The Abia government, has promised to support the families of traders killed during last week’s attack at the new Omuma-Uzo Cattle Market.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu said this at Aba Governor’s Lodge when he received leaders of the Hausa Community in Aba, as well as Hausa leaders from Gombe and Adamawa.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Onyebuchi Ememankah, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor on Monday in Aba.
”The state government will provide some form of support for families of those who lost their lives during the attack and take care of the medical bills of the injured.
” The state government would also assist those whose livestock were killed to enable them carry on with their businesses,” Ikpeazu said.
He restated his administration’s commitment to the security and welfare of all residents, irrespective of tribe or religion.
Ikpeazu described the incident as unfortunate and condemnable, while commiserating with the families of the victims. The governor said his administration accorded great priority to issues of peace and harmony.
“Because there cannot be any form of sustainable development in an unsecured environment.
”My administration’s peace philosophy is behind the decision to devise means of resolving conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the state, through setting up a Conflict Resolution Committee,” he said.
Ikpeazu said that the same peace philosophy was behind government’s resolve to pay compensation to farmers or herdsmen who lost crops or cows, after proper assessment.
He said that he recognised the need for peaceful co-existence between the indigenes and businessmen from other states who were in the state to transact legitimate businesses.
”The security chiefs in the state are working tirelessly to fish out the perpetrators of that ugly incident, and they will not go unpunished.
”Every necessary step would be taken to avert future occurrences of such dastardly actions,” he said. The governor advised members of the Hausa Community to feel free to interact with the people without fear, saying that his administration was capable of protecting their lives and property.
Ikpeazu further said that the attack affected not just Hausa traders, saying that some of the victims were Igbo people.
“The impression that only Hausa people were in the business of selling cows is wrong,” he said. Earlier, the Chairman, Hausa Cattle Market, Alhaji Ibrahim Njidda, briefed the governor on the incident, recalling the cordial relationship that existed between Ikpeazu and the traders.
He appealed to the governor to assist the victims as well as relocate the market to a better secured location.
Mr Okey Kanu, the Executive Chairman, Ukwa West local government council said that the Hausa Community had hitherto enjoyed good relationship with the host community. Kanu requested that security be fortified in the area.