From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has blamed hoodlums for the recent killing of eight traders and 20 cows at the New Cattle Market, Omumauzor in Ukwa West Council Area of Abia State.
The group exonerated youths of the state from the crime after its preliminary investigations to unravel those behind the dastardly act.
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A statement by Chief Alex Ogbonnia, national publicity secretary of the group, yesterday said: “We are delighted that a high powered team of Abia State government led by the chief of staff to the governor, Prof. Anthony Agbazuere, visited the market promptly to assess the situation and sympathise with the traders.
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“Furthermore, the Abia State government responded swiftly by mobilising the various security agencies to the scene that night to secure the lives and properties of the innocent traders and fish out the assailants. We are saddened that some hoodlums are bent on disrupting the harmonious relationship that had long existed between the Northern cattle markets and the several host communities across Igbo land. This is a wicked mischief taken too far.
“This is because Nigerians know that the Igbo are very allergic to the dastard act of destruction of human lives; the sanctity of human life is an integral part of the Igbo cultural ethics. Rather, the Igbo are hospitable, forward looking, entrepreneurial, cosmopolitan and opportunity maximizers. In other words, they are always willing to partner lucrative opportunities wherever and in whosoever they are found, irrespective of ethnic or religious persuasions.”
President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Prof. George Obiozor, condoled with the victim’s families and people of Abia State advising that “leaders of all categories should employ restraint, maturity, wisdom and strategic thinking in order to overcome this perilous time.”