The Northern Community of Umuchieze Cattle Market in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia has refuted the allegation of harbouring bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and herdsmen.
The group’s spokesperson, Mr Buba Kedemure who addressed newsmen at the market on Monday, said that they were deeply worried by the allegation.
He said that it was alleged that the said criminals were authorised by the group, to plan and attack their victims within and outside the state.
Kedemure said that the allegation was a calculated attempt by some disgruntled elements within and outside the cattle market to incite the host communities and the government against them.
According to him, today (Monday) makes it 16 years and three months since the Cattle Market was established and had become a unifying factor between the North and South.
He said that some people were not happy with the peaceful co-existence that had been between the community and the host communities, thus the allegation.
Kedemure said that the group had written to the Commissioner of Police and Director, Department of State Services (DSS), Abia commands in January, informing them about the security challenges in the market.
He called on the good people of the state and the nation at large to disregard the allegation, saying “We are law-abiding citizens who are engaged in a legitimate business.”
The spokesperson urged the security agencies to redouble efforts in protecting life and property as well as visit the market to see things for themselves.
The group’s chairman, Alhaji Annayim Umar, said that the community had been preaching peace, unity and brotherliness and would not relent in ensuring that there was peace and order in the market.