…Victims families to bed compensated – Govt
By Steve Oko
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has restated the avowed commitment of his administration towards prioritizing the security and welfare of all law-abiding residents in the state irrespective of where they come from, as he describes the ugly incident at the newly relocated Omuma Uzor Cattle Market/ Abattoir in Ukwa West as unfortunate and condemnable.
Governor Ikpeazu who stated this at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba while receiving leaders of the Hausa Community in Aba together with Hausa Leaders from Gombe and Adamawa states, commiserated with them especially the families of those who died in the said incident.
The Governor said that his administration takes issues of peace and harmony very seriously because there cannot be any form of sustainable development in an insecure environment.
He said that this was the philosophy behind the decision of his administration to devise a means to resolve conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers in the State by setting up a Conflict Resolution Committee where the State Government undertakes to pay some compensation to either the farmer or the herdsmen who lose his crops or cows, after a proper assessment of the circumstances of the situation.
Ikpeazu said that he recognized the need for peaceful co-existence between Abians and those who have come to transact legitimate business in the State, disclosing that the security chiefs in the state are working tirelessly to fish out the perpetrators of that ugly incident.
He said that those behind the incident would not go unpunished.
The Governor also assured that every necessary step would be taken to avert future occurrences of such dastardly acts.
He lamented the festering insecurity in Nigeria, saying the country is becoming a place where the sanctity of human life no longer has meaning to some persons.
Ikpeazu promised that the State Government would provide some form of support for the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and take care of the medical bills of the injured as well as assist those whose cows and goats were killed to enable them to carry on with their businesses.
He noted that the attack affected not just Hausas but Igbos also, noting that the impression that only Hausas were in the business of selling cows was wrong.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman Hausa Cattle Market – Alhaji Ibrahim Njidda who briefed the Governor on the incident, recalled the very cordial relationship Governor Ikpeazu shares with them in the state and regretted the ugly incident.
He appealed to the Governor to assist them and also consider getting them an alternative location for their trade and the provision of adequate security for them.
Also speaking, the Patron of the Aba Hausa Community, Alhaji Musa Iheakaram thanked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his quick intervention through his Chief of Staff – Prof Agbazuere and other key government officials while he was away and for his personal visit to the place.
He also pleaded for an alternative location for their business.
Executive Chairman Ukwa West LGA, Chief Okey Kanu said that the Hausa Community enjoyed a good relationship with their host Community within that short period before the incident and requested that security be fortified in the area.
Present at the meeting were Commissioners for Trade and Investment, Homeland Security, Chief John Okiyi Kalu; and Hon. Sopuruchi Bekee; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Professor Agbazuere; and the Deputy Chairman of Ukwa West LGA, Hon. John Ajuzieogu.
Others were the Traditional Ruler of Asa North Community, Eze Emeka Ottah; the Sarki Hausa of Aba, Alhaji Shehu Bello as well as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Homeland Security, Mr Chigozie Ubani.