarding the lives of all state residents and guests, not a single square inch of the state’s land mass would be left in the hands of lawbreakers.
He stressed that the state’s determination to transform the cattle market into a daily market was not directed towards any specific tribe in the nation but rather toward modernizing the market’s and its host community’s security framework.
“We have taken a stand to provide Abia citizens and visitors with adequate security because no government can succeed in the face of insecurity,” he stated. This administration will not assist lawbreakers or permit them to reside anywhere in the state. When we chose to take over the Lokpanta cattle market in the state’s Umunneochi Local Government Area, we found countless skeletons, as well as fifty dead bodies—20 of which were headless—as well as men, women, and children. We also found that kidnappers typically dumped ransom payments near a market.
Unfortunately, some people misunderstood our actions and believed that we were asking the Northerners who were trading in the market to leave the state. However, after we spoke with leaders in the Northern community, we informed them that anyone who disagreed with our efforts to secure the state must be a criminal. As a result, they quickly agreed with us and revoked the quit notice they had previously given to the Igbos living in the North.
We made the market a daily market so that people could come in, take care of business, and go at the end of the day. The market will no longer simply be for cattle; like any other market, it will feature other sections for other commodities as well.
“Now, those residing within the market will coexist with other residents of the state outside the market.”
The governor reaffirmed his administration’s goal of using public funds to build high-quality infrastructure for the community’s citizens, and he added that the government would not divert its resources to cater to attention-seekers and purported political players.
He encouraged anyone who had grievances about not receiving their salary to file a petition with the state’s office of the Account General, promising that the petitions would be handled as quickly as possible.