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Otti promises protection for northern cattle dealers

14th May 2024

The Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, on Sunday, paid an unscheduled visit to the popular Lokpanta Cattle Market in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.

The governor said he stopped by to see the progress that had been made in the building of a perimeter fence around the cattle market.

He stated his administration’s resolve to make the market non-residential to check crimes but promised to protect the cattle dealers doing legitimate business.

The governor had in October last year said there was a need to fence the market and make it non-residential following a security report that 50 decomposing corpses and 20 skeletons were discovered in a bush near the market.

According to him, the security report indicated that kidnappers had turned the market into a haven to perpetrate their crimes.

Otti, who was received on Sunday by the leadership of the cattle dealers, said his actions were targeted at criminals, stressing that the legitimate cattle dealers had nothing to fear.

He said,  “The next thing I want to talk about is the issue of residence here. I’m sure that you are aware that the residents will leave here so that this place will be a market. So, the government is making plans to locate where you will live.

“Everyone who is doing a legitimate business, the government will protect you. What we don’t want are criminals.

“You must fish out every criminal because the day they will attack, they may be attacking you. Criminals don’t ask where you come from, what religion or what language you speak.

“We must rid this place of criminality. Legitimate people who have things to do, we will support you to do your business. So, that is why I stopped here to look at the environment and look at the level of work that has been done and I am impressed that work is going on smoothly.”

He thanked the traders and their leaders for their cooperation and support in ensuring that the government’s policy of securing the market and making it non-residential was realised.

“You have supported this government and we are very happy. As I told you earlier, we are all brothers and sisters, so nobody should discriminate.

“Some of you were born here. Your parents were born here. This man (identified as Senator) came now and was speaking Igbo to me.

“So, let me once again thank you for coming out to welcome me and assure you that this government will protect you, it is your government. You should do everything possible to ensure that there is peace in this place,” Otti said

He, however, raised concern about the unsanitary condition of the market and urged the traders to keep the environment clean.

He said, “I stopped around the abattoir and I found that the place was very dirty and smelly. So, we have to ensure that it is clean because it is what people eat. If they get contaminated, people will fall sick, and you don’t want to sell your cattle and somebody eats it and gets sick. So, you have a responsibility to keep the abattoir and everywhere you are clean.”

The chairman of the cattle market, who gave his name as Alhaji Danladi, thanked the governor for the visit and expressed happiness that the government was interested in the welfare and well-being of the cattle traders.


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