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Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu who is the Governor of Abia State has revealed some fresh measures which would be used to ensure that the popular Umuchieze Cattle Market in Abia state would no longer serve as a beehive or hideout for kidnappers and other criminal elements terrorising Umunneochi and Isuikwuato axis of Abia State.
The cattle market which is situated at Lokpanta in the Umunneochi Local Government Areas has always been a location which has been linked with the rising spate of kidnappings that occur in the Umunneochi/Isuikwuato axis, including the high-profile abduction of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Kanu-Uche.
Consequently, Governor Ikpeazu at the weekend inaugurated an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the affairs of the cattle market and gave the members a marching order to ensure peace and security at the area or risk closure of the market.
The governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, charged the IMC to put appropriate measures in place to ensure that the market was not used by criminal elements as a hiding place to engage in nefarious activities.
He said: “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.”
Ikpeazu directed that trading activities should commence and close daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. while all cargo carrying vehicles must be parked inside the market as against the current practice of parking on the expressway.
He noted that Abia State has always been home to people from diverse places living peacefully with the people of the state, adding that the state will not tolerate any lawless space within its boundaries.